Sunday, March 18, 2012


I hate putting together furniture or anything really that requires me to read directions (or if you get it from IKEA, not really read, but just try to look at the pictures of things that might be drawn by people who don't actually speak English and therefore have trouble communicating with me even in pictures....DAMNIT).  In our house it always seems fairly straightforward and you always think you can get it done in the damn Estimated Time For This Project, but that never happens.  Such was/is the case with the bunk beds. 

We got started late (as in Bed Time - yeah, that's when we started.....and, yes, it's the last day of Spring Break), so I knew it wouldn't work out that the kids would all sleep in their new beds tonight.  What I had forgotten (since the last time we put together furniture) was the pure joy of matching all the A's to the EV294Fs and not losing any of the J89K4s because then you're screwed with the 5-9s. 

So, just in case you are going to be ASSembling anything soon, I have put together a little list for you so that you won't be screwed like we were/are (you're welcome).

1.  Get started at the ass crack of dawn so that you might be able to finish in one day.  Set the f&*%ing alarm if you have to (Or borrow my three year old - she loves to set alarms.  She set hers - who gave BABY an alarm for Pete's sake??? - this morning for 7:30 a.m., woke the whole house up, yelled out that it was her alarm - not to worry - and she was turning it off and going back to bed.  Thank you, baby.)

2.  IMPORTANT (and, I quote):  PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS IN THIS BOOKLET BEFORE STARTING ASSEMBLY.  Who does this?  Not us.  We don't even count all the tiny pieces (or the big ones).  After screwing up numerous projects and having to start all over at screw one, I am now an avid fan of reading ALL the directions first.

3.  It doesn't make a crap of difference if you read all the directions first, so don't waste your precious time doing it.  (Sorry, it looks like I just contradicted myself.  Kind of like DIRECTIONS.)  I swear we could read all the directions first and we would still screw something up.  I wonder do attorneys and IRS agents have this problem, too?  Is it just us?

4.  The directions are written by people who don't care if you screw up or not, so just plan on screwing up.  A lot.  Here is how directions are typically written:  Insert A7100 into B8765 with 94TR.  There is some fine print that says, "hole on opposite side."  WTF?  Is that English really?  "hole on opposite side?"  Notice that is written in fine print (requiring my bi-focals) ON the actual picture of MV20.  So, I pass the directions to hubby (and you know men never read directions) who says, "WTF?  What holes?  Holes for what?"  We then skip a few pages of directions (there are 495 pages all together) and realize that we are screwed.  Two hours into the project, we have screwed in the first boards incorrectly because there are no holes in MV20 ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE or any side for that matter.  If the people writing the directions cared they would read something like this, "Now, you are going to need to look carefully to see that you are screwing in the correct board that has the holes on the outside into the correct side of the bed (you might want to skip to page 7794 so that this all makes sense.  These holes might look insignificant, but if you will see page 9548, they are for the ladder - that will actually be quite significant later."  And, stickers all-freakin'-over-the-place on the actual boards (instead of just at the ends where no one looks, and they rub off) would help, too.

5.  There is one Allen wrench to put together bunk beds.  The Allen wrench is small.  Does that seem logical?  I would give the customer about 10 of those.  So, my advice to you:  Have about 10 Allen wrenches on hand for when you lose them all (starting with the one they gave you).

6.  If you are assembling furniture with another adult make sure you have a great relationship that can endure flying tools and loud cursing.  If this happens to be a marriage, make sure your marriage is solid and has weathered crises before attempting to assemble furniture together.  If not, you may end up in counseling.  If you have children in the house, make sure you prep them for the furniture assemblage by explaining that assembling furniture for adults is on par (stress-wise) with nuclear war and that the only safe place for them is the neighbors' house.

6.  Drink heavily.  (Alcohol.)  (And I should have put this one first, but I am trying to prepare you for the total post reading.  Or not.)  Then when #4 happens and you have to unscrew everything you just freakin' screwed you can laugh about it instead of cursing the idea of ever doing a room re-do.

That's all I got for now.  We are not done, so I might have a post script for this one.  The part that really made me cry laugh was when I read on page 2 of the bunk bed directions in bold, large letters, "MEASURE INSIDE MATTRESS AREA BEFORE ORDENING (their typo, not mine) YOUR UPPER AND LOWER MATTRESS."  Approximately eight hours too late on that one, but thanks, Bunk Bed Direction Writer Super Helpful People.


jamiew said...

I think I have a junk drawer full of those freakin' allen wrenches. I'll send them over.

Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog) said...

So true. Assembly so hard. This happened to me on Saturday. I bought two new lamps for the bedroom, I had the toughest time getting them together, getting the shades right. Took longer than I thought then had to do leftovers for dinner because I didn't have time to make dinner in the time I needed.

Kudos to you all for getting the project underway.

Shannon said...

Dave is of the "we don't need no stinkin' directions" camp (so is Danny) and I can't work with him to put something together without wanting to stab him with the stupid allen wrench.

I get all totally anal, counting and organizing all the stupid little pieces and reading the directions, usually twice, before starting. Drives David nuts. LOL! Interestingly I CAN work with Paul to assemble stuff. He gets as nuts as I do. It is fun to watch him and David trying to build something together while I drink a beer. Great spectator sport.

BTW I am the same way with board games, I have to have the directions right next to me so I can check and make sure we are playing it right. David just makes up new rules as he goes. UGH!

cb said...

you should have called me we have a whole set of ones that go with the drill so you don't have to turn by hand.

Anonymous said...

The Cap'n and I can help each other with putting things together as long as it is not at the same time. We have to do it in shifts so we don't kill each other. I feel your pain!

Monica said...

@shannon - oh, i think i would love that spectator sport, too. that would be good for some laughs - especially with beer. ;o) ed never reads the directions - just dives into something saying, "hmm. this must go here, and this must go here." then random cursing when it all goes to $hit. we finished tonight. ALL the girls are in their new beds. :o))) momma is super duper happy. ms. m. is coming over tomorrow to take measurements one final time for the drapes and comforters. hallelulia and amen. will post photos soon.