Never Overestimate Yourself

I should have known as soon as the UPS guy asked me to help him move the packages into the house. I should have told him to turn around and bring them back when the two of us had trouble lifting the box and sliding it into the house.

I should have packaged it back up and made a phone call the second I opened the box. I should have run in fear when I noticed the instruction manual was novel length.

But I did not.  No, I thought, I got this. I can handle this.

Four and a half hours later, my house in ruins and two children running around with bed parts and tools, and my husband comes home.

“Don’t come in!” I shouted. “Turn around, go back! Before it’s too late. It’s bad here.  It’s bad.” And I burst into tears.  I’m nothing if not dramatic.

But, seriously, what was I thinking?  I don’t even remember ordering these monsters.  A bed frame in my mind is a few pieces of scrap metal that pop together and hold a bed up a foot off the ground. The end. When did I decide I needed a base with drawers in white wood?  Clearly I had lost my mind.

You see, I’m in the middle of this project in which I’m trying to make my home into one of those cutesy pictures you see in Pottery Barn or some other such nonsense. I saw cute little white storage bed frames and thought, yes, this is what I need. Let me tell you, this is not what I need.

I managed to make the drawers. It took me four and a half hours to make two drawers.  And I’m not completely at a loss when it comes to making furniture.  I can IKEA with the best of them, seriously. But like I said on my facebook yesterday, IKEA is like kindergarten compared to this crap. The directions are written in tiny three word increments. The parts are labelled in the instructions with numbers (from 1 to 414, I might add) and letters. These numbers and letters cannot be found on the actual pieces.

I got through the first four steps with no trouble. I thought, great! It’s not as hard as it looks. No, it’s not. It’s way harder.

And the company didn’t help any (South Shore, if you were wondering). Some of the screws they sent with the bed were filled over where the groove should be for the screwdriver. They were unusable. There were no markings as to where I was actually supposed to hammer the nails they gave me, so I guessed. The directions were unreadable. I did a lot of guessing, in fact.

One piece that was crystal clear, however, was to put plastic dowels into some of the holes. I didn’t understand why at the time (I still don’t understand why), but I was just happy to have a simple step for once.

Of course, then the directions told me to screw long screws in past the dowels. Um, how? It was impossible, even for the three sides of the board that hadn’t been damaged during shipping (yes, the board was missing an entire corner.)

I should have known when my mindset changed from “I’m going to do this right” to “Well, it doesn’t have to be exactly as the directions say,” that I was in trouble.

But seriously, I could figure out no way to get the screws past the plastic I’d stuck in the holes. And I couldn’t get the plastic out. I mean, it was in there for good.  The back of the hammer couldn’t get it out, a screw used as a lever couldn’t get it out, tweezers couldn’t get it out.

So, do you want to know what I did (and here’s where I really shot myself in the foot), I went after those dowels with my teeth.  I mangled the dowels, I hurt my pearlies, and keep in mind, this was a step undoing a step that was supposed to be done.  I was done, I was in over my head.

But still I continued on. I haphazardly nailed boards into place, I clipped things without screwing them (remember some of my screws are faulty). I figured, it will be good enough, it must be good enough.

When I got to a section where I absolutely could not find two pieces I needed, I snapped. I was done.  My husband walked in at that very moment. Disheveled, sweaty, on the brink of hysteria, I could take no more.

I found those pieces on the porch this morning, by the way. Thanks, babies.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, does anyone want a half-assembled bed frame with no dowels, faulty screws and damaged corners?

I already know the company is going to make it really hard for me to return even the unopened bed frame (haha, yes, I have TWO of them). The one I opened? Even though it was faulty and broken to begin with? I really really doubt they’ll take it back. And the last thing I want is to argue with some associate about how to get this mess out of my house. I just want it gone. I hate it. I hate this bed frame. I hate it.

Don’t ever overestimate yourself. You’ll ruin your entire day.


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About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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