Today is the day my obscenely expensive, ergonomic office chair will be delivered! I know this probably isn't going to be the panacea I imagined it would be when I ordered it -- at the time I was flat on my back and taking a course of prednisone and anti-inflammatory drugs because I couldn't stand up straight. I admit my sales resistance was low... :D
Probably, I will have to wait until my husband has time to assemble my chair. Unlike my father, my husband is really good at these things. He was the first man I ever met who could take something apart, fix it and put it back together without having extra bits left over. When we first met, he used to wonder why I sank into a deep depression when things didn't work, until he realized that when I was growing up, a broken washing machine or a car that needing fixing required an odyssey of epic proportions a la Homer, which always began with a trip to Dooley's hardware in Long Beach or Pep Boys and led into a weekend extravaganza that began with high hopes and ended in high drama, cursing, and physical comedy of the kind where --thankfully-- the emergency room was only infrequently required.
The fact that my husband is a competent, intelligent being took a long time to sink in. It's not that my dad wasn't either of those things -- he was. He was a great guy, a good provider, and a ferociously decent human being the likes of which I find fewer and fewer of in this world. But he enjoyed stretching his limits far into areas where he refused to do any research.
One of my mother's favorite stories is of how he and his pal Elton took their dates sailing -- even though neither of them had any skill in this area -- and the women, tired of their endless failure to get back (which could only be accomplished with much tricky tacking and tight sails as the wind was coming from shore) jumped from the small sailboat and swam it in by holding onto a rope.
I'd like to point out that in the fifties, this didn't seem to stop women from marrying their dates, as both couples ended up at the altar together. Seriously, can you picture ignoring that? Having to tow in a date's boat because he took you out into the ocean without knowing how to sail?
To be clear: that, my friends, is a dating "red flag" moment.
At any rate, today my office chair will arrive and my husband will take out all the tiny, curious pieces of it and lay them out on the living room floor. The boys will crawl around on their hands and knees peering over what he's doing, probably, and he'll instruct them to make sure everything the manufacturer says is in the packages is actually there, by counting and checking off each little thing. He'll read the instructions more than once if they're not necessarily clear to him the first time. He'll get out his mechanical pencil and check off each thing as he does it. And in the end, my obscenely expensive office chair will be right there for my equally obscenely large a** -- excuse me, my derriere -- to sit in.
Somehow, once again I will manage to swallow down the annoying anxiety that always seems to hit my nervous system as he undertakes this, even though I KNOW that he will do a marvelous job. Old habits die hard. I was conditioned at an early age to sound the alarm if any man but a professional even looked at a tool belt.
It's my twenty-eighth wedding anniversary on Saturday, June 11. I can't speak for hubby, but for my part, I couldn't have done a better job choosing a spouse, and I know I couldn't have married a nicer guy. We're planning dinner out Saturday, and then a nice family barbecue on Sunday.
Bonus question. What's the one thing my husband is willing to pay someone else to assemble?
Answer: Barbecues. One gas barbecue was his limit.
I wonder if that's because they come in fifty billion annoying pieces and unlike an Ikea bookcase, if you get them wrong, there's always a chance they'll explode.