Do-It-Yourself – Easy Assembly


Photo by vlad shu on Unsplash

Like Goldilocks and the three bears, we tried out all the chairs for size. This one was too big, this one too small, this one too stiff, this one too hard. Finally, we found a chair that was “just right.” The way my luck usually runs, I figured it would be out of stock, but, no, they had one left in the back — unassembled.

Yesterday was my honey’s birthday. I wanted to get him a new leather computer chair since his old one was getting pretty shabby. I thought he should help pick it out since he would be the one using it. We went to the local computer superstore where they have all kinds of fancy computer accessories and furniture.

There was nothing really wrong with his old chair except the leather had holes in the elbows where he had banged it against the desk. I got my chair at the same time he bought his and it is still good. Go figure.

I was going to get the old chair reupholstered, but the upholstery guy said leather is $200 a yard. “Are you sure you want real leather? What kind of chair is it anyhow? Why don’t you just get a new one? Can you come back Monday? I don’t feel very good today.”

I couldn’t deal with it, so I decided to take his advice and get a new one.

I noticed the box seemed awfully small when they brought it out from the back of the store. They would assemble the chair for only $7.99. But how hard could it be to put a chair together? Stick the top in the base and that’s it. I wanted it now and did not want to wait.

“Easy Assembly,” said the box. We could do it ourselves!

The instructions were so simple there were no words, only pictures: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, etc. In the box were a base, a back, a seat, casters, arms, the swivel thing, and a metal bracket for the bottom. They even had all the bolts prepackaged and marked for each step.

Men are better at this kind of thing. Honey could put it together. My 10 year old grandson could help.

“Where is the Allen wrench?” said Honey. That should have been my clue.

My grandson found the wrench in the package with the bolts, and things went along pretty smoothly for a while. Then I heard panic. “There is a part missing! See the picture? This metal thing sticking out isn’t there.”

A part missing? Didn’t he check for parts first? Apparently not.

“But there are two holes on the bottom bracket and two holes on the back. They have to go together.” Finally, I convinced him to try the bolts. They fit… nothing missing after all.

After the back and seat were together, we had to attach the arms. By then Honey was getting fed up with the whole thing. After taking the arms off that were backwards and putting them back on the right way, we finally managed to get everything tight enough not to wobble.

By then I was beating myself over the head for not paying $7.99 to get it assembled. What was I thinking? For a lousy eight bucks I could have had them do it.

We sat the chair right side up and Honey sat down. The casters came off and flew in all directions. Back to the assembly line. I should have known there is no such thing as “easy assembly” regardless of what the manufacturer says.

It does look great now that it is finished, and Honey loves it. We are still trying to figure out what to do with all these extra bolts, though.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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