The best two words in the universe – fully assembled. Having moved countries again, I have bought new furniture. The trend these days is for tables, TV cabinets, queen size beds and outdoor furniture to come in a ‘flat pack’. That means you have to wrestle with ginormous cardboard boxes and massive plastic bags, before trying to bully a flimsy allen key and a teaspoon (because, let’s face it, who buys a screwdriver?) into moulding bits of wood, plastic and iron into semi-decent functional bits.
Then something arrives with those two words on it – fully assembled – and your heart sings. Okay, it was a mattress. And I would have been ever so annoyed, and hugely confused, if that needed assembling. Imagine – instead of saying ‘Tools needed – screwdriver, allen key, rubber mallet’ it would say ‘Tools needed – industrial sewing machine’.
Well, I had help with all the assembling and the place is furnished. And I survived. And my arthritic fingers survived. Barely. A lesser person might have dragged some of the cardboard boxes into the passage and made a fort to hide in.
But this got me thinking. What if our lives could come fully assembled? What if we had a job already and didn’t have to get up at 6 every morning and sit by the phone in case a school rang? What if we could just buy a house with the money we emigrated with, rather than having to rent?
Then we wouldn’t have to feel like the only pieces of our lives we have in the plastic bags are the big ones, while the smaller ones have fallen out in transit. Maybe we’ll find them in the bottom of the cardboard box. And we’ll be able to piece ourselves back together.