Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why I didn't post last night - by Hilary

Can you keep a secret? If not, scram. If you can, though, I'm now revealing why I didn't post last night. I know you've probably been holding your breath, waiting to find out. 
This year, Santa is bringing our kids bikes for Christmas. 
(All along, our oldest had said that's what he wanted and when we met up with Santa he suddenly announced he wanted a Nintendo DS3 and an Xbox. Seriously, kid? So we told him that we told Santa he can't have those electronics yet. He's only 7.) 
So last night, my husband and I decided to assemble the bikes so we wouldn't be up late tonight doing it. 
We totally suck at doing projects together. First of all, he never reads the directions and always puts stuff on backwards or upside down. (Rachelle's husband never reads directions, either, and always thinks the project is missing a piece.) 
The first summer we lived in our house we put a special film on the inside of our south/east-facing windows - it's supposed to reflect the heat and keep the house cool. When you get the film it's in a huge roll. So you first have to cut a piece to match the size of your window. No problem. Then you spray the window with a special solution (I suspect it was just water but they charge you an arm and a leg for this stuff so they call it a special solution). Now, time is of the essence. You can't let the solution dry. You've got to get that film on the window. Next, you have to peel the film off the backing. This is where things got sticky. The darn stuff was sticking to itself like crazy. You know how Saran Wrap sticks to nothing but itself? Your casserole is leaking out all over your fridge? Same thing. Window film sticks only to itself. It's crumpling, wrinkling, bending, folding. We're saying to each other, "Grab that end. No, that end. Lift that corner up." Theoretically, you now put the film on the window, then use the enclosed special tool to smooth all the bubbles out. But as soon as we'd get a corner up, we'd notice a huge wrinkle in the film. We're bickering, he's saying to move the left side up, I'm moving it down because it's already too high. Almost caused a divorce. 
Whenever we move furniture, we fight. He says move to the left but I'm already squeezed between the couch and the wall, with absolutely nowhere to go except right. He tells me it's common sense, I should move the end up instead of down. He trips over a toy in the hallway and swears. I trip over the toy 2 seconds later and swear. He inevitably bumps his head and cuts it. 
So last night when it came time to assemble bikes, I told him I'd do one while he did the other, and we could then start on the third. 
He's like, "We're not doing these together?" 
So we relived the window film and furniture moving and decided I'd just assist. 
Assembling the bikes is more of a blue job anyway (the "blue job" and "pink job" system is something we picked up from one of his co-workers - we actually both do both types of jobs but usually use the "it's a blue job" phrase if it's something we don't want to do - like take out the trash or whatever). 
So we begin: 
At first I thought the box was saying you should wear a helmet while assembling the bike. I thought this was a good idea until I realized it meant that you should wear a helmet while riding. 
Here's how it looked when we got it out of the box. 

My husband is saying, "This looks nothing like a bike," but I thought it kinda did. See the wheels? Those look like bike wheels, right? (See where we go wrong?)
He tells me to start unwrapping all the parts. I get a text from a friend. I respond. He's putting the handlebars on. 
"I thought we were doing this together." 
"We are. What can I do to help you?" 
"Take off all the wrapping." 
"Oh. Right." 
I finish taking off the wrapping. I get another text. I respond. 
He's working hard: 
"Should I hold this wheel steady?" 
"Yeah, why don't you?" 
If all I'm doing is holding a wheel steady, I think I can do something I've never dared to do during one of our projects together: 

He's now assembling the tiny wire thingy that leads from the handbrake to the brakes on the wheels. 
"Can you tighten this nut?" 
I struggle to get the wrench onto the nut. He keeps moving his hand (okay, not really, I just couldn't get the wrench on the nut). Once it's finally on there, I start pulling on it, trying to twist it. 
"It's already pretty tight." 
"It shouldn't be, it was loose." 
"Look. I'm turning it." 
"The handle is stuck on that piece of metal." 
"Are you drunk?" 
"Nope. Just didn't see the metal."
"You didn't see that the handle was stuck?"
"You didn't feel that the handle was stuck?"
"I thought the nut was tight." 
"Look, you can hold the wrench at an angle, like this, and turn it. Past that piece of metal." 
"Oh. I never knew that." 
My dad owned a construction company for years when I was growing up. I've used lots of wrenches. I never knew you could hold the wrench at an angle. But you can.
"I'm going to need you to tighten the other one, too." 
I get a text. I respond. 
"Just give me the wrench." 
"Okay. Want me to hold the wheel?" 
"Nope. Almost done." 
Project complete: 
We assembled our daughter's bike after that, but by that time it was already after 11. So we called it a night. We will assemble our other son's bike tonight... 
I can't wait to see how excited the kids are on Christmas morning! 
But remember, keep this a secret! 

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