I’ve only been married for a couple of years, so Wife Day is a relatively new experience for me. The last two years have seen my bachelor pad converted to something less than bacheloresque. Perhaps my wife’s biggest annoyance with our living room was the TV stand in the corner (probably built around the time we were or weren’t landing on the moon) so we finally decided to replace it with an electric fireplace/media unit. We looked around and found one online that we really liked. The downside to the purchase: some assembly required.
To say that I am challenged at assembling large pieces of furniture would be an understatement. The only way I passed wood shop in high school was by notching two grooves in every project and submitting it as an ash tray. My wife is from the Philippines and grew up with staff to handle such tasks. I even went so far as to suggest we hire someone to assemble the unit. She would have none of that. This would be a great “opportunity” for us to spend quality time together during the bye week, right? Right.
A week later two large boxes were delivered to us. Their combined weight: 103 pounds. My wife barely weighs 103 lbs. We opened them, removed the packing and fished out the assembly manual. Three things immediately caused me to panic:
1. Made in China.
2. Only tool needed: a screwdriver.
The prospect of a guy who nearly flunked shop class and a Filipina deciphering directions originally written in Chinese, translated to English, and then executing said directions, seemed slim to none. Slim left the building.
Determined to push on, my wife meticulously inventoried all of the cams, dowels, hinges, screws, wood pieces and even a couple of things that didn’t appear in the manual. I got the screwdriver.
The manual estimated assembly time to be around 2 hours. I figured we could do it in four, maybe. We assembled the first few pieces pretty easily and things seemed to fit pretty well. We started at about 11:00 a.m. and it was 1:00 by the time we got the main body put together. It looked like a large “M” without the top or the base. There were 28 cam and dowel contact points on the top of the unit and 28 on the base. Each contact point had to line up in order for the piece to be installed. Here’s where things got
I don’t usually swear a lot. The exception is on game day when things aren’t going well for Michigan. My wife only swears on game day when things aren’t going well for Michigan. Even then, she’s not very good at it. After 2 hours of trying to fit the top of the unit onto the center console, I was in full game day mode. Hell, even the wife was getting in some quality practice. I got the hammer.
Despite all odds, we finally succeeded in our task. It only took 7 hours. No one was hurt, nothing was broken, I’m still married and we have a lovely fireplace/media center to watch the Wolverines on crisp, fall Saturdays.