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Much assembly required

I'm not sure what exactly started it, but the week before Thanksgiving brought discontentment with the disorganization of my house. So, while everyone else was buying Christmas decorations, I bought an entertainment center. Since I needed my money for Christmas shopping, I bought a small, cheap version. I was pleased with my find, because the display in the store seemed to blend perfectly with the furniture in my living room.

When it comes to furniture, let me translate "cheap" for you: assembly required. I spent two days separating screws and other thingamajigs, trying to align fake boards and hammering teeny nails into flaky particle board.

I was so proud when I actually completed the project the day before Thanksgiving. This would enable me to clear the electronic clutter in my living room just in time to put up the Christmas tree. As I sat back on the floor in front of the now-completed cabinet, I noticed it seemed a little small compared to my chunky sofa and chair with the large, rolled arms and fluffy cushions. "Oh well," I thought, "at least it'll be organized."

As I began untangling wires to thread through the openings, and placing the equipment in the cabinet, I realized the cabinet not only looked out of place, it really was too small. The shelf needed to be about half an inch wider for the TV to fit inside. Thoughts of abundant blessings were not filling my mind at the moment.

Thankfully, my son took the cabinet apart for me. It took him less than two hours to disassemble my two-days' worth of work. Fitting the pieces back into the box was the next challenge I conquered while recovering from my Thanksgiving dinner. The furniture company must not want to spend money on cardboard, because they leave no extra space in the box. After a lot of manipulating, I felt a sense of victory as I taped the end of the box closed. This was replaced with a mixture of despair and amusement when I noticed six large pieces of Styrofoam on the floor. The triumph returned as I hid it in the trash can.

Last night, my son used a hand truck to wheel in another television armoire, this one much larger and not quite as cheap, but still in a box. I had to roll my eyes when I read the large print on the back of the four-inch thick box, "Notice, this box contains furniture that is unassembled. Assembly is required before using this furniture."

I don't have anymore tales of victory to share. I can tell you that after two hours and help from my son, we are on page eight of the 25-page instruction book. Our progress is as slow as Christmas, but Christmas is coming way too fast.

Web posted on Thursday, December 1, 2005


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