Some Assembly Required

You’d think I’d know better. But being in desperate need of one place where I could store and easily access all my music CDs, I was seduced by the clearance price and vintage look of a CD cabinet in an on-line catalog. I grabbed my credit card, punched the keys and my order was quickly on its way. It was after I placed my order that I saw the phrase “some assembly required” in the product description.

A week later, a soft, flat cardboard box arrived with both ends barely held together with packing tape. Apparently there was going to be more than “some” assembly necessary for this cabinet. But I pushed the dining room table and chairs to the wall and in a storm of Styrofoam, pulled out all the pieces. Both doors were damaged. The instructions said that the company would be happy to send replacements, so a week later I received another set of doors – in oak. My cabinet was cherry (well, cherry-colored). So one more week later another set of doors arrived, and I excitedly began assembly. With the cabinet standing, and only the doors laid out on the dining room rug, I was mentally envisioning my CDs standing smartly on shelves behind glass-paneled doors in a matter of minutes. And my dining room would once more become a place to enjoy dinner. I carefully placed the glass panes behind the lattice on the doors. They were too long by an eighth of an inch.

OK, I thought. A lunch-hour trip to the hardware store to have the glass cut down will take care of this. But the glass cutter was unsure if it was tempered glass, and he wasn’t willing to do the job. I had to find someone who was familiar with working with tempered glass. Another lunch-hour trip the next day led me to Andrew at Oakley Paint & Glass, who miraculously made my glass panels the right size in short order.

That evening, it all came together at last. I gathered all my CDs and organized them neatly on the shelves (by category and alphabetically, of course). I sighed happily as I closed the doors – and they wouldn’t quite close all the way. Arrrrrgggggghhhh! What could be wrong now? A couple of the little plastic thingies that held the glass in the door were positioned in just the right place for the screws to dig into the shelf behind them.

Those two thingies are now gone, the doors are completely closed and my CD collection is together once more. The cabinet serves its purpose and fits nicely into my almost 80-year-old home. But I’ve learned my lesson. Note to self: Read product description carefully before hitting the “send” button, and don’t believe everything you read. They weren’t exactly untruthful. The lattice was already stapled into the doors.

Maybe I need to take a lesson from Megan and get serious about learning the craft of woodworking.

– Linda Watts, art director

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