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Here’s why women should rule the world


Richard Shaw


From the beginning I knew she was right. But being a male I didn’t want to admit it.
“Read the instructions before you put it together,” my wife reminded me. “Think about all those times you didn’t and what happened.”
“Okay,” I said as I looked at the big box on the garage floor containing a green house that I had bought her for her birthday. It was just lying there in front of three other boxes of things that also need to be put together.
One of those is a bridge that my wife ordered, let’s see… about six years ago. The other is a lamp post we bought together that I “just haven’t gotten around to” in the last three years. And the third? Heck I don’t even know what it is and I don’t want to, because in theory, if I get to know too much about it I will have to assemble it.

Would rather not do this

I really do hate putting this kind of stuff together. Well, maybe hate is too strong a word, but let’s say I would rather pick cottonwood tree cotton off the lawn by hand than assemble these kinds of things.
So I got the heavy box in the bucket of the tractor and took it out to where it needed to go. I asked her where she wanted it put and I found out. I put it down gently and there it was laying in the weeds just waiting to torture me. I used the box scraper on the tractor to pull off a large area of weeds and soil so I could set it up.
After I split the box open, there it was in all its glory. Dozens of frame pieces, nuts and bolts and a huge plastic covering to go over it once the parts were assembled. In the middle of all the pieces was a single piece of paper. It was the assembly instructions.

Wouldn’t roses do?

It all made me wish I had bought her a dozen roses instead.
Not long ago in this very paper I wrote a column about instructions that come with things you buy. I talked about that usually they are large pamphlets that are three quarters filled with safety rules instead of useful assembly tips. You know like the instructions that come with something like a toaster that says “Do not use in the swimming pool while standing in the water” kinds of things. This greenhouse, non-electrical, non-mechanical and non-electronic, had none of that. The sheet, in a fashion, showed how to put it together. Printing appeared on both sides of the 8 and a half by eleven piece of processed white bleached paper. One side had a parts list. The other had a drawing of how it should look assembled with squiggly little dotted lines aligned with parts numbers by them.
I think whoever draws up these types of assembly sheets must be a very sick person. They expect you to read words on the sheet that are in 3 point fonts and expect you to translate in your brain that one half of the thing you are assembling can be repeated on the other side of the unit.
That would be true if everything was of equal size, but in most cases this is not the way it is. I guess they figure if you have any mechanical aptitude at all, you can figure it out. I, of course, think I am extremely mechanically inclined until I run into one of these types of projects.

Don’t need no stinkin’ instructions

So assembly started. Being a man I thought I could just look at the picture on the box and put it together. I didn’t need no stinkin’ instructions. Just like I don’t need directions when I am lost.
Now had my wife been there at the beginning of the project she would have gone over the instructions, marked things down, sorted parts out and began systematically with the work. I just dumped everything into one pile and began sticking bolts through holes.
This is why women should run the world. This is why we are in such trouble everywhere we look. Men don’t read instructions and they don’t ask for directions. They think they know what they are doing without any of that, of course, until things go to hell. Then they ask for forgiveness.
I am waiting for The Donald to ask for redemption, but I think we are a ways away from that. I worry he hasn’t read the handbook yet and a lot of bolts are going in the wrong holes. Oh well, enough of that. Back to my imperfect little world.
Soon I found that “A” and “B” parts did not fit with “C” and “D” parts correctly. The holes had been drilled in the wrong places. So I ran a cord from my garage to the greenhouse construction site and began drilling holes. Then I discovered something. There were also parts “E” and “F” as well as parts “G” and “H”. They looked looked a lot like “A” and “B” as well as “C” and “D”. But the holes were different. So I discovered that “A” and “B” actually went with “E” and “F” and that “C” and “D” went with “G” and “H”. Unfortunately as it began to go up the new holes I had drilled were not covered.My wife came out to see how I was doing.
“What are all these little extra holes for?” she asked.
“Oh,” I said, trying to think of a good answer (lie). I thought very quickly. “They make two or three models of these, and some are bigger and go together differently so all the parts have various holes to fit the different kinds of models.”
She looked at the sheet. Then she looked down and saw the evidence of what I had done. The drill was sitting on the ground, with its long cord stretching through the fence into the garage. She held up the sheet for me to see and pointed to it.
“Did you try to put ‘A’ and ‘B’ parts into ‘C’ and ‘D’ parts without realizing there were also ‘E’, ‘F’, ‘G’ and ‘H’ parts?” she inquired.
I was caught. But I rebounded.“So what!! Those extra holes won’t make a difference. And look it’s almost done!” She shook her head. And walked away. Later I had to get her to help me put the plastic covering over the frame and every time I looked at her she was staring at the extra holes in the poles. Women really seem to notice things. They are detail oriented, and when it is not right it bothers them.
Of course I am sure it bothers them even more when they have a lying moron for a husband.

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