Christmas Eve. Memories of joyful frustrations repeated annually because in 12 months it’s easy to forget the agony of defeat. Young Dads across America are about to learn or be reminded they can’t do everything. It’s time to begin assembling that cool playhouse, piece of furniture, or toy your child has waited their whole entire life to get. You will be at it until you quit around midnight. If you’re one of those dads about to embark on the construction of the most complex piece of anything ever made in China, I offer you this hope: you’re not alone. We’ve all been there…even the dad who won the 5th grade science fair contest with his working exact replica of the Mars Rover, is going to be defeated tonight.
If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have ignored myself. But in case there is someone out there who takes instructions, here’s a tip: Before you start ask yourself, “What do the instructions say?” Somewhere in the box or on the box there are instructions. The drawings of some of the pieces won’t match anything in the box, most of the parts included will be. Some won’t be. If you finish and you have extra parts, don’t worry; in March you’ll discover where that part was supposed to go.
It’s never too late to read the directions. Oh, you’ll have to take apart what you started, but before you quit, ask yourself: What do the instructions say? They’re in the box. Merry Christmas.