Last Saturday morning I woke up to an empty house. Barbara was staying at her sister’s after seeing a Broadway show, and Casey was at her boyfriend’s house, so it was just me and our dog, Toby.
So I decided to make some stools for our new kitchen. Toby would watch, hopefully without laughing at me.
I went down to the basement to get the raw materials I would need to make stools that would go perfectly in our kitchen. Unfortunately, it turned out the only raw material we had in our basement was the meat in the freezer, which I thought could be put to better use, like making a dress for Lady Ga Ga.
I was faced with the prospect of going to Home Depot on a Saturday when it’s very crowded and there are many people standing around when I ask questions such as whether 2x4s come in any other sizes. So I thought, what the heck, I’ll just go ahead and assemble the kitchen stools we had ordered several weeks earlier, and which were sitting in the garage.
I carried all the parts upstairs and, because you can’t do a job right without the right tools, I carefully selected the necessary implements: a mallet and a screwdriver. A Phillips head screwdriver, if you want to get technical.
And then, without printed instructions of any kind, I assembled the stools by tapping the little feet into the bases and screwing on the tops. I lined the four stools up at the kitchen island, where they stood proudly (and straightly, I might add) as a testament to my newly-developed handiness.
Yes, now that I’m a homeowner, I am determined to tackle such projects without fear. Where once, not long ago, I would have demanded instructions and cried out in frustration at not having any, now I stared down those stool pieces in the face of instruction-less adversity, calmly sized up the situation, deduced that each stool had four screws and–indeed–four holes, and that the screws were, in fact, the type associated with Philips head screwdrivers. I then made an executive, hardware-related decision that the little feet could best be attached to the legs through the use of a hard rubber mallet which I had recently acquired precisely for the purpose of tapping things into other things!
My own mother recognized the magnitude of my accomplishment when I made my exactly-10am Saturday-call to her.
“I assembled the stools for the kitchen this morning,” I told her.
“Congratulations,” she replied, and then added, I swear, “They can put that on your tombstone.”
Hah! The joke will be on her when I sit on one of the stools and it collapses and I bang my head on the new floor tiles and die.
That’ll show her!
See you soon.