Two of my Granddaughters got new beds. The beds that come in a box. The beds Fed-Ex delivers one Thursday afternoon and then runs, like a kid playing trick or treat.
These beds come with a hundred and twelve different parts. The box weighs two hundred pounds. I couldn’t move it off the porch. Somewhere in that box was a two page set of instructions and a two gallon plastic bag of nuts, bolts, screws and little plastic things. I still don’t know where the plastic pieces go.
I got a call from my daughter-in-law. A plea for help. I’m the Grandfather. I grabbed a handful of tools and a box of band-aids. I hurried over to the new house.
I had no idea.
Well, that’s a lie. I did have an idea.
We bought a bed from the same people about two years ago, again, for the granddaughters. You know how that works. When you’re a grandparent, if they ask, they receive. They wanted bunk beds. An on-line store, a credit card number and Fed-Ex were Johnny on the spot!
Grandpa spent a day and a half wrestling with the same 112 different parts and a plastic bag of nuts, bolts and screws. I swore I’d never, ever, put another bed together that came in a box, with a plastic bag of nuts, bolts and screws. I lied about that, too.
Oh, did I tell you, they even send a little wrench for me to use.
I spent two afternoons, sitting on the floor, sitting in a chair, trying my best not to let a piece of wood bang up against a newly painted wall.
I read the instructions. Instructions written by someone in a foreign country. English is not their native language. I looked at the drawings. More confusing than instructions in Pigeon English.
Every piece of the bed had its own individual number. There were two pieces that had the same number. The nuts, bolts and screws were separated into pockets, named A, B, C, all the way down to J-1 and J-2.
I’m an old man. I wear bi-focals. I have arthritis in my knees and hands. Plus a bad back. It hurts to stand up. I need help to get up off the floor. I bumped my head on the bed frame. My fingers are sore today from using the free wrench they sent.
I had to take one of the beds apart. I put the wrong piece in the wrong place. A half hour later, I couldn’t find the right piece to fit. I had to go back and start again.
My granddaughter came in to check on her bed. “Grandpa,” she said, “You’re not supposed to say those words!” She stormed out, I guess to tell her Mom what words I was using.
Bless her little heart!
It pained me to put those two beds together. In my heart, It was a great pleasure to build beds for my granddaughters. I hope they remember.
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