Fear is not a word I use often. By nature, I am not a "frightened easily" kind of gal. I don't check the back seat of my car for strangers lurking inside, and I never owned a whistle or a can of pepper spray in college. That being said, there are three words that strike fear in my heart. Three words that render me silent. Three words that send a cold shiver down my spine, and a sick twitch straight to my eye.
Those words: "Assembly is required"
Damn you Assembly...damn you!
Is it not enough I pay a fortune for you, and you still want me to put you together! Uhhhhhhhh!
Growing up, we had it easy. My dad, was the "put-er together guy." You could give that man a screw driver and some crazy glue and it would be up, working, and in fine shape in no time. Neighbors would bring there Christmas toys over days in advance for my dad to put them together, because obviously they had the same fear as I do.
I always just assumed my dad new exactly what he was doing and enjoyed doing it. I thought it was a god given skill, something he loved. Now, as a parent, I know the truth. The ugly, sad, infuriating truth.
Those scars on his knuckles, they are not from falling off his bike as a kid...OH NO. They are from putting endless screws into endless doll houses for 20 years. Tires on tricycles then bicycles then cars! Allen wrenching the most ridiculously made screws into holes that just aren't big enough. All just to get my easy bake oven up and ready for yet another crazy birthday. Those knuckle scars, they are scars of a real man, a real dad, and I say to all you dads out there. Wear em proud!!!
This new epiphany I am having has put me in some what of a pickle. You see, I have married a man who has no real tangible man skills what so ever. He considers holding the flash light a tough job! I've seen him take water breaks after holding the flash light for my brother in law who was busting his ass installing a boiler, (which by the way, who the hell knows how to do that?) It's the truth. He would tell you so himself. It's not to say he doesn't have a million other dad skills that will serve him well, just scars on the knuckles won't be one of them. "Assembly is required" means we are going to have to hire someone.
We have sat on boxes for weeks as we stared at our perfectly perfect new furniture that was delivered but needed to be put together. When we first arrived in Los Angeles I asked my husband, my then boyfriend, and knight in shining armor, to help me put together the dresser I had lugged all the way across the country. After we laid out all the pieces he started crying and handed be a hundred dollar bill and begged me never to ask him to put anything together again. There went my knight, and my dresser!
This being the reality of my life, and a character trait I was well aware of when I married this man. I took a stand today and decided to take matters into my own hands. I was going to stare "Assembly is required" right in the face, and shut her down!
I wanted to purchase my son his own little table and chairs for drawing. He has taken quite well to his new crayons, and while I was at it I thought a nice easel would go fetchingly with his table and chairs. You never know, he might be the next Picasso and it is my job to nurture that brilliant mind.
I asked around and was boldly instructed by my sister, who I refer to as my mommy guru, to go straight to Ikea, and they will have everything I need. Obviously she doesn't know me as well as she thinks she does. The first words out of my mouth were," Uh, NO, I will have to put it together." She replied with a quick, "Oh no, it's so easy, you just screw in the legs." Okay, okay, how hard could this be right? Anyone can screw on legs. WRONG!!!
As I walked through the giant blue doors of the Ikea, I started to sweat. Everything looked so nice and easy in the display rooms, but I had a funny feeling about what lay inside those card board boxes I was lugging out to my car.
How could one kids table and chairs weigh so much? If no tools are required why do I hear things rumbling and jingling around in this box? Oh well, I'm in it now so I mine as well face the demon.
As I lay out all the pieces across my living room, my first thought was, "What the hell?", and then, "Oh forget this, I am going to hire someone." Then as if the parenting fairies were looking out above me, ( I think I have been watching to much Sesame Street, forgive my analogies.) I began to translate the damn German directions to English and put my project together.
Waaaaallllaaahhh...would you believe it, a perfectly stable, perfectly put together, table and chairs AND art easel. Look out Picasso, I bet your mother never put together some German engineered truly impossible to figure out, art easel!
It only took 5 hours, 2 knuckle scars, a shit ton of curse words, and one call to my brother in law before I bashed a screw that did not need bashing. Apparently there is this apparatus called a wrench. Who knew?!!!
Oh and does Ikea tend to give you extra screws just in case you mess up? I was left with a few extra after? Weird?
I fear you no more, "Assembly is Required"...Bring on the Christmas Toys!