Friday 11:27 am. Project completed.
Every time I put together a piece of modular furniture from Ikea or Target or wherever, I vow, on the graves of my sainted grandparents, that I will never, ever, ever buy any of this junk ever, ever, ever again.
We needed a new bookcase.
Ok, there goes my morning. Yours too if you keep checking back. I'm live-blogging the process because why should I suffer alone? Updates as steps are completed or until I take an ax to the damn thing and chop it all up for kindling.
Step 1. Open box. Stare amazedly at incoherent stack of parts and "hardware" while wondering how in the world she talked you into this again.
Step 2. Sit quietly for several minutes, without making any sudden movements that might scare them off, and wait for the furniture elves to arrive and put the thing together for you.
Step 3. Curse the furniture elves and tell yourself that if they were really competent elves they'd be making shoes or toys or baking cookies in trees and you're better off without their help.
Step 4. After completing Step 4a. (Explain to wife why work could not begin without twenty minutes of silent thought and blogging. Pretend not to notice when she rolls her eyes.) move on to Step 4b. Sigh heavily and begin to do the work yourself.
Step 5. RTFM. Always read the fine manual.
Step 6. Toss aside the f---ing manual because it's the size of an f---ing phone book and you could get through Tolstoy in the original Russian in half the time. Besides, you've done this a dozen times before, what do you need with a manual?
Step 7. Look over parts scattered across the floor. Fish instruction book out of recycling.
Step 8. Open Hardware Pack One.
Step 9. Pick up all the pieces of "hardware" that went flying when the bag exploded as tore it open. Tell yourself that the pieces that rolled under the couch are probably duplicates and you won't need them.
Step 10. Realize what you thought was Hardware Pack One was Hardware Pack Three.
Step 11. Repeat Step 8, after carefully reading the label on the bag this time, dummy.
Steps 12-16. Amaze yourself at your ability to actually follow the instructions and get this far without breaking anything, cutting yourself, or giving up in despair.
Step 17. Be impressed that what you have assembled looks like it might actually turn out to be a bookcase.
Step 18-20. Break something. Cut yourself. Give up in despair.
Step 21. After a couple of cups of coffee and some zen meditation, return to worksite and survey efforts so far.
Step 22. Become almost convinced that this isn't such a hard job after all. Get back to work.
Step 23. Read Cleveland Bob's comment on your post. Become terrified you've made his mistake. Go back through Steps 12-20.
Step 24. After more coffee and meditation, get back to work again.
Step 25-30. Move along at record speed, becoming over-confident as you go.
Step 31. Throw out empty plastic bags and plastic trees and left-over bits of packaging that are just getting in your way now.
Step 32. Root through trash to retrieve pieces of hardware that were still in the bags you thought were empty.
Step 33. Notice it's a beautiful day outside.
Step 34. Seriously consider stopping right here and going out for a walk, telling yourself there's no rush, you can finish this tonight or even tomorrow morning.
Step 35. Imagine wife's reaction when she gets home to find unfinished bookcase and parts blocking her way through the living room.
Step 36. Get back to work.
Step 37-49. Insert, align, attach, rotate, flip, this, that, the other thing, etc etc etc.
Step 50. Step back and stare in disbelief that you're actually done.
Step 51. Tilt your head to try to fool yourself into thinking all the shelves are level.
Step 52. Declare it all close enough for government work. Try not to mind that a job you thought would take you an hour or so took two and a half.
Step 53. Look at completed project from another angle.
Step 54. Realize the damn thing doesn't look half bad. You may actually have done a good job.
Step 55. Start singing quietly, "If I was a carpenter, and you were my lady..."
Step 56. Listen to voice inside your head saying, "You know, Lance, there are some women who would find a man who could handle this kind of project sexy."
Step 57. Ignore other voice inside head saying, "Maybe if you had actually built thing from your own design using real wood and tools they would. How many women are turned on by a guy who can follow instructions?"
Step 58. Go back to listening to first voice.
Step 59. Look around for wife.
Step 60. Remember she left for work hours ago.
Step 61. Sigh.
Step 62. Remember she isn't that kind of woman anyway. These kinds of things usually have the opposite effect because I'm always so full of myself afterwards. Women married to husbands like me tend to become like the wives Jeeves describes as seeing it as their duty to put a damper on male enthusiasm.
Step 63. Sigh again.
Step 64. Try to be satisfied with a job well done while moving on to Step 65.
Step 65. Vow that you will never, ever, ever again buy a piece of modular furniture!
Step 66. Look behind you on living room floor and remember.
Step 67. Target was having a sale.