Every year on this day, people across the country gather in living rooms and bars, beers and margaritas in hand, and eat a ridiculous amount of junk food. I am happy to contribute to our national day of gluttony with one of the four things I can cook – mexican layer dip. NOM NOM NOM.
Occasionally, despite my college education and now 31+ years of experience living as a Human on the Planet Earth, I make a Life Error™ so gargantuan that it shakes the very fiber of my being and makes me doubt whether I am worthy of success, happiness, or love.
I order self-assembly furniture online.
I know, I know, but it wasn’t my fault! I am A WRITER, DAMN IT, and writers need desks. I could write while sitting at my kitchen table, but it’s cold in the kitchen. I can also go to a coffee shop, but a coffee is two bucks MINIMUM and it’s much cheaper to just make coffee at home. The obvious solution was a small-ish desk that fits into the bay window nook in my warm-ish bedroom with the cheap homemade coffee only feet away!
So I went on Wayfair and ordered a desk. Five days later, the desk arrived. And thus began my descent to the ninth level of hell, where I joined Brutus, Judas, and…Cassius (is he the third guy? too lazy to google) in being chewed in the giant maw of Satan.
The process began auspiciously when the FedEx guy cheerfully offered to haul the giant desk-containing box up three floors to my apartment. I immediately set out to assemble the desk, whereby I rediscovered Jackie’s Foolproof Process for Furniture Assembly and Losing Your Soul:
Using a knife, cut through the tape along the edges of the box.
Attempt to open box, and discover that there are apparently three more layers of taped-up cardboard between you and the desk.
Hack through these layers while dripping sweat everywhere. Finally remove all the cardboard to discover the furniture is encased in a sarcophagus of styrofoam, which is all stuck together with a kind of tape that is probably used to seal airlocks on the International Space Station.
Hack at the styrofoam, getting bits of it all over your apartment and inhaling a good 20% of it into your lungs.
After 30 minutes of chopping at styrofoam, reveal the desk. Take a water and stretch break and realize that if you can’t open a box without getting breathless that you might want to sign up for the gym.
Using the included mini toolkit, attach the four legs to the desk. Easy peasy! You’re 90% done- the last step is attach the knobs to the two little drawers that are built into the desk.
You go to pull out the drawer. The drawer falls apart in your hand:
Ok, you can fix it! Get out your hammer and nails to see if you can cobble the drawer back together.
OH MY FUCKING GOD HOW DID I HAMMER THREE FINGERS ON MY RIGHT HAND ALL AT ONCE OH GOD OH GOD IT HURTS AGHHHHH!!
Breathe through the pain, breathe through it. Ok. You’ve got this.
Go down the block to the local hardware store and buy superglue. Return home, glue the drawer back together, let it set for 20 minutes per instructions. Huzzah! It looks great! YOU ARE A GODDESS!
Lightly touch the drawer with one finger to test the strength of the superglue. The drawer explodes.
A single tear escapes your right eye. You remove the drawer and put the desk right-side up. The desk leg lands awkwardly and stubs your right toe.
You burst into tears because ARE YOU KIDDING ME I WENT TO YALE I SHOULD BE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER A FUCKING BUCK FIFTY DESK AND MY HAND HURTS AND MY FOOT HURTS AND I’M SWEATY AND IT’S RAINING AND THERE’S STYROFOAM ALL OVER MY APARTMENT AND I’VE BREATHED FIVE POUNDS OF IT IN AND NOW I’M GOING TO DIE OF STYROFOAM LUNG CANCER WHY AM I EVEN TRYING TO BE ALIVE IF I’M TOO STUPID TO SCREW TOGETHER A FUCKING WAYFAIR DESK sob sob sob.
Call your mom, who is bewildered but manages to calm you down.
Ashamed at your outburst, you try to go online to request replacement drawers for your desk, only to discover that the new Comcast set-top box that Infinity made you install earlier that day has DESTROYED THE INTERNET and the only network in range is called “We Can Hear You Have Sex” but it’s fucking PASSWORD PROTECTED.
Remember that your phone has internet, and use that to request the parts. Ok, they’ll be here in a few days. It’s all good.
Go out to a friend’s open bar birthday party to destress and consume three of these:
Go home and vomit up everything you ever ate or drank, but because you’re an IDIOT you throw up in the shower and not the toilet, and so when you wake up at 3 am and go in the bathroom you discover that you have to clean up a hell of a mess. You go back to bed and at 6 am you clean up and hydrate and go to the laundromat when it opens to wash your vomity clothes. Call Comcast, fix the internet, and wait for your replacement drawers as you recover your dignity.
A few days later, the drawers arrive, in perfect condition! You replace them and the desk looks GREAT! HUZZAH! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WOOOOOORRRLD!
Decide to take a walk to celebrate. Pull out your headphones so you can listen to some TUNEZ while you traipse through the park.
Ha! Look what I made! I am most proud of the ones with the hashtags.
I got the materials to create these beautiful pieces of practical art really iffy mini tote bags from my Aunt and Uncle over Christmas and I am half way done (the back sides are currently blank). AREN’T YOU IMPRESSED BY MY USE OF STENCILS AND THREE DIFFERENT PAINT COLORS? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
Lol in all seriousness I love doing this shit and have fun despite the results, and now a select few (Well, eight. I have eight of these tote bags.) can look forward to receiving these around Valentine’s day. You’re…welcome?
As promised earlier this week, I’m back with my list of the Ten Worst Things about Europe. BE WARNED: THIS LIST CONTAINS PICTURES OF MY LEG AND ANKLE! (This warning is mostly relevant to any of my readers who have traveled in time from the nineteenth century. If you are reading this, sorry for lewd images, and also can I borrow your Tardis?).
10. Getting this bruise:
So I guess it’s kind of hard to see in that picture, but my first afternoon in Paris I was walking along the Rue Montorgueil (or as my non-French-speaking friends called it, the “Rue Mononmont…ugh, whatever”) and it was raining, like, SUPER hard, and I slipped in front of a bunch of skinny, smoking French people, and fell on my knee hard and it hurt like a motha, and the bruise is still there and going strong. MERDE!
9. Rain: This is a continuation of number 10, I guess, but it rained hard three days when I was in Europe and THIS WAS BULLSHIT. Didn’t Europe know that it was me, Jackie, who was coming to visit it? It couldn’t have held off on the rain for, like, one more week out of courtesy? THANKS A LOT, EUROPE. This would never have happened in California.* (On the plus side, I guess Europe does look pretty cool in the rain, see below).
8. Air France: Ok, this one isn’t funny and I don’t have a pic, but basically those assholes stole 216 bucks from me and I hate them and am never flying them again. It’s a long story but if you really care you can check out my Twitter from this morning lol.
7. Hangovers: When I was last in Europe, I was twenty years old and could literally club all night and drink endless wine without any repercussions. Now that I am thirty this is most definitely not the case. I paid dearly for this concoction, for instance (but, my God, was it delicious):
6. These shoes:
So this is also a result of #9 – the evil RAIN. My friend T and I were walking in the rain in Toms shoes to the Louvre, which was ill-advised on many levels, and we had no choice but to stop at a random shoe store and try to find waterproof shoes in our size. Sadly, the only shoes available in my size were these (though T picked up a decent blue/black glittery pair which she threw out – bad decision, T!). Apparently, the French have tiny feet. The worst part was that I had to wear the above shoes with these pants:
Not chic, guys.
5. The number on this scale:
Who am I kidding? I’ve been too afraid to get back on this old horse. No matter how much walking I did, no way it made up for this:
4. Bugs: The bugs in Europe are surprising vicious. I was attacked by one especially horrid one in the courtyard of the Florence Basilica, leaving me with these scars two whole weeks later:
What I’m really saying is, the bugs in Europe hate Jesus. Yeah, that’s it.
3. Smoking: Look, we Americans may be fat with big feet and cover all of our meals with melted cheese, but at least we’re not constantly inhaling poisonous fumes and blowing them all over other people. I swear, no one in Europe can go twenty seconds without lighting up. I’m kind of allergic, so this is genuinely awful for me.
2. Hot guys: Too many of them. There’s such a thing as an embarrassment of riches, Europe. Though they’re all skinnier than I am, so that helped matters.
1. Paper and Candle Stores: Ok, Europe, what the hell – do you want me to be INCREDIBLY BROKE? YOU HAVE STORES THAT SELL JUST PAPER AND JUST CANDLES EVERYWHERE. Just LOOK at this beautiful effing fan I bought:
I spent, like, twenty euros on this fan. When, you may ask, am I ever going to use this fan? NEVER, THAT’S WHEN. But it is so pretty and made of hand-painted paper!
Also, LOOK AT THIS CANDLE:
It looks like it’s made of glass, AND IT’S A WAX CANDLE. COME ON, ITALY. IS THIS A JOKE? I’M GOING TO LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER AFTER THIS TRIP.
Don’t get me started on the soap stores. I just didn’t go into them. I would have had to declare bankruptcy if I had.
So, yeah, these are my top ten complaints about Europe. As you might imagine, this was my face when I had to leave:
Love ya, Europe. Never change! xoxo Jackie
*I am aware that it is actually a bad thing that it never rains in California. I am not making light of the drought, which hopefully will be alleviated by El Niño. Chill out, guys. I care about the environment, GOD.
Sunday afternoon, I returned to San Francisco from Eurotrip 2015™ and made a valiant effort to stay awake until 9 pm. I failed immediately, and as a result I was a mess today and am now wide awake at 4:30 am. So, what the hell, why not compose, for your reading pleasure, my list of the Top Ten Best Things about Europe?
10. Statues: It’s well known that Europe has approximately 300,000% more statues than America. This has been proven by Science™. In addition to the more famous statues, like the David above (apparently made by Michelangelo; who knew that the Ninja Turtles were such Renaissance mutants?), there’s just, like, so many random statues EVERYWHERE in Europe. Just chillin’, as one does if one is a statue. And they’re all crazy cool/beautiful/creepy, like this random statue of a baby I saw in Siena. Love statues!
9. Views: Now, America has TONS of great views, don’t get me wrong, but the views in Europe are pretty killer and also very ancient because everything was built in the Middle Ages, which is ridiculous because they had to do it all with, like, levers and pullies and shit. Nuts!
8. Ceilings: Ceilings in Europe >>>> ceilings elsewhere. They had that on lock, like, 1000 years ago. Can’t be beat, really. Sorry, USA.
7. Windows: To be clear, I’m talking about actual windows that you could use for defenestration, not Microsoft Windows. That Windows sucks and is also apparently a tool for spying on your whole existence #macbookair4lyfe.
6. Random art exhibits everywhere: Europe does not waste space in which to display/store art. This random lit-up face sculpture, for instance, was in the vast basement of the ancient Medieval Siena hospital. The face just had a whole room to itself.
5. Food: NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM
4. Churches: I’m not a religious person, but I have to say, Catholics back in the day knew how to build a church. They did not screw around with Jesus or architecture. NOICE.
3. Bones: To be clear, I am not referring to the long-running procedural on Fox starring Emily Deschanel and Angel David Boreanaz that stopped being interesting once they got together. In Europe, they sometimes take, like, thousands of bones and stack them in underground caverns with creepy lighting and let tourists come in and look at them. It’s like Halloween year-round, but more legit.
2. Universal Health Care: I don’t have a picture for this, but it’s pretty awesome and should sort of be a basic right and let’s get on this, America.
1. MOAR FOOD: Lol you chumps didn’t really think I’d really leave the FOOD IN EUROPE at #5, did you? The food is just ridiculous and now I have to not eat for weeks to fit back in my jeans. BUT IT WAS WORTH IT.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back later this week with my list of the Ten WORST things about Europe 🙂