A Good Purchase Gone Bad

Why is it that putting things together with your spouse usually doesn’t turn out well? I thought we would never recover from the ceiling fan installation debacle. I guess we didn’t learn our lesson the first time.

The directions for the desk from Ikea said I shouldn’t put the desk together alone. It should have said ‘do not attempt to put this together with your husband. Warning: May cause impatience, frustration or martial dispute.’

I’m usually the one that puts things together in our house. This time I knew I would need to enlist Casey’s help. After 15 minutes of handing me the right screw when needed, distraction set in and I was on my own. I fared pretty well until I needed to hold things together while I attached them. I was able to get Casey to help, but before I could finish the task, he would drift away, gazing intently at the TV. (I didn’t know he enjoyed A League of Their Own so much.) After over an hour of focused labor, I was reaching the finish line and thought I’d ask Casey to knock out the last few screws while I finished installing the drawers. I should have turned the TV off. I didn’t know using an allen wrench while not looking was possible.

Result: 2 stripped screws; 1 incomplete (at least in my mind) desk; 1 unhappy wife

The Culprit

I spent over an hour intently focused on perfecting this desk and 5 minutes of haphazard screwing ruined my chances of a perfect install. Tensions rose as I finished installing the drawers. After a heated discussion in the kitchen (getting food in my system always helps the discussion), we had resolved the argument and my anger had settled. It became clear that Casey didn’t seem to think I wanted or needed his help and I didn’t seem to think he was invested in helping either way. Those assumptions will get you every time.

Have you had a similar experience putting things together or installing things with your spouse?

About Shana Bresnahan

www.MyMarriageInMotion.com Interactive media evangelist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center that truly loves life, loves God and loves others. Wife to Casey. Owner of Minny. Aunt to 11. Advocate of transparency. (Opinions my own)
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6 Responses to A Good Purchase Gone Bad

  1. In my house, it’s a known thing, don’t come around when Dad is building anything from Ikea. I swear the whole time. Putting together furniture is quite a special part of hell. I’d love to avoid it going forward.

    • @James – I think I could make a killing here in Nashville buying Ikea pieces in Atlanta and selling them on Craigslist already put together. I’m going to have to start rethinking what a “great deal” Ikea is, especially once I have kids. Price = low. Cost = too high.

  2. @AB A coat rack?! That’s awesome. Glad I’m not alone in this πŸ™‚

  3. Lisa Davis says:

    Jimmy and I have never installed or built anything together…and that is pretty intentional on my part πŸ™‚ When my mom visited earlier in the year, she helped me put together a desk. We work together a lot better with things like that…I like to follow directions to a tee and Jimmy gets more creative with things. That alone will cause problems. I’ll just stick to recruiting a friend or family member πŸ™‚

  4. AB says:

    The coat rack got us!

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