Way Unfair

 Way Unfair

By Sean McVeigh

Relationships can be difficult. I haven’t even been married a year and, already, I know that it takes some work. Even in the best relationships, there are always going to be ups and downs. When you make those vows, you promise to be there in good times and in bad … but nothing is ever mentioned about having to put together furniture.

I’m old enough to remember a time when the furniture you bought came put together already. Imagine that. How did we get here? Maybe “how” is not the right question. Why? I guess it all stems from this DIY craze that struck the world in recent years. “Yeah, I actually made those shelves myself. Found those pieces of wood in the trash, believe it or not.” Good for you. These companies took this idea and ran with it. And they ran right off the side of a bridge. Who thought it was a good idea to sell furniture broken up into 10,000 pieces? Maybe I’m crazy, but it seems like they break things down even smaller than necessary to cause more pain when putting them together. And somehow, when you finish (if you finish, I should say), you always still have 1,000 extra pieces that look suspiciously (and load-bearingly) important.

One life maxim that I love is to read the directions even if you don’t follow them. When it comes to “ready to assemble” furniture, there is no point. The directions could not be vaguer if they tried. Half the time there aren’t even words — just images! These images must be studied the way a rabbi studies the Torah. The subtlest of details are interspersed throughout with no rhyme or reason comprehendible to the human mind. There could be a small, shaded area that is the key to the entire project on one image and the same shaded area on two other images that mean absolutely nothing.

In my humble opinion, the whole “ready to assemble” furniture industry is based off a lie. We are led to believe that because we are buying the furniture disassembled — and therefore saving the company costs in labor and storage space — we are getting the item for cheaper. Maybe that is how the industry began, but now, I don’t believe that is where the company is saving the most money. It is from the fact that they are selling pieces of crap! Pieces of crap that probably cost pennies on the dollars they sell it for! These things are not solid wood like furniture used to be. They are particle board and fiberboard coated in some plastic to look good. Please, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

I like to think I am cool as a cucumber. When my wife and I open that box of evil, however, that coolness is all out the window. And in the end, it is never worth the stress. Arguing over minutiae for what? For some crappy piece of side table whose leg will fall off in a year.

For some, it’s empowering. They feel a great sense of accomplishment and love to show off all the stuff they successfully put together. And you know what? They should feel empowered. They just accomplished the impossible.

Having said all that, I just looked around my living room and counted no less than five Wayfair products. What can I say? They got just what I need.

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