The Stages of Putting Together Furniture

This weekend, rather than go outside in the 90 degree heat, I decided to finally put together my kitchen table and stools. I’m still recovering from going through the stages of putting together furniture.

Stage 1: Feeling overconfident.

Toolbox? Check. Box cutter? Check. Glass of water? Check.

Let’s do this.

Stage 2. What are this?

After opening the box and taking all the parts out in an organized pile, you look at the instructions. Then back at the parts. Then back at the instructions. Is all of that really here? That’s like a billion parts. Are any of the physical pieces actually labeled to help me out? No? Great.

Stage 3. Alright, you’re banging on all cylinders now.

You gather the first pieces, screw them together using the correct screws and put them to the side to start on the next pieces. It’s like you’ve got an assembly line going. But it’s just you. It’s just you…

Stage 4. Where is it?!

Looking at the spec sheet, you can’t find part J. Where the fuck is part J? Did those assholes forget it?

You throw all the pieces around in a fit. Then you grab a piece for the third time and look back at the sheet. J was here all along. Everything is okay.

Stage 5. This doesn’t fit.

Why isn’t this screw going in? Does it even belong there? Oh God, that sounds like wood breaking. Oh shit, the nail just went through the board sideways and put a hole in my new Goddamn table!


Stage 6. Fuck this shit!

You walk away from your half-finished project, swap your water out for a beer, and stare at the pieces on the floor.

After a few minutes, in which you ask the furniture over and over if it thinks it’s better than you, you get back on the ground to finish.

Stage 7. Almost there.

You’re down to the last few parts and every twist of the screwdriver hurts the palm of your hand. Your hammer hits the nails pathetically and it takes quite a few hits to push them in. But you’re almost there.

Stage 8. Good enough.

Done! You did it! Wait, what’s this extra plank and all these screws?

You look through the instructions again, not sure where you forgot this bit. Then you look at the finished furniture trying to figure out where the missing piece goes. You push on the furniture a couple times to see if it’s stable. When it doesn’t collapse you throw out the extra pieces away and drink another beer.

Good enough.

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