Monday, March 12, 2012

I am not an island

I have learned to singlehandedly take care of many things around the house. I'm sure this is true for many many people.  I know I'm not alone in my alone-ness.  A lot of people have to find ways to do things alone that require multiple people.  Or maybe they're smarter than me and they call a friend.  But I consider myself moderately handy, like being able to do things, and usually can do it myself despite the obstacles.
As part of our remodel we are putting in a bedroom downstairs.  One of my issues with bedrooms is the closet.  I hate how the doorway is cut smaller than the closet, so you can't get to the stuff on the sides, or the top shelf.  Then we discovered the IKEA closet systems which go all the way to the ceiling and all the way left and right.  

None of that annoying shelf behind the door jamb.  They have multiple options for shelves, drawers, racks, and shoe storage.  We are hooked.  They are cheap.  It's a match made in heaven.  I'd add doors because it's not part of a walk-in closet. 

The bedroom is nearly done, with the nice big open space just waiting for the closet.  I drive to IKEA and purchase my closet system, which weighs approximately seven billion pounds for each of the two base units which will sit beautifully side by side in my closet space. I got them on the cart thing myself, but a nice passerby stopped to help me get them into the back of my car.  While I am a fully functioning independent person, I have been known to accept the kindness of strangers.   I even bought some closet doors, which I decided on the way home I definitely don't like, but then I had the brilliant revelation that I'd just return them later and have the cabinet maker guy who's working on the house make me four little closet doors that will match the door to the room!  And the molding!  (pictures will come later!) It will be custom fit, it will go beautifully!  I'll pay more for the doors, sure, but it will be wonderful!  Wonderful, I tell you!

My contractor and his daughter (who has been helping him with my house) helped me get the two huge boxes through the removable open window, into the basement, the same way they've brought in all the lumber, dry wall, tile, and other equipment for remodeling so they didn't have to carry it through the house and down my tight turned stairs.  Soon after they brought in the closet they replaced said window with the real thing.  They go to lunch and I go to work assembling my closet.  I am excited.

I am alone.  But I am undaunted.  I have always assembled stuff from IKEA by myself, despite the little warning:
Taken by itself this image is somewhat confusing.  It looks like uneven-eyed Picasso inspired people wielding hammers should not approach the IKEA products.  Or maybe you just shouldn't hammer on them.  But next to it is the explanatory image:

Oh, I see.  Two people are okay.  Or maybe it's hammering is okay as long as you have a friend with a pencil behind his ear to watch.  Whatever.  I am alone.  But I remain undaunted.  Until somewhere around step 11 when I had to stand up the side and attached bottom of the closet structure, previously laying on the ground and attached by two tiny sticks and three screws.  It took some doing but I succeeded without breaking anything.  Then, I was supposed to sort of simultaneously attach the other side, and the top of the closet structure, forming a box, again with two little dowel sticks and three screw things.  This is where I started having trouble. The first time the side that I had carefully balanced slid out from under the top, the top fell down, knocking off a corner, and bending the screws, breaking the dowels, and ripping out the screw holes.  

Yes, I should have stopped there.  But I found some wood glue and a vice the contractor had in a box in the hall, did my best to patch things back together, straightened the screws as best I could with a couple of pliers, and started again.  The second time the whole thing leaned too far and fell over and I couldn't catch it, the screw holes on the other side were ripped out too. 

And now this is me:
Only I have more hair and accessorize better.  Other than that, it's a pretty accurate depiction.

The contractor said he'd probably be able to glue most of the pieces back together and would be able to help me another day.  

So much for being a do-it-myself-er.

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