One of the most dreadful, frightful series of words in the American language, in any language, is “ASSEMBLY REQUIRED”.

Several days ago my wife decided to replace the coffee table in our den. A few days later she called to tell me she finally found a coffee table she really liked. I said, Fine, but I want to make a suggestion. Whatever you buy, please, just make sure you have it delivered. Her reply was firm, and to the point, I already bought it and I don’t want to pay them to put it together. You can pick it up Friday because they have to get it from another store. You can put it together Friday night, and can drop off our old coffee table, too, at the GoodWill on the way to get the new one. With her last word, I knew “our negotiation”, if that’s what you can call it, had ended. I said, OK.


“I hope the instructions aren’t in Chinese.”


My son has a pick-up truck, thank goodness. This table came in box that, by far, was to wide and long to for my car trunk. This coffee table and box weighed 92 lbs., that’s ½ of what I weigh. Friday afternoon my son and I dropped off the old table at the GoodWill and brought the new table back to the house. We unloaded the huge molecular structure and managed to safely place it on the patio floor. By then, it was around 5 and getting close to supper time. I called my wife, who was shopping, again, and told her the new table was on the patio floor and I would “ASSEMBLE IT” tomorrow afternoon.


“I think that’s everything…”

Saturday morning, before I even thought about opening this monster of a box, I gathered all my weapons of choice for this assault. I wanted everything ready to go. Once I started my assault, I did not want to make any retreats.


“Amazing ! Pinch me ! It’s all here, even the instructions are here.”

Methodically, I slowly opened the box. After a fastidious inventory of the parts, I was amazed. All the parts were there and so were the instructions. I obediently read the instructions. I was amazed again; no tools were required to put this “thing” together. All I needed was the ability to screw some legs in place, by hand, and move a couple drawer knobs from the inside to the outside of the drawers. Really, for at least 2 or 3 minutes, I stood there in amazement.


About 30 minutes later our new coffee-cocktail table was ready to go. It was in our den; decorated per my wife’s specifications;  ready to politely accommodate coffee cups, after-dinner drinks, and even tea and crumpets, encase Queen Elizabeth shows up. We never have after dinner drinks, anyway. We eat and drink at the supper table. When we do drink in our den, we set our glasses and coffee cups on the end tables, not the coffee-cocktail table. We drink soda, ice water, ice tea, juices and such; besides, those kinds of drinks aren’t worthy enough to sit on a coffee-cocktail table, they belong on the end tables.


The only other series of words I dread hearing more than ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, is…

“…sir, please remove your driver’s license from your wallet for me. Please remain in your car. I’ll return in a few minutes.”



  1. I loved this post! My Hubby is like that too. Too funny! In the end I have to say, “what a beautiful table”. I could so relate to everything you said in your post. Renee 🙂

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