Assembly Required. These are two of the most fearsome words in the English language. I thought I was past this stage when my kids grew up. But no. Those words have returned to haunt me again now that my daughter is furnishing and setting up her own apartment primarily out of the IKEA and Company Store catalogues. I think this may be revenge for not providing her with an ample furniture budget (see Fort Knox).
Some fathers love this stuff. I’m not one of those fathers. I hate instructions. I cook without recipes and travel without directions (see GPS). This is because I already know everything. So when I open one of those IKEA boxes, I ignore the instructions and just get started. First, I look at what the thing is supposed to look like when it’s finished. Then, I just grab two pieces and see if they fit together. If not, I just keep grabbing pieces until they fit and proceed from there, adding piece by piece until it looks like the picture. This is the same way I do jigsaw puzzles. Of course, this approach often leads to frustration, like when you run out of screws before you’re finished, or when you still have some parts left over after you thought you’d finished, or when you can’t tell the top from the bottom, or when the finished side is facing inward. When any of this stuff happens, I call customer service and tell them they sent me a defective product.