Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Easy Assembly My Butt!


A few weeks ago, Danny noticed that our dining room table had disappeared.  Stacks of paper, books on writing and a laptop were now weighing down the former place where we used to eat.  He shook his head and said, “It’s time to get you a desk!”

So, off we trundled to Wally World.  My eyes were instantly drawn to a cute little writing desk with adorable cubbyholes I could use to keep my in-progress stories neatly tucked away…Danny’s eyes were glued to the words “Easy Assembly” on the front of the box.

We hefted the six-foot high box onto a rolling cart and headed home, excited to have a small project to work on.  We carried the box into the garage and I headed into the kitchen to get pick a good place to assemble this small desk in the comfort of our air-conditioned home.  A minute later, I heard Danny call me back into the garage.

He had opened the box and taken out the thousands of pieces of wood and ten pounds of hardware that were needed to create this new piece of furniture.

“Honey, I think we’re going to have to build this out here in the garage.” he said. “There’s too many pieces to lay out for us to do it in the house.”

I sighed.  In case I haven’t mentioned it, this has been a very hot, steamy and miserable summer here in Florida. So my enthusiasm dropped ten degrees at the thought of building this desk in a hot garage. But, I spoke not a discouraging word since the box said “Easy Assembly!” How long could it take us?

Hour One…Danny splits up the construction duties, he will do the building and I am assigned the daunting task of reading the instructions (Danny refers to these as “constructions.”  I encounter the first problem on page one.

“Danny, these instructions are in Spanish!”

“Turn the book over, silly!”

Danny proceeds to lay out the pieces of wood according to the stickers applied by the manufacturer.  “A” pieces are sorted in the front of the garage, and “B” pieces are set carefully in the back.  This proved to be effective until we found that not all the pieces had stickers on them.  So now we had to resort to the “it looks like this one” technique and keep our fingers crossed that we guess right.

Hour Two…I open up to the English version of the instructions and find that the schematics look like we will be building the next space shuttle.  Bravely, I start reading out loud as Danny collects the hardware to slap the wooden slats together.  As he inserts strange looking pieces of metal into pre-drilled holes, I try to make sense out of the manual.

Hour Three…We finally start assembling the legs into the bottom of the desktop.  Trouble looms it’s ugly head right from the git go!

“It says to use a screwdriver” I advised my man.

“A drill works faster!”

“But, it says to use a screwdriver!  Just thought you should know!”  I now feel liberated.  Should this project turn out wrong, I can blame it on Danny for using the damn drill!

Hour Four…Still working on putting the legs into the top of the desk.  Although time consuming, this desk should be able to handle a Category Five Tornado and survive unscathed.

Hour Five…As I wipe the sweat off my brow, I wonder what happened to the “Easy Assembly?”  We still have to put the center drawer together and build the cubbyhole sections.  I am leaning towards delaying completion of this project from hell until the next day…but Danny was on a mission and shot down my dreams of escaping into the air-conditioning.

Hour Six…We have finally gotten down to the last pieces which will be the drawer that slides out of the middle of the desk.  We practice with the metal brackets the drawer requires for a smooth open and close operation.  Somehow, we wind up putting them in wrong.  So, it’s back to the drawing board…after three tries and two heated arguments, we finally manage to get them in correctly.

Hour Seven…Soaked to the skin in sweat…we stand back and admire our new piece of furniture with pride.  We left the garbage laying on the floor, moved the desk into it’s new home and headed off for showers and a bite to eat. We dragged our poor tired bodies off to bed and my last thought before dropping off to sleep was “Easy Assembly, my butt!”

The next morning, as I was raving about my new desk and the great teamwork we achieved during the construction phase, my daughter asked how long it took us.

“Why?” I asked, too embarrassed to tell her that we spent over seven hours putting a tiny little desk together.

“Because, Wally World will assemble furniture for ten bucks.” she said, laughing.

I hung up.

Below is the result of all our hard work and our injuries (Danny, a sore toe from dropping the damn drill on his foot and I got a paper cut from the stupid manual!”


My new Easy Assembly Pride and Joy!


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