Monday, January 09, 2006

If you build it

I like DIY projects. There it is. I said it.

Not the crafty kind of DIY stuff—Martha Stewart makes my head ache. I mean the fun kind that come with indecipherable directions, an L screwdriver and fifteen tiny Ziploc bags labeled with a capital letter and containing nuts, bolts, dowels, screws etc. IKEA—yay. Target by mail—double yay.

Yes, I’m a freak.

What can I say? I like having fun with my hands. And tools make me happy. One of the most satisfying nights I’ve ever had home alone was spent putting together a metal-topped kitchen cart from Target. Talk about completion.

Last night, after I dropped LB at the airport and had sushi with a friend, I came home and finished putting together the swanky new medicine cabinet we bought at Target. The kitchen floor was covered in bits of Styrofoam, little plastic bags, pieces of white pseudo-wood and electric screwdriver bits. Happy Moxie. The cats were in heaven. And now we have a nice new cabinet. Wheee.

Say what you will, but there’s something intrinsically satisfying for me in putting pieces together in order to make a whole. It’s partly why journalism attracted me, and why I love patchwork quilting. An inherited trait it’s not, though. One of my favorite memories is of being 6 and listening to my dad cursing a blue streak while wrestling with a particularly stubborn DIY entertainment unit.

“Mom, what does ‘Jesus H. Fucking Christ mean?” I asked.

My family, they like things done FOR them. Me? The only thing that drives me batty about DIY is when I’m not strong enough to make something fit. Hell hath no fury like Moxie when dowel D won’t fit into hole F. I’m all for LB’s lovely, gym-honed manly man muscles but I hate admitting defeat

Still, despite the DIY fun, I’m totally calling in our carpenter friend to put up the cabinet. The house is old and we can’t find the studs, and my handiness only goes so far.


gimpadelic said...

What is more fun than assembling a new toy from Ikea? It's the combination of getting a new toy and getting to put something together.

Did you play with legos as a child?

Magpie said...

I love putting stuff together too (hence the engineering degree) but I will pass on screwing together umpteen million Little People toys while small children yell "Is it done? Is it done?" Also, I pass on any more toys that come with instructions noting you need a hammer and safety glasses(for a plastic shopping cart.)