Monday, January 31, 2011

d-i-y

The Calling  
Our Lives  
II  

“These instructions don’t make sense,” I said out loud. “I’ve wasted an hour of my life with this thing and I still don’t see which part goes where.” The culprit: a do-it-yourself dresser with instructions loosely translated from Chinese. The pictures weren’t helping either. A first grader could’ve done a better job.

“Maybe you’re just not looking hard enough,” A said from the kitchen. “Let me try.”

I handed the frail sheet of paper to him. “It says ‘attaching Piece C and take to Piece M with a #3 screw.’ Sounds simple enough.”

He looked up from the instructions to find me in a sea of wood and screws. “Now, problem is… which is which?”

“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” I said in a gray tone. In my head, I was thinking we should’ve just gotten the ready made kind. I wouldn’t mind shelling a few more pesos if it meant not having to do this. But it was too late to think about that and besides, it wouldn’t really do either of us any good.

He sat beside me on the dusty cement floor as we tried to match wood planks to shaky illustrations. On his face, you could see he was starting to get worried.

And then it dawned on me. These are the moments that make up life. And though forever may seem like a long time, if I were to fill it up with moments just like this- him and me sweating, screwdriver in one hand, blind hope in the other- I’m pretty sure the hours would pass us by.

I got up, unearthed the toolbox from the mountains of boxes the moving company delivered and brought out a hammer and some nails.

“How’s this for do-it-yourself?” I announced as I held the hammer in the air like a madman ready for vengeance. I started hammering the pieces together, trying my darndest to make it look like the picture on the box. When I was done, it looked decent enough despite the fact that we had about three or four orphaned planks with nowhere to go.

“It looks wobbly,” I said, wondering if it would be stable enough to hold our things.

“I think it looks just fine,” he retorted, a smile on his face.

Forever. It’s a really big word. Why am I so unafraid?

Photo Credit: clock

78 comments:

  1. there are some planks d-i-y's have to part with if their assembly involved a personal touch. ;) rejoice! at least your cabinets are not clones of other d-i-y cabinets!

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  2. olord. 3:20 spellings suck.

    insert 'cabinet' after the first 'd-i-y' and off with you, rogue 's'! and that's 'at least your cabinet*,' singular!

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  3. @Spiral: That's the price you pay for uniqueness. lol And don't worry. I have 3:20 spelling errors too. And 3:20 logic flaws. haha hmmm.. now that I think about it, 3:20 isn't the only time that happens to me. D'oh!

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  4. It's the price we all pay. You have it good this time, though, what with having A to partake in the said uniqueness. *coughcheesycough*

    Aaanyway, isn't it great how those we love and those who love us back see strength in the rickety things we see?

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  5. @Sprial: I'm loving the cheesy coughs. Haha Thanks to that craziness two posts back, I finally wised up and started writing things that I really feel.

    Yes, it's wonderful that they see through it. It's also scary at times. As Aunt May said, with great power comes great responsibility. But then again, I don't have the power to release sapot from my pulses. lol

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  6. my favorite instructions are when a Chinese engineer with no English proficiency uses a computer to create instructions, in English, for the poorly designed item he has created. the words don't fit, the pieces don't fit. and i am frustrated. (notice i take no responsibility here)

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  7. @LOF: Which is why I enjoy engrish.com so much. It makes me feel better about my life. It would be sad if I went there and thought hmmm... I wonder what's so funny.

    And of course, you have no responsibility there. If it was flawed in the first place, it would be good, nay heroic to try to make it usable.

    cue: James Morrison - The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore

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  8. yes, but secretly, you see, there is an assumption that the pieces actually don't fit and its not really my limited technical skills. we may never know.

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  9. @LOF: (And I mean this in the nicest, kindest, most Bambi's-mother-about-to-get-shot-look way) Sometimes, we gotta hold on to what helps us sleep at night lol

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  10. You've got the power, maybe it just comes naturally to you that you don't consider it a power anymore. Maybe that is what the people we love see in us - our unseen powarz. Am I making sense here? haha

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  11. @Spiral: 'Course you are. Your 4AM logic is flawless.

    I think that's what makes A so interesting to me. Just as he sees my unseen powarz, I continually am surprised by the strength of his heart, the soundness of his character and the power of his love.

    Shit, ang cheesy. Tama na. Baka singilin ko na siya ng talent fee. haha

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  12. i think i'm hankering for a karpintero at four in the morning.

    lolz

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  13. Talent fee for what? Bringing out the cheesiness in you?

    :3

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  14. @Ternie: There's an -er revival, perhaps sparked my Ms. Chuniverse. Exciting!

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  15. City: tamaaaaaaaaaaah!

    i swear, madame chuni rulzzzzzzzzzz!!!

    hahahaha

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  16. @Spiral: Yeah, that and for making me talk about him all the time. lol

    @Ternie: Sobra. Stress buster ko siya! Sayang lang at naka-block yung site niya sa office.

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  17. But isn't that good? I mean, despite all the doubt you have, you weave all these beautiful things together. I see that as something definitely good.

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  18. @Spiral: I suppose it is. I just have these thoughts sometimes that maybe I shouldn't keep writing about him. Like maybe it would make things seem less special. Or if *knock on wood* things don't work out, I'd look like a fool in my own blog. But trust has its way of working things out. And if you wait long enough, it matures into security.

    Plus it doesn't hurt that he writes about me too. :)

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  19. i'm not sure if you're aware, but you have this thing for counting seconds, minutes and hours whenever you put all your brain cells on something (i've read here and there).

    MAYBE that's why you're not afraid of FOREVER. perhaps because you must have an idea how long forever could be.

    after all, it's an illusion only made by people who are afraid of running-out-of-time.

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  20. @Alter: What a keen observer you are. I didn't notice I had such a thing for time. But if you meet me in real life, you'd see how anxious I am and how badly I need to fill each moment with something interesting. I think some people call it ADD. lol

    Yes, it is only an illusion and though I, too am afraid that it is too fleeting, somehow I think I can manage just like this. :)

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  21. So you see? Writing is a mutual thing! It's your fountain of inspiration. In a way, it's an actualization of your love. Ogod. *coughcheesycough*

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  22. @Spiral: You could say that haha For all the things I've said about A, I owe him a lot for inspiring a lot of my recent work.

    And before it rains more cheese, I'm hitting the sack. Good night Spiral!

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  23. Oh Shoot! I think I need to do a little bit of back-reading.

    I'll post my comments later. LOL

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  24. 'whatever gets you through the night, it's all right, it's all right'

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  25. Every now and then I have a glimpse of light like you did. Fear melts and I just breathe in the realization life is this minute and it's a thousand simple, common, everyday things that end up making it beautiful. I love the last line of the piece!

    On the other hand, I have a good friend who often tells me that learning to not care about forever and just in the being here and now is where contentment is found and fear erased. Maybe you discovered that for you guys.

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  26. someone once said forever to me.

    i cringed.

    i was not a fan of the word.

    still never is.

    -geek

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  28. nice one!
    well it's been years now since i had a d-i-y with someone... you know what i mean.. : )

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  29. i also bought and assembled last time a d-i-y cabinet. i thought it will not hold up my things and clothes, but then time goes by i'm still using it. rock solid!hahaha

    we just need some confidence and belief on ourselves, right?

    oh that's one of may fave song. like it!

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  30. I like it -- from China. Hence the challenge. You should try scaling the Great Wall.

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  31. @Iurico: Ang tagal mo nga nawala eh! Welcome back!

    @LOF: More Beatles references? ;p

    @She Writes: It's funny how contentment being found is equated to fear erased. That's a wonderful way to put it.

    @Geek: It makes me cringe too. I guess I never believed it until I started to think about it by myself.

    @Carlo: I really miss you! Kelan ba tayo maghahang out?

    @Kyle: I hope you didn't have a hard time assembling it. ;)

    @Peter: Whoa! I don't think I can! It's too way out there!

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  32. you obviously triggered something, although Herbs got a John Lennon solo yesterday.

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  33. I HATE assembling things. I would take the hammer to it for a far different reason.

    But back to the metaphor. Restaurant food NEVER looks like the picture on the menu, the hammer won't make it look like the picture on the box. Sometimes, though, words can make the moment look and feel like the pictures in our heads..... Nice story!

    Rick

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  34. Sometimes, D-I-Y frustrates me. Maybe because I don't have patience or I can't seem to get the instructions clearly. Nag-ooverheat na utak ko pag 'di ko matapos yung pag-assemble. Pag suko na ako, magpapatulong na lang ako kay Pudang. :D

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  35. wow. i love how you can be so profound in the most basic and simple situations, nyl.

    and i miss you! :)

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  36. @LOF: Oh yeah, I saw that in his comments page. ;p as long as it's not the trippy ones that go cuckoo coo choo.

    @Rick: That's so sweet of you. I love the violent streak in your comment. haha

    @Ronnie: I know right! Nakakainis pa minsan kasi parang, you end up feeling insecure na di mo nagagawa yung nagawa ng mga empleyado ng hardware store. haha

    @Clyde: You're too sweet. Funny, I can say the same thing about you.

    I miss you too! Let's hang out pag balik mo. ;p

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  37. as in expert textpert joking smokers don't you think the joker laughs at you? lol

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  38. @LOF: Are you the eggman? Does that make me the walrus? I mean, I know I've put on wait but... *sob*

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  39. i'm loving the romantic comedy feel of this. seems A has finally convinced you that forever is possible.=) even your new pic evokes a certain feeling of lightness.

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  40. aww schucks...it's like you're married! :D
    cute and profound into one...tada!!

    makes me feel excited to have that kind of moment (even once) in my life...wiii~!!

    -key-

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  41. kinikilig ako lol
    kakarelate lang din siguro hihi

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  42. @Mark: Yeah. And he did so in such an unassuming way. I didn't see it coming.

    And thanks for noticing. hihi He took that shot last night.

    @Key: It will happen! (Naku, uulan nanaman ng keso)

    @Xtian: Wow! More love to spread around!

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  43. "...I held the hammer in the air like a madman ready for vengeance." -- gives me mental images na mahirap alisin...

    A question is stuck in my head... why are you guys assembling a dresser? Magka-live in na ba kayo?

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  44. poooooooootang ina... tatlong araw lang akong nawala, eto na aabutan ko?

    at kasi naman, brand new ref at washing machine ang sukatan ng relasyon...

    not a fucking dresser!

    char!

    i'll see you soon, bitch!

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  45. ang DIY lang nagawa ko ay yung tamiya pagkatapos nun eh sabi ko sa sarili ko di na talaga ako gagawa ng mga DIY bili nalang ako ng mga ready made na.. hahaha

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  46. @Glentot: Not exactly. Basta, mahabang kwento. lol

    @YJ: Ikaw kasi, nawala wala ka pa eh. haha At hayaan mo, darating din yang mga appliances na yan.

    @Kiko: OMG! I remember those. Di rin kinaya ng EQ ko yun! Tama, ready made rocks!

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  47. and in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love.... (violins).... you make... ah....

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  48. Maybe the orphaned planks are where you walk on before fearlessly jumping into forever. Congrats nyl! :)

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  49. @LOF: Amen. :)

    @Sean: Seems like a good idea. Thanks Sean!

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  50. I hate D-I-Y's, I'm not good with instructions kasi.

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  51. haha! ang sarap kaya kapag umulan ng keso. wiii~!!

    -key-

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  52. @Rei: Another thing we have in common. lol

    @Key: Wag lang bumagyo. Nakakainis naman yun. hihi

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  53. Blind hope. Still deciding if this is what I need right now.

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  54. @Nishiboy: It's a liberating feeling pero if you're not careful, sobrang nakakahiya siya. ;p Good luck!

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  55. I wouldn't mind having this moment as long as I have my own A with me.

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  56. @James: That's true. Can you imagine this post without A? It would be ridiculously emo.

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  57. a gem. you're so easy to love, citybuoy.

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  58. @John: you're too sweet. see u when u get here, biatch!

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  59. @Luigi: Hey! Welcome to my blog. I remember you inspired a post just like this from one of my favorite bloggers. Relate? lol

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  60. Oh, such domestic concerns. :)

    Speaking of D.I.Y.s, have you ever heard of industrial fans that require assembly? I tell you, they're the bitch.

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  61. This was poignant. I only hope that I'll ever be so fortunate as to find someone who'll look at me and say I don't look wobbly, that forever with me "looks just fine."

    Thank you for putting up a link, by the way. =)

    Greetings from Cebu!
    (I must think of a catchier signature, something akin to Momel's flamboyant "Muahness from Pasig Citehh" Ideas?)

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  62. http://littlemisstrustissues.blogspot.com/2011/02/versatile-blogger.html
    Look at #3. :)

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  63. @Manech: Hey! It's been a while. ;p

    I tried setting one up once. I couldn't get the screws right! Wouldn't it be nice if life were like The Sims? You'd just click and drag the appliances and they're good to go!

    @Sitting Pretty: Welcome! And don't mention it. I enjoyed my visits to your blog. ;)

    @Ela: Wow, thanks! An award!!

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  64. I'm not very good at assembling things myself. I let my dad do them; now I'm paying the price. I don't even know how to unscrew a screw. lol

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  65. 'Forever?' Is there even such a thing...? I don't believe in 'forever,' but, I believe in 'now.'

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  66. @Andy: It's pretty easy. Counter-clockwise, if memory serves me right. lol

    @Rei: It's good to have a firm grip on reality. :)

    @Chino: Hey! Welcome to my blog! Yeah, forever. Why?

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  67. nakakalokang englishan to. hahaha. konti nalang idol na talaga kita!

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  68. @Ester: Awww... talaga lang ha? Salamat!

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  69. assembling anything in this house always involves a great deal of 'f' bombs. but quite frankly, i'm surprised you'd even followed directions. i hadn't realized men did that. ;)

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  70. @That Girl: Yes, we follow directions. Not everyone but I'm pretty sure some of us do. haha

    And yes, there were quite a few f-bombs that time too.

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  71. Hope you're okay. You've not posted.

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  72. @She Writes: How sweet of you to notice! Work's been kinda crazy so I'm hoping to return to regular programming within this week.

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  73. I know I am already over the hard part and that I can now smile and talk about it more comfortably, but whenever I hear or read stories such as this, I can not help but reminisce old days and with it, I remember the pain as well.

    The pain makes the memories sweeter and worth keeping. I think it is one good thing about it. But that's it.

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  74. @Pepe: Hey Pepe! Replyan kita sa kabilang post ha. :)

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  75. aww. epiphanies. haha. hi nyl! shall read your blog posts in a few. lol :D

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  76. @Yohan: Now I feel guilty. I haven't bloghopped in ages!

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