(Post copyright 2012, Dawn Weber)
Three little words.
Three little words.
They are powerful, full of meaning and nuance. They'll stop you in your tracks, force you to contemplate your purpose in life, bring you to your knees with their significance. They have the strength to make or break any relationship.
Three little words.
"Are you ready?" yells the husband, from upstairs.
Oh for shit's sake. Can't he see I am
possibly peri-menopausal shut up very busy, here on the couch, looking at Pinterest for new Mason jar uses?
"We need to put Levi's bed together!" he hollers.
"He's fine!" I holler back.
"Dawn. He's been sleeping on the floor!"
"He has a mattress!" On the floor. Like a homeless crackhead.
Ah . . . crap. The husband is right. It happens.
Anyway, the boy's homeless/crackhead/hobo bed is probably my fault. Ever since the June derecho/land hurricane/whatever-the-f*ck-it-was hurled several large trees onto our house and poked holes through the roof and ceilings, I have been a little bit
crazy worried about more storms. Riddled with more crazy Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I recently became convinced that trees would again fall on my son's room, poke through the roof and hurt him where he slept on his built-in, very high, VERY NEAR THE CEILING! bunk.
This is not likely to happen: No trees remain. The storm took them all.
But I never let reality stop me, no sir.
So, in a P.T.S.D. frenzy, a few Saturdays ago, this-here
crazy worried mama spent half a day industriously tearing down her son's bunk bed. Then, I figured, the trees - that no longer exist - would not poke through the ceiling and stab him. I pulled his mattress to the floor, where I figured he'd be safe. Hobo conditions, sure.
But safe, STAB-FREE hobo conditions.
And I promptly forgot about it - very busy, you know, working, mothering, perpetually loading the dishwasher and playing on Pinterest, until the husband came home one day and noisily dragged in boxes. LARGE boxes. Large boxes with an alleged bed inside and three words:
"Some Assembly Required."
I've been studiously ignoring them. But it's Sunday and he's up there calling me now. I know he will pester me until we get this thing built, so I trudge up the steps to my little homeless hobo's room and . . .
"Some Assembly Required"
"Look! I've got everything ready to go for us!" says the husband. He's trying to lure me with faux happiness. I can tell.
"Got everything we need. A screwdriver, the hammer, turned on a fan and the TV. . ."
"I don't see a 12-pack. We need a 12-pack."
"It's 10 a.m. Come on - help me put this together. It won't take long."
Help me put this together, he says. It won't take long, he says.
We don't bicker much, he and I, except when faced with "Some Assembly Required." I am mechanically inclined, and - thanks to years of living dirt poor -pretty damn good with an Allen wrench and cheap furniture.
Poverty: always educational.
Despite my mad particle-board skillz, putting things together makes me possibly peri-menopausal shut up and sweaty, sore, bitchy and borderline homicidal. I was not blessed with the, how you say, "patience."
He, on the other hand, usually remains steady and even-tempered. And he can handle basic home repair, a little auto-maintenance, yard work . . . plus he's an amazing father. Need a fence mended? Grass cut? Five giggling girls driven to cheerleading practice? He's your guy.
But he was not blessed with the, how you say, "following directions."
That's where I come in. So I pick up the sheet.
(And, as Ikea is my witness, I am not making this shit up) :
1) To insert -21-(3) on S1 (3) and -22 (3), use -221 by placing it on -21 (-3) and -22 (-3), and knock it in with a hammer.
We definitely need a 12-pack.
But it's 10 a.m., and we're out of beer because I finished it last night. So we begin, pulling out the wood and crushing the box.
We bend. We grunt. We pound. We screw.
And not in any kind of fun way.
Forty-five minutes later, he stops to examine our progress. "Why does it look like that? Shouldn't that one board go across and not down?"
I am possibly peri-menopausal shut up and on the floor, bent into a pretzel, "inserting -21-(3) on S1 (3) and -22 (3), use -221 by placing it on -21 (-3) and -22 (-3), and knocking it in with a hammer." Because I follow directions.
"You're over-thinking this. Don't think! Just follow the directions. Keep screwing!" I say.
"But . . . "
"DON'T THINK! JUST SCREW!"
"Okay! Okay! Bossy McBitchypants . . ."
More bending. More grunting. More pounding. More screwing. Still not in any kind of fun way.
An hour of my life I'll never get back later, I stop working to read step 39-C of the instructions. He pokes me. Hard. In the leg. With fiberboard.
"Ouch - dammit! You hit me with the corner there. What are you doing?"
"Well, sorry, but I was thinking we could turn it around so . . . "
"Yessss, dear," he hisses.
I look back down at the instructions. But not before silently noticing the proliferation of
potential weapons sharp objects, conveniently located nearby.
We keep screwing, like a good couple should, and somehow, we manage. We refrain from stabbing each other and power through. Two hours, 759 screws, several thousand cuss words and exactly ZERO beers later . . .
We're done. The boy's bed is finished, and I use my crazy P.T.S.D. superpowers to arrange it, ensuring he won't get stabbed by any non-existent wayward trees. We pull his homeless crackhead mattress off the floor, we place it onto the boards, and I ascertain that it is - most assuredly - NOT NEAR THE CEILING!
I make the bed and throw myself on top of the sheets.
"Gah! I am so sweaty and sore. Do not ask me to assemble anything for a LONG time. Like ever EVER again."
He stoops, picks up the screwdriver, stands up and smiles.
"That's fine, dear. But guess what?"
I eye his very long, very sharp tool. "What?"
Slowly, slowly, slowly, he raises the screwdriver.
Then, he turns and points it to the corner of the room.
Another box. The headboard.
Some damn! Assembly Required.
We will definitely need a 12-pack.