Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Build an Ikea Bedside Table aka I refuse to let this be a metaphor for my life/marriage

So my wonderful mother-in-law bought us a crib.

It's white.  It looks like a crib.  

She also was ever so kind as to buy us a bedside table to go in the kid room.  What follows is in no way her fault.  She tried to buy us a fancier table but we opted for a very simple and inexpensive one.  We are awesome (cheap) like that.  

The first (simplest, or so it seemed) task was to put together the bedside table.
It's gonna look like this.

I started out alone (it's easy to see how this could be a metaphor...but don't let it).  On my owwwwwwwn (cue music), I started with THE BOX.  It should be simple.  Open the box.  I did not have scissors.  So then I had to waddle off to find scissors.  Then I returned and realized that the box is GLUED shut on all four sides. THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SIGN.  I felt the flash of regret at choosing this table when I could have had one for $5 from my favorite thrift store.  Sure, the thrift store one would have had ridiculously deep scratches and dust of mysterious origin, but it would have been assembled.  

After ripping the various layers of the box into shreds so that I could get my scissors into it and, lo, open the box, I had to tip the whole thing over onto the rug to get all the pieces out.  THUD CLUNK ONOMATOPOEIA.  From the basement, The Doctor yells to inquire if I am okay.  He does not join me upstairs for another ten minutes.

When at last my knight in shining armor arrives, I am still on step one.  The instructions are 30 steps long and read much like the non-verbal IQ tests I have to learn how to administer for work.  You have to make sure that you have a) the right piece of seemingly but not identical wood rectangle b) all the various sized holes facing just the right way c) the appropriate pegs and screws (of which there are three that look alike via the instruction manual but are vastly different sizes).  The Doctor bravely takes over the task while I stretch (lie down) on the floor.  

He made it to step two before rage quitting.  I had the rectangle facing the wrong way, turns out, during step one.  I harangued him for giving up (not a metaphor) and he begrudgingly had me fetch some tools while he took over the very important man-task of RTFM (read the...manual, a classic my dadism).

Soon we were rolling along.  Things were going well.  He felt like the head of household he is and I felt confident in our mutual intelligence.  But it was grueling hard work.  It was tiring.  I know, because I was working really hard (lying on the floor, watching).  And then, the drill ran out of batteries.  

Ugh how long does it take to charge a drillllllll?  Ok long enough that we decide to sleep on it.  I close up the room so cats don't eat any screws and we shuffle off to bed.  

My friend seemed to be surprised that I had such trouble with this project.  
HER:  Didn't you take stagecraft in college?
ME: Yeah.  I got an A.
HER: So you should be good at this.
ME: I also put a nail through the professor's thumb...
HER: Oh.  Yeah.  I remember now.
ME: You know in school how you had to take those little fake tests where it said, "Read all the directions before beginning the test?" and the last direction was "don't take this test?"  Well, I was the kid clucking like a chicken and following all the steps in blind order, thinking I was winning by finishing all the questions first, before feeling like a dummy when I finally made it to the last question.  Turns out, that was life lesson.  

Tuesday: As I sleep in (yay no school this week), and The Doctor kisses me as he heads off to the office, he mentions that perhaps I will have time to finish off the project.  "It'll only take half an hour!"  He insists.  I squint dubiously and then inexplicably burst into tears of overwhelmed emotion at the prospect of doing this ALONE (not a metaphor).

I am so busy Tuesday (so many house projects are more fun than going into that blasted room), that, when The Doctor arrives at 5:30pm, I'm still hanging Christmas lights inside all of our outward facing windows (two days before Thanksgiving is the right time to hang Christmas was URGENT, I tell you).

They're pretty.

SUPER begrudgingly, The Doctor goes to work on the nightstand ALONE while I sing Christmas songs and make everything merry and VERY bright.  I only hear him yell once.  Then I join him.  The project is almost done.  Ruby seems to like it.   It looks GOOD.  I am impressed.  The last step is the drawer.  

Uh oh.  The Doctor realizes he has done something wrong at some point in the past.  What point?  He can tell me exactly.  Have we all been there?  Yes...well all of us in the room...well not Ruby.  She's a cat.  Can he fix it?  No.  The stupid dowel things are nearly impossible to take out and the floopdydoops are too far inside to get out without splintering the wood (he splintered the wood a little).  As a result, the drawer will not go in...

Side note: sometimes things just work out due to magical thinking.  That's sometimes how things happen to us in my family.  For example, I used to have pretty severe TMJ (clicky jaw).  It was painful, annoying, and persistent, even after I clenched through my mouth guard and tried various behavior therapies.  I had resigned myself to having this cursed condition forever.  Then, on a flight to Hawaii, I fell asleep with my jaw resting on The Doctor's skull.  When I awoke, I surreptitiously wiped the drool from my face and into his hair ("product") and realized I had a horrible jaw ache.  It hurt the whole vacation.  But then I realized, it wasn't clicking any more.  I WAS CURED!  It hasn't clicked since and doesn't hurt.  HE'S A FANTASTIC DENTIST.  

The Doctor stares at the blasted bedside table with a seething fire.  And the does what toddlers and adult men have done for centuries.  He HADOUKENS it onto the rug.  


The drawer pops in!  FIXED.  Well done, team!  We high five and it freeze frames as the credits roll...THE END.

Ok.  No.  The drawer now won't open.  The bedside table LOOKS functional...but it's just...not.  I mean.  It's functional as a SURFACE.  And as something that looks fine.  But...hahaha.  No.  

We begin to laugh.  We google the IKEA return policy...yeah that's not happening.  We laugh some more.  We put the stand next to the bed.  It looks....JUST GREAT!  

Things I am thankful for this holiday:
1.  A husband willing to do my bidding...even when it turns out to be beyond both of our skill sets.
2.  A husband super good at tooth carpentry because neither of us can cut it as actual carpenters and we need to have money to buy semi-functional furniture.  
3.  A fetus that, thus far, seems to be more of an Ethan Allen than an Ikea.  Keep kicking, Booberry.  
4.  A holiday weekend in which, hopefully, my dad can team up with The Doctor to put the crib together...
5.  A shared sense of humor with my awesome teammate and fellow stagecraft graduate.  

YAY for family.  Happy Thanksgiving!  

I made dis.  

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