My dad was one of those ridiculous people who knew everything and could fix anything and build whatever he wanted. And I spent a lot of time “helping.” Well, not so much “helping” as talking his ear off while he worked.
Then I went to college and thought about being a theatre major (but the only acting I was good at was crying) so I naturally turned to theatre design. In my first class, they taught us how to build a saw-horse. Mine was lopsided. Then they taught us how to build prop. I chose to build a topiary. Because that’s totally useful in theatre, right? Near the end of the semester, the teacher decided welding was going to be a helpful skill. So he taught us. Mine was bubbly but it held together. Finally, success! And I know knew how to weld. A skill I’ve gotten great use out of these past 6 years working in finance…
During this class I was subjected to nail guns, power drills, chainsaw, circular saws, etc… But help was never far away. Like the one time that the block of wood went flying off of the saw and splintered on the floor. My BFF was there to show me what I did wrong and help clean up the thousands of pieces (seriously, the prof had no idea how I actually managed that little feat). Or when my pneumatic stapler kept firing staples at such a rapid place, that they all ended up on top of each other instead of in a neat row. Causing the stapler to overheat and the room to smell of burnt-ness.
So I guess, the point of all of these recollections is that I know how the tools are supposed to work and how different items are supposed to fit together. In theory. Things get rough when I do it in reality.
This weekend, I wanted to hang shelves in a random nook space in the second bedroom. Before, I had an unfinished bookcase my dad built stacked on two different height file cabinets with a tv shelf built out of hardcover books and a Harry Potter box set. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture. Oh wait, I remember. Because it looked really weird.
But Keith had homework this weekend. So we made a deal, I could buy a shelving system but I had to install it myself. And I couldn’t drag him in to it to solve problems or fix mistakes. If I got frustrated, I had to walk away and finish it in a couple of weeks when he had time to help.
I knew how it was supposed to be installed because we have used the Container Store’s Elfa system before. And it’s expensive to have them install it. Seriously, $160+ for 30 mins (or less if they do it the way you are supposed to and no minor disasters occur – wait, that only happens to me?) of work.
So I set out. First I borrowed a drill from a friend. Then realized that I needed a 3/8 drill bit – twice as big and any I already had. So, I made a trip to ACE hardware. One hole was in the middle of a metal stud. Major pain. But eventually, the project was complete. And I’m thrilled. Look! I have grown-up shelves in the den!
Now I can set out to decorate the shelves, buy storage boxes, display my favorite hardcover books, and more. The room is almost ready to display. Well, once the new couch arrives, we donate the old futon, take the chair to my sister’s, empty the storage locker, and figure out where I am going to store the old bookshelf. Nevermind, I still have a lot to do.