Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Assemble a Cabinet (with the Help of Your Cat)

1. Buy the damn thing. Lift it yourself, though the box clearly states that you should ask a sales associate for help. Load it into your car by yourself, too, though the box is torn and it's raining. This is about empowerment. You will be fine.

2. Bring it home to your cat. Let her sniff it, rub it, make sure it's the right one. Once you've got her approval, dump out all the parts on the carpet. Find all the tiny pieces and put them in a bowl.

3. Get your cat to stop eating the Styrofoam.

4. Locate a screwdriver and a hammer, plus the "alien key" provided in the plastic pouch. Wonder why they call it an alien key, and whether that means the screwdriver is an earthling key. Refer to the screwdriver as the earthling key from now on.

5. Thoroughly read and follow the directions, screwing all the right screws into the right holes and everything. Don't play this by ear. You really can't live without that last little screw. Comb the carpet and the cat's scratcher pad until you find it.

6. Make the cat give back all the pieces she's stolen. Put them back in the bowl. Put the bowl in a cupboard where the cat can't get to it.

7. Once the pieces are assembled, lift the cabinet upright. Consider waiting until your husband gets home to anchor it to the wall (the directions clearly state that it must be anchored, and you really need to follow those directions) so you can make some joke about needing a stud to find a stud, but then realize that you are your own stud finder, which will work equally well for the joke: You found him, didn't you?

8. Have a cookie.

9. Knock on the wall to find the stud. Where there's no stud it will sound hollow. Try not to worry about the feminist implications of that.

10. Get your cat to stop eating Styrofoam again. Have another cookie.

11. Use your earthling key to drive the anchor screws into the stud and the top of the cabinet, though no holes have been pre-drilled and your husband brought his drill to work for some reason. While engaging in this act of absurdity, put on an episode of Portlandia. It will take that long to get through the wood.

12. Wipe all the little Styrofoam pieces off the wood with a wet rag. Keep the rag away from the cat.

13. Cookie #3.

14. Admire your work.

15. Write a blog post about how cabinet assembly is done.

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