Some days — and I’m not saying they’re not few and far between, but SOME DAYS, I know my husband is glad that he married me. Once in a while I can see that, “I made the right decision almost 25 years ago” look that he gets on his face. I saw it last night — THAT look. I noticed it as I was bent over the semi-constructed BRIMNES bed, beads of sweat dotting my forehead and, truth be told, my nether regions, screwdriver in hand — I know that SOUNDS incredibly sexy — trust me, it wasn’t.
There is a clear division of labor here at the hovel. He does the heavy lifting, I do, well, everything else. It’s not that my husband is incapable of putting together furniture or barbecue grills or other items that require the use of tools and the comprehension of instructions, it’s just that he moves at his own pace. So, if you want to barbecue before, say, Labor Day and you purchase a grill over the Memorial Day weekend, it’s best to take matters into your own hands.
Because my daughter, the delightful, yet demanding, Fangette, would like to actually sleep in her bed some time before the new year, I came to spend twelve hours in her freshly painted navy blue bedroom yesterday tangling with the ASPELUND wardrobe and the BRIMNES bed. Truthfully, Fang was just plum tuckered out anyway. In a rare instance of role reversal, HE actually finished the painting while I was at work on Saturday. He did a great job. I can report that he only hit the white ceiling a few times with the dark blue paint!
As anyone who has ever put together a piece of IKEA furniture can attest, there are always a couple of the steps in the time-consuming, gut-wrenching nightmare that is ALWAYS part and parcel of constructing a piece of furniture that comes with 18,000 screws, one Allen wrench, and 1,200 wooden pinions (all variously, yet similarly, sized!), which requires the assistance of a partner. I could have asked the cat, but he never seems up to the job. While he’s always available, constantly underfoot, happily bouncing in and out of the things that you are trying to put together, or pawing at that screw that you know was RIGHT THERE a minute ago!, his dearth of opposable thumbs makes him a bad choice of assistant.
Fangette was at work, schlepping popcorn to the hordes of people who get to spend their leisure time doing, well, leisurely things — things like grabbing some dinner and taking in a movie — as opposed to her parents, who were at home slaving away or watching their team’s playoff dreams go down the toilet as a result of a last-minute Dallas field goal. It’s just as well, as she’s not much help anyway.
It’s not that she’s unwilling, as much as she is unable to do something as simple as hand you the correct fastener for the job at hand. Even a crash course in reading IKEA instructions was lost on my darling daughter. Luckily, Fang was only a couple of rooms away when I needed someone — anyone — to hold some blasted thing steady while I screwed it in.
And so it was, in one of those moments, that I glimpsed THAT look pass across my husband’s face. The one that said, “I’d marry you all over again!” After all these years, it’s nice to know that, regardless of the circumstances, even with bits of paint in my hair, loads of vulgar words streaming from my potty mouth, and a disturbing amount of perspiration emanating from my every pore, that maybe, just maybe, I’ve still got “it”!