The Thamensian

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‘Key to marriage is to know when you are beaten’

I am standing on an IKEA office chair trying to fix a wardrobe door.

I am fixing the wardrobe door because I assembled the wardrobe from a flat pack about six months ago and by the time I got to the doors I was a bit bored and was rushing at it.

I consider it a personal triumph to assemble flat pack furniture and to still have some pieces left over, and on this occasion had a handful of screws, bolts and fiddly little plastic things that had no discernible use. So I put them in my pocket and kept quiet and walked away.

I had forgotten this until a screeching noise from upstairs and an increasingly panicky voice shouting ‘Dad, the wardrobe has fallen on my head’ alerted me to something wrong.

I took my usual approach and carried on reading the paper, hoping that Mrs The Thamensian would sort it out, but 10 minutes later the voice was sounding quite upset and it was apparent that my better half wasn’t at home. Why is it always ME that has to fix things?

Having rescued the trapped child I propped the door up and did what all DIY experts do, left it until after Christmas.

It didn’t topple over, nobody was hurt, and provided you stretched your arm round a bit you could still get things from the drawers inside, so no mad rush.

However, between Christmas and New Year it became impossible to ignore and I was banished upstairs to put right the wonky wardrobe door. It was raining so I clearly couldn’t go out to the shed to get a ladder or a proper screwdriver. Instead I improvised and took the chair from the study and my swiss army knife from the kitchen drawer.

And so, dear reader, I swore, I fiddled and I adjusted the locking bolts until I was blue in the face. And still the door hung at an odd angle. At which precise moment Mrs The Thamensian poked her head round the door. ‘Hmmm. DIY is not your forte’ she said, knowing it would irritate me at my most irritated moment. ‘You just make do and never get the right tools’.

‘Grrr’ I said, determined to prove her wrong. I would master that door if it killed me. I attacked with renewed vigour. I pressed with the swiss army knife. At which moment the wheels on the chair started to move and I glided serenely past her rolling gently across the floor on my office chair with the swiss army knife still outstretched. The trick to being married is to know when you are beaten.

My New Year’s resolution is simple. Use the right tools for the right job.

Written and sent from my Blackberry mobile while waiting for my car to be MOT’d at RCP, Milton Common.