Last month, I moved apartments. I didn’t break anything or shed a single tear in the process, so I feel pretty comfortable in saying that it went just about as well as moving can go, and that’s mostly because I had my boyfriend’s help. He offered and if this meant I get to avoid another lecture from my father about having too much stuff, I’ll take it. My boyfriend had helped me move before and when he offered up his services again, I didn’t hesitate to take him up on his offer.
Like I said, the move went great. We managed to move everything in four trips and three hours. By the end of it, we were feeling pretty good about ourselves and more importantly, our relationship. Moving is stressful and exhausting and can really bring out the worst in people — namely me because I have the arm strength of two wet noodles tied together. He didn’t complain when I made him walk backward up the stairs or take multiple breaks on the short walk from the car to the apartment. He knew I would pay him back in some form or another (wink wink) and besides, isn’t that what boyfriends are for? Regardless, I was feeling pretty lucky and praising past me for choosing this strong, selfless guy to make out with at the bar that one night so many moons ago.
We had just packed up and moved everything I own from one one place to another without biting each others’ heads off and when we finally carried the last box into my new apartment, I swear I said something along the lines of, “If we can survive two moves together, we can survive anything.”
I spoke too soon.
Our problems started when I suggested he help me put together a dresser I had bought for my new place. I had been stalking it online for weeks waiting for the perfect moment, AKA the perfect sale, to bite the bullet and buy it. It was delivered right before I moved, and I figured it would be easier to transport unassembled and then the two of us could easily put it together once I’m all moved in. It’s just a dresser, how hard could it be?
Very hard, I later found out.
I began by dumping out the contents of the box haphazardly all over my living room floor like a really big jigsaw puzzle, which is apparently the wrong way to put together furniture, as I was immediately told.
“Oh no, what did you do,” my boyfriend exclaimed.
With the furniture scattered into quite literally a million pieces, I could clearly see that putting together this dresser wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d hoped. We didn’t know which pieces were what or where to begin. I was suddenly feeling very overwhelmed and I could tell he was not too happy either.
He tried to remain calm as he scavenged his way through the piles of wood and bolts for the directions, which was a small book with many pages and absolutely zero words. None. Not even a “good luck!” which would’ve been appreciated because at this point I was ready to cry out of pure frustration. He studied the directions for a good ten minutes without saying a word, which I took as a cue to make myself useful and put on something to watch while we tried to put together the Sphinx of dressers. I put on Keeping Up With The Kardashians because Kardashian for life, baby. My boyfriend was distracted trying to decipher the glorified picture book that came with the dresser while also probably wondering if being in a relationship is worth this torture. He must’ve decided it was, because he started tinkering away with something.
I had already seen this particular episode of KUWTK about a million times, so while he was putting together the sides of the dresser, I tried to put together one of the drawers.
“What are you doing?” he questioned as I held up two identical pieces of wood and tried to smoosh them together.
“Putting together the drawers,” I replied matter-of-factly.
“Just pass me stuff, you don’t know what you’re doing,” he said.
“No, I promise, I can do this. I just need a tool to help me put it together,” I said back.
“Just wait for me to finish this,” he said, exasperated.
“It’s fine I got it,” I replied as I started digging into the toolbox.
“Seriously I don’t want to have to undo and redo whatever you did,” he said as he stared me down, almost willing me to put down the screwdriver or hammer or whatever was in my hand with his mind. I stared back, daring him to try and take away my screwhammer.
Obviously I won and kept putting together my drawer because I have the vagina. We exchanged a few more words after that, but they were short and snappy. At this point, it had been over an hour since we first started this “little” project and we were both on edge. He finished what he could of the dresser and then moved on to help me with the rest of the drawers. I managed to complete two drawers in that time frame and there was six in total. Whether I liked it or not, I needed his help.
He started picking up the pieces of the drawer and trying to figure out how it goes together.
“That’s not how you do it,” I snapped.
“Well that’s what the directions say,” he said, waving the picture book in front of his face.
“I’ve done two of these drawers and I know that’s not how you do it,” I said back.
“Did you do them right?” he questioned.
I stared him down with my biggest don’t-fuck-with-me eyes and the answer suddenly became very clear.
“Fine. Just show me,” he said as he released whatever had picked up and it fell to the floor.
“Chill the fuck out and watch me do it,” I said as I snatched the pieces from the ground.
We finished putting together two drawers each in complete and total silence.
At this point, we were on hour two of the dresser fiasco and he had totally and completely given up. It had been a long day and I’m sure he was exhausted and sick of fighting with me and with furniture. I, on the other hand, wasn’t going to give up that easily. My perfect dresser was in two pieces and I was going to get them to go together no matter what. I studied the directions for about the millionth time and somewhere in between page 18 and 19, I realized my boyfriend wasn’t helping me at all. Instead, he had switched the channel from KUWTK to golf and was now incredibly interested in a stupid game instead of helping me assemble the dresser from hell.
Now, I’m not a bad girlfriend. I don’t like sports but I know part of being in a relationship means feigning interest in things that your significant other likes. I’ve dutifully sat through multiple NBA season finales, Supergames, and World finals and I don’t even complain — as long as there’s good food, booze, and a fully charged phone to keep me distracted. I don’t mind watching a few games, especially if they’re big or important, just like my boyfriend doesn’t mind sitting through some trashy TV. At this point in our relationship, I’m at least mildly aware of when an important event is coming up or happening. On this particular day, I knew there was no major sporting event going on, especially not at 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.
The combination of frustration with the dresser combined with the exhaustion from the move made for one wicked cocktail. When I saw that he would rather watch an old man hit a ball into the ground instead of help me try and figure out why two pieces of wood won’t go together caused me to completely lose my shit.
Did I scream? No. Did I yell? No. Did I make passive aggressive comments until he screamed and yelled? Yeah, definitely. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: *obviously struggling* “How’s that game?”
Him: *rolls eyes* “Fine, I’ll help you.”
Me: “No, no, it’s fine, watch your little game. I’m just over here holding up 75 pounds of wood with my bare hands. I got it, don’t worry. The game is more important, I know.”
Him: “Cristina, I get it. Just wait until this putt scores.” (I have no idea what he said but it was something golf related so use your imagination.)
Me: *doesn’t wait*
*entire dresser falls apart, making the loudest noise known to mankind*
Him: “WHAT THE FUCK I TOLD YOU TO WAIT.”
*back-and-forth bickering ensues*
Looking back at it, I realize that I was wrong. In a way. Yeah, I could’ve been a little nicer, but he was being an ass by not helping me. That was apparently the final straw for him because in the midst of our yelling and screaming at each other, he broke up with me.
JK. We didn’t really break up, but almost. We managed to put together the dresser (in silence) and spent the next hour and a half cooling down in separate rooms — me unpacking my things into my brand new, beautiful drawers and him watching whatever sport gets his dick hard. We made up eventually, but it was a pretty close call. When we reunited, we apologized (him first, muahaha) and promised never to let a piece of furniture tear us apart like that again.
“That dresser better be fucking worth it,” he said as he pulled me in for an apology hug.
It totally is. .