Requires Two Capable Adults

I don’t know if y’all are aware of this or not, but the weather has been a little warm for the last four or five days.

I’m guessing that you probably knew that. What with all the Instagram pictures of people’s car thermometers and whathaveyou.

By the way, I only figured out how to use Instagram a couple of weeks ago, thanks to a a very patient and thorough tutorial from my sweet friend Annie. I still haven’t worked the Instagram into my routine like I have the Twitter, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. Nonetheless, I’m boomama205 if you’re also on the Instagram and would like for me to add one picture every two weeks to your Instagram stream. Eventually I hope to work up to a picture a week, but I can hardly commit to such a lofty and prolific photography goal.

So anyway.

We spent most of the weekend running errands that were directly related to my recent decision to spruce up our living room a little bit. It’s time, I think. Most of the furniture in our house is somebody’s old something-or-other, and while I love that everything has a history (like the fact that our breakfast room table was my aunt’s, or our dining room table was my friend NK’s, or the chair where I’m typing this post was my brother and sister-in-law’s), we have a few pieces that are barely hanging on in terms of function. And after fifteen years of being the Home for Wayward Occasional Chairs, I also feel like we’re teetering on the verge of cluttered, especially in our living room and bedroom.


Friday afternoon I ran across a yellow ottoman in Home Goods, and oh, it got the decorative wheels a-spinnin’. Once I got home I realized that if we moved this and sold that and swapped that piece with something in the next room, I could give Ye Olde Living Room a little shot in the arm.

So you know what that means, don’t you?

It means that I was at Home Goods as soon as it opened Saturday morning. And just look what I brought home.

Don’t worry. It’s not staying in that exact spot.

And please excuse the coffee table clutter.

Also: on a scale of 1-10, the dog’s decorative interest level is peaking at a solid 1.5. I think I make her really tired. And maybe a little angry.

By the time Sunday rolled around and I’d crossed everything off the round one living room to-do list, I reminded D that the little guy has been talking a LOT lately about wanting a basketball goal. I am all for another GET THEE OUTSIDE activity, and since his interest in basketball has been pretty consistent for about a year, I feel like we’re in a reasonable safety zone in terms of buying some of our own equipment.

I learned the safety zone lesson the hard way after I committed way too quickly to buying a few of those Lego Harry Potter kits.

I would say that Lego Harry Potter was a short-term hobby, but that would imply that it lasted longer than about four days.

So D and I went to Academy (my mama is in town, so she and A stayed home, and I recognize that you don’t necessarily need that piece of information, but I’m oversharing, so we’ll run with it), and after we picked out and purchased a goal, we loaded ‘er up and brought ‘er home. Since it was in a big ole box, I knew that there was going to be some assembly involved, but I didn’t concern myself with those pesky details, mainly because assembling things is one of my husband’s spiritual gifts. He is the polar opposite of me in that he is 1) patient and 2) thorough, so he’s rarely overwhelmed by the task at hand.

I’d love to know what that’s like, by the way.

Because sometimes I feel like I’ve been overwhelmed since approximately 2002.

Maybe that should be my slogan.

Since I’d been the head let’s-get-a-basketball-goal cheerleader, I thought it was important for me to make a show of goal-assembly unity and stand outside in the 102 degree heat while D put the blasted contraption together. I knew that I wouldn’t be of any real help, but I figured I could say encouraging things and provide cold beverages. Maybe set up a box fan or something.

Initially I thought we were looking at a thirty-minute process, tops, but I quickly changed my mind. When I saw D remove all the pieces and parts and nuts and bolts from the box, I knew with great certainty that putting the goal together was way beyond my skill set because it was GOING TO TAKE SOME HOURS. D wasn’t intimidated, though; he read through the instructions, then grouped and categorized everything according to when he would need it. I don’t mind saying that just looking at all that stuff made me sixteen kinds of nervous.

Listen. That was just one tiny little group of materials. And all I wanted to do was stack it up and kick it over and scream “JENGA!” while I ran back into the air conditioned comfort of the indoors.

However, I completely ignored every single instinct that I have and stayed outside with D. When he got to the part of the instructions that specify that assembling the goal requires two capable adults, I looked at him out of the corner of my eye to make sure that I was in fact qualified. Yes, I have the adult part of the equation covered, but capable? Of putting a basketball goal together? NOT SO FAST, BILLY RAY. We’d developed a little bit of a routine, though, so I decided to stick with it. D worked and figured and analyzed and assembled, and I, well – I kept my foot on the base of the goal so that nothing tipped over after the primary pole was attached.

Oh. It was realllllly complicated. You can’t see all the subtleties of the weight distribution from my foot in that picture, but it was an intricate operation. I think the instructions actually recommended that someone with an engineering degree should be in charge of keeping the base stable, but I guess I’m just a natural in terms of being able to put my foot on things.

I know. I know. It’s a humbling gift.

Once the primary pole was stable, D moved on to the backboard portion of the festivities. By that point I’d moved on to heat comparisons in my head (It’s not as hot as Ecuador, but it’s definitely hotter than it was that time we went to the State / Louisiana Tech football game, which wasn’t quite as bad as when our church re-did that house and it rained all morning and it felt like it was 416 degrees outside), and I kept telling myself that even though I wasn’t actually, you know, doing anything, I needed to get over it and be a gamer and remember that nobody has ever died from lending moral support during the assembly of a basketball goal.

Have they?

Much to our surprise, it started to rain, and after we moved all the tools and instructions and whatnots into the garage, I realized that light was getting scarce and I could provide a valuable service by shining a flashlight on whatever part of the backboard demanded D’s attention. I handled that flashlight with great precision, and (70’s sitcom alert) I couldn’t help but think of when Hot Lips Houlihan would assist in surgery. However, my noble calling still couldn’t distract me from All The Heat, so I very cleverly sat down on the kitchen doorstep and cracked the door ever-so-slightly so that the frigid AC air would hit the side of my back while I continued to SACRIFICIALLY HOLD THAT FLASHLIGHT, AMEN.

Once the backboard was assembled, D quickly moved us through the final five or six steps. Those steps required that I put down my flashlight (horrors) and actually engage in physical labor, and somehow I managed to push through the heat and lift some things. About an hour later, it was ALL DONE, which meant that we could fill the base with water while I talked about how much cooler it was once the post-rain temperature dropped to about 95 degrees.

Seriously. In comparison to earlier that afternoon? It was downright frigid.

And behold! The finished product!

I think it’s safe to say that it would’ve NEVER come together if not for all that quality flashlight holding I did. Not to mention putting my foot on the base and leaving it there for upwards of fifteen minutes.

(Sometimes I like to kid myself.)

(It helps to get me through the day.)

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. Keri Always says:

    This will be one of my favorite posts. My parents bought our kids a wooden swingset set last year. I was waddling around pregnant and was given the task of deciding its location and staying out of the way. Historically, I have been fairly handy during the assembly of toys, shelving units and the like. It drove me BONKERS to not be able to lift and hand and tighten and hammer and fuss and complain with The World’s Best Husband.

    There is a new rule in our house though. Any gift that requires assembly MUST be accompanied with someone to ASSEMBLE the blame thing.

    I’m still finding bolts and washers out in the yard where he put it together.

    I’m only occasionally concerned about their safety. I am terribly concerned about the chigger bites and ticks they’re getting as they’re out there playing under that big pine tree I chose for shade…

  2. I really hate putting things together. If I can take the store’s display model (even if it does not look fresh), I will just so I do not have the headache of putting it together.

    LOVE the new piece! It should be able to brighten up any room.

  3. Ooh, nice pedicure!

  4. We put one of those bad boys together years ago. I never want to do that again. I didn’t actually put it together. I was like you sans flashlight. And it was winter because it was a Christmas gift. And the backboard split about a year later. And it’s still in the backyard barely used nowadays. And I’ll quit now.

  5. My daughter just explained Instagram to me this weekend. I only recently joined twitter and am not real swift there yet either. I come around eventually but I’m slow.

    I love the ottomon! Great color!

  6. I have never enjoyed JINGA, but I thoroughly enjoyed your comment about it.

  7. The fact that you made a M*A*S*H reference made my morning. Hot Lips would have been proud of your perseverance, and had Hawkeye been there, he surely would have had a funny, though slightly inappropriate-yet-still-vague-enough-for-prime-time-tv comment to offer.

  8. I <3 you! Reading this made my morning in my house with 6 kids much more entertaining!

  9. Hot Lips- LOVE IT!!

    And it was ‘only’ 95 here yesterday and when a slight breeze blew at the pool, I thought ‘oh that’s a touch chilly’. . .clearly the heat has fried what’s left of my 40 year old brain.

  10. I am so glad Alex has a basketball goal now! This story reminded me so much of mine and scoots relationship. He puts things together, and I say positive affirmations to help him. :) I think that is exactly how the Lord intended marriage to be. Loved this post. I laughed a lot! Also, I liked hearing that mama ouida is there. She loves her Alex!!! Have a great 4th!!

  11. I know what you mean about the heat. It’s supposed to get up to 75 degrees in San Francisco today and no one here has air conditioners! The humanity!

  12. Since you mention the weather, I feel compelled to share this…

  13. we may have been seperated at birth! :) There’s nothing I despise more than having to “assemble”….ugh. But yet last summer I bought a grill from Wal-mart un-assembled, I brought it home, took all of the pieces out, looked at the instructions, decided I could blow myself up and put all the pieces back in the box (of course they didnt fit) Then one of my lovely friends declared she “Loves to assemble” so for the small price of an adult beverage or two she did it for me :)
    **Oh, and Wal-mart assembles for free, just fyi.

  14. Lisa D. says:

    Well. Your post has just confirmed it. We are having a family savings plan this summer for a basketball goal as well, but we are going to have to save a little bit longer to hire someone to put the blame thing together for us! My dh is not in the least bit handy and although I can do pretty well, this is WAY out of my league!!

    ***I just read Susan’s comment above and thank you!!! I believe we will be making our way to WalMart for the purchase.

  15. My husband and I put one together this spring. It took us five hours! Our neighbor who is an engineer walked over laughing at us because he gave up on his and paid some guy $ 100 to finish for him!

  16. Omg….love love the ottoman!!!!

    Oh and the joy to just have WATCHED y’all putting that together!!!! Hahaha!


  17. Samantha says:

    You really, really know how to tell a story. You’re a very good writer.

  18. Thanks for this post! I laughed out loud at your Jenga comment– we put together the kids’ basketball goal about 2 1/2 years ago and it took THREE neighborhood men and my husband to deal with it. I wasn’t going anywhere near that. I busied myself making sure the kids played safely in the street. Priorities, you know.

  19. Loved your story about putting together the basketball goal! I highly recommend buying a gently used basketball goal from here on out, though–you know, one of those cases where basketball was a 4-day (or 4-month) interest. ;)

    We’ve had some heat, too, and I thought it was hilarious when I glanced at the weather and thought, “Yay! It’s only going to be 95 today!!” And I was seriously happy. It’s been hotter some days (in our part of Georgia) than in *TEXAS*. That’s crazy.

  20. I hope that after all of the flashlight holding and using your foot for such a strenuous activity (deep breath!), you have enough energy to enjoy the 4th!! You’ve earned the day off!!

  21. HAHAHAHAHA….great post!
    JENGA will from now on be my assembly-required war cry. I don’t even know where the heck my screwdriver is.

  22. Love your storytelling, but have to admit I was most impressed by the cute pedi and you have great flip flop feet. I have big chunky toes and although I wear flip flops frequently, I’m sure others would appreciate if I didn’t.

  23. OH MY OH MY OH MY. I did this exact.same.thing. Except for the part about stepping in as the other capable adult. I had my son (who would be the user of the bball goal) handle that part. Now, he IS 15, so he’s closer to adult age than yours, but I still stayed outside, hanging out peripherally to offer support. That dern thing took HOURS to build. And it was only like 85 that day. I am not sure I could have mustered your serious dedication in 102 degree heat. No ma’am, no way. I admire you!


  1. […] mentioned last week that I’ve been in “spruce up” mode as far as our house is concerned. This mode seems to hit me about once a year, and it’s […]