Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Bookshelf Adventure

So here was the scenario:

I was surrounded by multiple pieces of wood. Nails were scattered all over the place and I was flipping frantically through the directions. I had it in my mind that maybe, just maybe, a magical elf would leap out and offer to put the bookcase together for me.

I mean, Rumpelstiltskin turned the straw into gold, did he not?

Of course, that's make believe.

But still. I was hoping for some sort of miracle. Or for the directions to make sense.

I grabbed Piece A as the directions told me to do. Then I grabbed piece P.

Which made me wonder, why couldn't it be piece B? Why go all the way to piece P?

Then I told myself to FOCUS, to not think of mundane things.

Tom popped his head in as I was balancing Piece A in my lap. I had to screw in piece P to piece A and Piece A was being a bitch and tilting left and right.

"How is it going?" Tom asked, a smile playing on the corner of his lips.

I wanted to hurl piece P at him. He looked so haughty, as though he knew all along that this would happen.

"Fantastic. Couldn't be better," I lied. I gave him a fake grin and pretended I knew exactly how to get the nail in the hole. I switched on my drill and moved closer to the screw.

"Uh. I think you have it backwards," Tom pointed out. He gestured to the directions that were spread out on the floor. "It's showing this piece facing the other way." Then he peered closer at the directions. "Um. Did you draw an angry face on one of the drawings?"

I had.

Out of frustration, I had grabbed a pen and gave one of the diagrams a pissed off expression.

Because that's how I felt.

"I can do this Tom," I snapped at him. "Just keep watching the kids."

Tom was keeping an eye on Natalie, who thought it was hilarious to walk over to me and grab a nail.

"Candies," she had said seriously and nearly put one in her mouth.

"NOT candy!" I said and took it from her. Which immediately insulted her and made her give one of her famous ear-piercing screeches.

Which made me shout for Tom to TAKE CARE OF HIS DAUGHTER because I was in the middle of BUILDING something.

Which made me feel all high and mighty because hey, I was BUILDING something.

"Just switch that piece around," Tom added before he left.

I waited until he was out of sight before doing so. Because I didn't want to give him any satisfaction.

Then I went back to screwing.

(Haha. Screwing!)


But then I got flustered again. Because then it started talking about taking piece G2 and putting it with piece H.

What happened to piece C? And D?

The directions started to get blurry and I realized it was because tears were beginning to well in my eyes.

Don't cry, Amber. You don't cry when you're building something!

I tried to blink the wetness back.

But it was too late. Once my tears start to form, they usually always fall.

And sure enough, a few seconds later, a few splattered against the directions.

That's when Tom came back in.

For those who have Twitter, this was my message about it:

"After finding me crying and surrounded by nails and things I can’t even identify, Tom took over and built the bookcase."

I was embarrassed as I handed over the drill and the pieces that Made No Sense.

"Don't cry," Tom said and brushed my tears away. "Really. You did..." He peered at the one piece that I had put together and swallowed. "You did...great.." He didn't say this in a convincing tone but offered me a genuine smile.

So Tom put the bookshelf together.

Though, I did get a some satisfaction over the fact that some pieces were difficult to put together.

This was evident from the choice words that filtered out into the living room.

And the fact that Tom called one piece a stupid sonofabitch.

But then a half hour later, he called me back into the dining room. And the beautiful bookshelf stared back at me.

"There you go," Tom said gruffly.

I threw my arms around him. "My hero!"

I helped him push the bookcase against the wall. And then we realized that the room looked funny with just one.

So Tom gave a long sigh and went, "We need another one. The room looks unbalanced now."

Back to Lowes we went.

This time, I didn't even bother trying to put together the bookcase. I had learned my lesson.

Plus, we realized that the bookcase company was Sauder, which is one of our mortal enemies.

Sauder is the maker of our computer desk and you wouldn't BELIEVE how many pieces that contained.

Tom only swore a handful of times when he put together the bookcase.

When he put together the computer desk he swore...well, to be honest, I lost count after swear word number ten. I helped Tom with that and every few minutes he seemed to snap at me.

"NOT that piece! Piece F, Amber. Why are you handing me piece B?"

"It looked like an F. The pieces are labeled very lightly. Don't YELL at me!" I shouted back.

Or I wasn't holding pieces properly so that Tom could drill them together.

"TIGHTER Amber, honestly. How am I supposed to drill when the pieces aren't even TOGETHER?"


Needless to say, we both vowed to NEVER get Sauder again.

And we had no idea that the bookcase was made by Sauder. It didn't say the name in big letters. It was right in the lower corner.

"Curse it! No wonder why I couldn't put it together. It's SAUDER!" I shouted and then crossed my index fingers over one another and made a hissing sound in the direction of the Sauder name.

So THAT'S why I couldn't put it together.

Because it was a Sauder.

That's my excuse and quite frankly, I'm sticking to it.

Here are the finished bookshelves. You can see why we needed two. And I'm proud to say that Tom put together the other one and only shouted one profanity.

Because of the new bookshelves, we have a bunch of extra room for new books.

Amazon.com, here I come!


  1. I hate having to build anything at all! I leave it for Josh more often than not. He always seems to have to correct things I make/hang anyhow. Might as well just let him do it huh?

  2. Those shelves look very nice.

    What a fun "bonding" opportunity.

    I'm actually the one that is better at those directions than hubby. Too funny.

  3. Great story! Gotta love 'togetherness'!! We have a silent understanding that we stay AWAY from the other's project unless asked. Works great for us!


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