Tales of Fridays, to-do lists and furniture

Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Bright and early last Friday morning I made a list of all I wanted to do.

Number one — assemble outdoor furniture.

Number two — vacuum and mop

Number three — repot a few plants

Number four — wash a couple loads of clothes …

Yes, I was going to get a lot done. So I headed out to tackle the first thing on my list. I ripped open the box sitting on my carport and, with excitement, pulled out pieces. I’d wanted this set of outdoor furniture, so when it went on sale, we decided to make it an early birthday present.

As I looked at the instructions for assembling chairs, a loveseat and table, I figured I’d be done in two, three hours tops. I mean there weren’t many screws and no small parts.

“I’ll do the chairs first,” I told cats. “That might be the hardest thing, so let’s get it out of the way.”

I was smiling and humming as I brought the arms, the backs, the seats, the swivel/rocking bases and cushions to the front porch. Then I started studying those instructions.

“Attach right arm (B) to back (C) by lining up holes with corresponding bolt holes. Insert M6x45 bolts with washer (BB) with plastic washer (II) as well as M6x20 with washer (AA). Loosely tighten with Allen wrench (JJ). Repeat step on left arm.”

Well, I could do that. I found bolt M6x45, lined up the holes and loosely tightened.

“See how easy this is,” I told my audience of cats. “We will be done in no time.”

I grabbed bolt M6x20, had a little issue with the holes lining up, but finally got it tightened. That is when I realized I had not used plastic washer (II) with the first bolt.

“Oh darn,” I whispered as I loosened the bolt and added the washer. “I wonder if I was supposed to use a plastic washer with bolt M6x20. The directions aren‘t clear.”

The cats had no answer for me. I decided it didn’t need a washer. I was still humming.

“Little setback,” I said. “No big deal.”

Because of a bent M6x45 bolt, I completed the other arm with a bit more difficulty.  Then I moved to attaching the seat, and that is when the wheels fell off the day.

Nothing worked. The holes didn’t match. I couldn’t figure out why there were holes in one place since there appeared to be nothing to screw anything into. The picture on the instruction sheet was tiny.

“What the heck is wrong?” I yelled. Pretty sure the cats laughed.

After 15 minutes of twisting, turning, speaking “French” I figured out I had the back on backwards, which meant I had to undo everything I’d done. It went downhill from there.

Three hours later, I had the chair together. I took a lunch break before starting the second one.

“This one will be easier,” I said to the reassembled cats.

I was wrong. Because I grabbed the wrong part, I was trying to put the loveseat arm on the swivel rocking chair. It took me 10 minutes to realize the problem.

That’s when the yellow flies started attacking me and one of the cats knocked over a planter sending dirt flying everywhere. There was more “French” speaking as I cleaned up the mess.

Then I heard thunder in the distance, which frightened my dog. He climbed over the assorted furniture pieces and tried to get into my lap.

The rest of the afternoon is a blur of swatting yellow flies, moving cats and dog out of the way, almost pinching off the end of my finger, dropping screws, losing the Allen wrench and lots of colorful French words.

Ah, but I did it. At 7:35 p.m., I put the final screw in the table. Then itching from yellow fly and mosquito bites, and smelling worse than my dog, I marked off the first item, and threw that to-do list in the trash.