On Flexibility

She came to me with the instructions. There was a picture of two people putting the bottom of the desk on the top. “You see,” she said, “it will take both of us.”

She had bought the desk from Ikea earlier in the day. The problem with most items purchased at Ikea is not quality, but that you have to assemble them yourself. Have you ever looked at the directions that come with such things? If they were directions to a geographic location, I’d give you even odds that you’d never arrive.

She assembled the desk herself, though at one point while taking a break, she decided to write Ikea and suggest that they provide free assembly for folks as old as she is. I offered, the mandatory, you’re not that old to which she replied, “putting together desks I am.”

She got it mostly right on the first try. A couple of railings for the drawers were upside down, and the hole in the top of the desk designed to allow cords from computers and such was in the back instead of the front. But those would prove to be simple fixes.

She returned, her rest over, to finish the job. “There is a lot of bending and twisting,” she said. “You need to be flexible to do this kind of work,” she said.

“Like tying your shoes,” I said.
“Yes like tying your shoes,” she said.

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2 Responses to On Flexibility

  1. bettyjo says:

    We assembled an IKEA sofa together last year.
    The project went as might be expected. Husband opened the boxes, spread out all the pieces in the front room, glanced at the instructions, then found some urgent Internet surfing to do. After some hours I tired of the clutter and finished the construction. Once it was concluded, he said, “I was going to do that.” Ah me. Ain’t luv grand.

  2. Ah, that is also a frequent scenario at our house. Gail chuckled when I read your account. She thinks IKEA ought to provide free assembly for oldsters.

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