Some Assembly Required

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,


     My wife and I have been together as a couple for over 24 years. We’ve been married for going on 21 years. In that amount of time we’ve gone through many situations, like most couples, that either break you or make you stronger. It’s important in our evolution as a couple to pass the tests that are thrown our way.

That said there are three words that, when uttered, threaten the very fabric of our existence. Before I say these words today, let me tell you what these words can do. They are words which have single-handedly changed the way I shop. They affect my choices, can make me sweat, can certainly lead to arguments of epic proportion, and can cause me to swear as well as, if not better than, any sailor ever known to grace the ocean with his or her presence.

These three words can single-handedly make Christmas more of an epic journey than you ever intended. Birthdays and surprise gift occasions can become more stressful. Whole family projects can be derailed, and, if you try to do it on the cheap, many unhappy returns can occur.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, without further ado, I give you the three words of which I have alluded to as being so dreadful: Some Assembly Required.

I tear up just thinking about it. I need to pop a Tums. Pop a top, I say….if I have to assemble another piece of furniture or cabinet, I think I’m gonna lose it.

I have a great office manager. Josée manages my day to day affairs, takes and makes appointments, keeps me in line, and manages our store. But the thing I value most about her is that she now takes care of my assembly woes. When I order something, and it arrives, I give her a big smile, wink a bit, and tell her how much I appreciate her. She knows me by now. She just shrugs resignedly, asks what it is she’s going to be assembling, and gets to it. She’s amazing. I believe she is one of the reasons I’m still alive today.

In the seven years I’ve employed her, she’s assembled more things than I’d care to admit. It’s actually by accident that she even does this. I was putting together a bookcase one day, and she made the mistake of saying ‘I love to put stuff together!’ What a silly girl. She should never have said that. Had she known, I’m sure she would not have volunteered in such a cavalier fashion.

Even Josée, though, can crack. I recently received some laundry cabinets from IKEA, and although the instructions are not in Swedish, they may as well have been. These things take ‘some assembly required’ to a whole new height. I pity the fool who decides to do a whole kitchen this way, because three simple cabinets turned out to be an epic adventure. I think I’ll have to give her a bonus after this one.

Honestly, these things, while saving us some money, and saving the companies some money too, have come to a point where they may be causing medical problems. I’m pretty sure there’s a doctor or two out there that can attest to this.

Can you imagine: poor old grandpa buying grandma a nice little cabinet on the internet? He receives all 18 boxes, with instructions in Spanish, and screws with slot heads in them (don’t even get me started on how the Americans don’t use Robertson screws… that’s a whole other subject!). Grandpa takes one look at the mess he got himself into, and decides to get her earrings instead. Good call, grandpa, way to go.

One of my New Year’s resolutions, which I now have obviously broken, was no more assembly items. But, given the way the industry is going, it’s getting more and more difficult to avoid. I guess you could say that the upside to all this, for Josée anyways, is job security! Thanks Jo, and until the next thing I buy, I promise not to order something that needs to be assembled!


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