My First Covid Come-apart

Last night it finally happened — I had my first COVID Come-apart.


And it all started with a kitchen table from Wal-Mart.


Ever since we said goodbye to our dining room table (Ma’s Star Trek table! 💜) nearly a month ago, my daughter and I have been eating every meal on the corner of my desk like a couple of modern-day Dickensian orphans. It was a sacrifice, but we knew that our new place didn’t have room for the big table and we were ready for something new, something different, something OURS.


Yesterday the blessed day arrived when the UPS driver rang the doorbell and left the 7,000 pound package at our new front door.


The table is here!!! The table is here!!! We had already picked out what was to be our inaugural meal - burgers and steamed veggies. Now all we needed to do was to assemble it.


Cue the ominous soundtrack.


The two 5-foot-nearly-nothin’ Rose Women somehow found a way to get the cardboard beast inside the house. The elder Rose spent a half-hour (after an exhausting day at work) opening all of the boxes and bags within The Box and carefully organized every last leg, washer, and screw for easy installation. Surveying the vast landscape of lettered legs and hardware spread out on a towel on the floor of our precious new yoga room, I confidently declared, “We are gonna DO THIS!!!” to my daughter’s worried countenance.


I got my essentials ready: the power screwdriver, my Jason Mraz playlist, and a glass of Malbec.


Long story short, it was a disaster. Nothing worked like the hieroglyphic “instructions” said they would. The screws simply wouldn’t go in. We tried every imaginable position to get those @&$king screws into those @&$king stool legs and it just wasn’t gonna happen.


I was getting sweatier, more frustrated, and more tired with every failed screwing. (Sounds like one of my pre-COVID Brandon dates.)


Emma could tell that I was losing it and gently suggested that we just hire some handydude to come over and put it together. “I know you were excited to have our new table tonight, but we can eat at your desk another day or two”, she sweetly said.


“NO!!! We can do this ourselves!” I barked back, temporarily choking back the inevitable wave of tears. After only a few more vain attempts at being a Black & Decker Helen Reddy, I finally broke. The tears started coming.


And they didn’t stop.


I couldn’t catch my breath. My legs got wobbly. My head started spinning and my heart pounding out of my chest. I was going down.


Hello, Panic.