Richard Weirich

Life Lessons in a Box

I don’t pretend to be a do-it-yourselfer or handyman but sometimes there are undesirable projects that just beg for my unprofessional help, all in the name of saving a buck.

cardboard-box-161578_1280Been married nearly 45 years and my wife still hasn’t gotten the message that she didn’t marry Tim the Toolman Taylor or Bob Villa.  She still expects me to fix stuff.

Now, I try. I really do. Installed a new ceiling light and dimmer switch in a bedroom a couple of weeks ago. Now the power is out in the adjoining bathroom. Nothing has burned down yet so I suppose I can call that a near success.

My worst debacle came a few years back at a former residence where I decided, after watching some home improvement shows, that I could replace the stairs that ran from the entry level to the main level of the home. Oh, I did it alright. Still trying to save money. Didn’t work. Had to hire a pro who charged me so much to redo my fiasco that he could have afforded a nice cruise to an exotic foreign land.

In a moment of weakness a few days ago, I agreed to purchase a little bookcase. Keyword “little.” Oh, but there was a warning right there on the box. “Some assembly required.” Maybe if the manufacturer had labeled the box with a skull and crossbones I wouldn’t have been so foolish as to buy the stupid thing. “But Dear, it’s on sale.”

So we brought the thing home and I did my part. Sat it in a room and kind of hoped that it would somehow assemble itself. And then I heard the sound that I hate to hear when I procrastinate. My wife was opening the box.

I knew, ballgame or no ballgame, I had best get in there to protect the name of well-intentioned men everywhere. Just in time, I intercepted the box before it and its contents were thrown out the window. Mama wasn’t happy but then again who would be because of what it said on the box, “Some assembly required.”

She left the room and I picked up the “so easy a child can do it” instructions. The manufacturer must have decided that people who purchased their product would be too stupid to read because there was nothing more than some diagrams with numbers.

An hour later, with quite a few of the assembly parts left over, I proudly announced that the project was complete and as long as the bookshelves weren’t moved, they should be just fine. My wife was impressed. As long as they look good, right?

There’s a life lesson to be learned here. Sometimes we’re ill-equipped for what life throws at us but we have to take it on anyway because others are counting on us. Such times don’t require us to be perfect or professional…just willing. That’s the way we do it…IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE.

UPDATE (one week later)

The bathroom electrical is now working. It took installing a dimmer switch in the dining room. Funny stuff going on in the electrical box which didn’t make it to the YouTube instruction videos. Same problem. This time the lights went out on the patio.  Most important…when I figured out the dining room issue, there was my answer to the bathroom issue. All this leads me to the theory that somewhere there is an wannabe comedian turned electrician who just knew  I was going to move into this house.

So, what can be learned from this experience? If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again? That’s the best I can come up with for now. Of course, blind luck is a possibility. Who said, “I love it when a plan comes together?” Have a great day.

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