The Berks-Mont News (

Welcome to my World: I love my husband, but…

By Carole Christman Koch, Columnist

Thursday, March 1, 2018

It certainly is true, I love my husband, but… It’s also true we are capable –in our 70s---of doing a lot of things together, but not furniture!

Since moving, I had wanted a new matching desk and bookcase for my study. We purchased one at a local office supply store. The salesman told us, “There is a nominal fee if you’d want us to put it together for you.” Harry said, “Carole, we can do this together.”

I love togetherness, so I agreed.

Once home, we decided to put the bookcase together first. Nearly finished, we noted two flaws. Harry suggested taking it apart and starting over. I told him, “I’m not starting over. I will accept the 2 flaws.” He agreed.

A few days later, we tackled the desk. All went smoothly, except for the file folder drawer. It just didn’t fit evenly. After several tries to fix it, Harry asked, “Put your head in the open space to see if you can see what’s wrong, while I hold the flashlight.”

Having been stuck in a clothes hamper in my late 30s, as the assistant to my sister, Anita’s magic show, I told him, “I no longer do clothes hampers and starting today, I no longer do file folder drawers. I will accept the desk with this flaw.” He agreed.

After living with this fiasco, we were living “happily ever after” for a few years, when I decided my back bothered me, while using the old office chair. Again, we go to the store for a new chair when I hear Harry tell the salesman, “Carole and I can put it together. Chairs are easier to do then a bookcase and desk.” I agreed.

That same afternoon found us putting the chair together on the kitchen table. First, it was pushing the casters on a 4-prong leg thing-ama-jig (I don’t know chair lingo yet). That was the easy part.

Next we had to attach the back to the seat with the bolts. We struggled eyeing the bolt hole with the back and the seat. I suggested moving to the living room floor.

Once on the living room floor, I took the floor position as I was better at getting up. Harry took the leaning over position. We finally got the bolts in the holes under terrible lighting conditions. I had taken the large lamp out of the living room area and placed our Christmas tree on the table. The other smaller lamp was on an automatic switch, so we couldn’t see that well, even in daylight the flashlight was of no use. At this time, we were still in an exalted state of love.

From there we took the coaster leg bottom and set it in my study. We both carried the attached seat and back, due to its heaviness, to the study to finish the project. Now all we had to do was set the heavy seat and back into the coaster legs. Harry held the heavy part and told me, “Lay on the floor and guide the cylinder into the piston on the floor. Keep your head and hands out of the way.”

As I was laying on the floor, I could see the cylinder was blocked by an adjustment device, but it did have a teeny dime-sized hole that I was to guide the piston in. Trying not to get any of my extremities crushed, I just could not get the cylinder with the tiny hole onto the piston. As we struggled and struggled, I noted we were not as “close” as we were when we started the project.

Eventually the chair slipped and hit my left hand pulling off skin near the fingernail. At this point, I was very agitated, as I ran to the bathroom with my bleeding finger. After my husband helped bandage my finger, he asked, “Do you feel ok to finish? We’ll turn the chair around and try to see why we couldn’t get it in the hole.” I muttered something unintelligible and headed to my study.

We turned the chair upside down, when to my amazement I could see there was a smaller cylinder near the large one that was obscured from my sight on the floor. I looked at Harry and stated, “I was guiding the large cylinder with a teeny dime hole into the piston on the floor. I never saw the smaller cylinder!”

We then turned it right side up and placed it in the right hole. From there we headed to the kitchen. He helped me get dinner on the table. We ate in silence. Afterwards, he offered to help do the dishes. I declined the offer. He lingered and asked, “How long are you going to stay mad?”

I answered , “Maybe tomorrow.”

Next day, before we ate breakfast, I said, “Let’s shake hands and agree we are never again going to put furniture together.” He agreed. I held out my left hand with the bandaged finger, so he’d never forget our pact.

I still love my husband, but….