My wife and I found the perfect shelf for my home office a week or so ago.  It was the exact dimensions to squeeze between my two CD towers at a height that came up just high enough to snuggly fit right under the window sill.  AND, its shelf space was exactly what I needed to take everything off the floor behind my desk.

So we bought it.

But they wouldn’t let us take the one off the floor.

And they couldn’t find the two that the system said were in the store warehouse.

So we had to wait.

Till this past Friday.

Then we picked it up.

In a box.

So we had to put it together.

The next day, I popped open the box, removed the packaging, laid out all the parts (3 shelves, 2 sides, and 12 screws), and tried (seriously) to read the directions.

The pictures and the letters couldn’t have been any smaller.

Step one was to lay one side down on the floor, and mate the middle shelf to that side.

Step two was to place the other side on top and then put the bottom shelf in place.

Step three was to screw in the 4 large screws.

Step four was to screw in the 4 small screws.

After step one, I called my wife over because I needed extra hands to hold everything together.

After step two, I read the directions two or three more times to make sure I was going to do things right.

After step three and four, my wife took over because, as always seems to happen, it wasn’t going together right.

She kept asking, “Are you sure you got the screws right”?

I said, “Absolutely”.

She’d ask again, “Are you sure”?

I said, “It’s not that hard”.

Yet I had to admit that it wasn’t going together right.

She said, “I think the screws are too short”.

I said, “They’re in the right place”.

And then I looked again.

And sure enough, I had put the screws in the wrong holes.

So my wife took all the screws out and put them back in the right places.

In fact, she then put it all together pretty much by herself.

Which was a smart thing.

Because we may have been there all day otherwise.

None of this would have happened if they just let me take the one off the floor.

But no.

Guys like me with no ability to assemble don’t get that lucky.

We’re destined to struggle and fail.

Regardless of what it is.

Regardless of how clear the directions are.

That’s sad.

But reality.

What are the three most humbling words in the English language?

Some assembly required.

Those magic three words that define those who can and condemn those who cannot.

I’m a cannot.

Always have been.

Always will be.

Even with good directions.

Thank goodness for unconditional love.

And a sense of humor.

And a loving wife who knows when it says “some assembly required”, she needs to get the tools and complete the task at hand.

But only after getting her jabs in and chuckling about my ineptness.

Glad I can make her smile.

Just wish I could put a simple bookshelf together.

2 Responses to “Humility”

  1. warrensnow on 07 Feb 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Should have gone to…..

  2. stf6992 on 07 Feb 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    And boy do you create awesome furniture!