The Case of the Kitchen Barrel Nuts
Saturday afternoon, cloudy and cool. The television was on mute, set to a NASCAR race, and the future of my newly launched marriage hung in the balance over seven barrel nuts.
In most every partnership, there's an Alpha persona of the handyman variety; in this relationship, there is no such superhero. We both lack the handy-man gene.
The Case of The Seven Barrel Nuts involves one newly arrived "assembly-required" kitchen cabinet from Crate & Barrel. After assessing the dreary state of a slowly collapsing cookbook-jammed bookcase and acknowledging the lack of space for any of the lovely kitchen-esque wedding gifts parked under the dining table, I knew I had to act.
In the midst of the excitement over my purchase, however, I ignored the fact that we newlyweds solved everything like a crossword puzzle - and that skill, although great, may not bode well in the fix-it world.
To start things off on a jovial note, I offered to make rum cocktails, an idea that was received well. As I played mixologist, he got to work on attaching the first few pieces, which seemed to cooperate.
But then our luck changed for the worse, raining on our DIY- fix-it picnic.
"The instructions say seven barrel nuts, but there are only three holes for barrel nuts," he said.
"Well, what about these other holes?" I inquired, trying to be helpful, ice cubes clinking in my rocks glass.
"No dear," he replied (Are those clenched teeth I see?). "Barrel nuts need to work in tandem, at right angles."
After much debate over which end is the top, and scrutiny over the many holes fit for dowels, screws and other hardware, I began to hear growling noises that sounded like the beginning of a cat fight. It was him.
Gently, I suggested that we call the 1-800 customer service number, which at first, was met with a scowl, then a sigh. "Oh, alright, but YOU call them."
"Well, what do I say is wrong?" I replied. "You're the one who knows so much about barrel nuts."
A few audible huffs later, he dialed the number and got through to customer service land. While on hold, he began to unscrew what he had started and in doing so, solved the mystery.
"I put these two pieces on backwards," he said, quietly, head down.
And then, everything made sense, and as a team, we put the thing together. Two hours later, we crossword puzzlers had solved this puzzle, exhausted and definitely ready for another rum cocktail.
While he blissed out to an episode of "The Simpsons," I began to fill the shelves of my new toy with plates, glassware and serving dishes in need of a shelter.
Still, there were piles of cookbooks on the kitchen floor, asking for a home, too. I plopped them atop the sparkling new cabinet and took a sip of my drink.
Tomorrow is another day, right?
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Posted by: rmh | March 26, 2007 2:20 PM
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