Sunday, November 5, 2017

Mirror mirror on the wall !

The husband and I, are both, not the best people when it comes to DIY. I mean it is clear from the fact that it has taken us close to half our life to understand that our life in itself is a massive do-it-yourself project and that if I have to get anywhere in life, I have to do it myself. That makes sense since Uber is soon going to lose its license in London which means I have to put my head down and make my way using the criss cross wire mesh of the tubes all by myself even in complete state of inebriation. 

Now I was just trying to deal with this sudden realisation that husband and I decided that it was necessary to have a full length mirror in the house. Actually it was more of a panic purchase after one of my friends, who visited us few days ago, expressed her utter disbelief when she did not find a full length mirror in the house. She could not understand how I could get ready in the morning without having a top to bottom look at myself wearing the same dress for the 45th time. In her past visits, she has conveyed her disapproval over me not owning a hair straightener and hair dryer, both of which were purchased right after and have been sitting in their boxes unopened ever since. But since I dont believe in learning from my past mistakes, I took it upon myself to get a big mirror installed in the hallway.

I am a true believer in online shopping deals so of course I decided to tap in the power of internet. After several hours on google, one dress and some shirts & t-shirts later, I was shrewdly reminded by the husband about the mirror. In order to compensate for my untimely money splurging, I turned to IKEA as my saviour. The choice of mirror wasn't so much of a problem as was my absolute hesitance to pay a delivery charge equivalent of the cost of the mirror. In the end, I ordered a rug and a mirror to a 'free' pickup centre in Stratford and that was the beginning of our DIY misery.

From that day onwards, IKEA was determined to make me feel miserable and guilty every single day as they constantly reminded me that my delivery was due on coming Friday and that I had to pick it up myself from the Stratford store. Armed with immense sense of pride about saving the delivery costs, the husband and I made our way to Stratford on Friday evening. The plan was to take a tube to Stratford and hire a Uber X on the way back. That would surely still be cheaper than the delivery charge, or so we hoped! 

After wandering around the mall for quite sometime under the pretence of finding the IKEA store, the husband reminded me that more shopping would indeed negate my resolve to save on delivery charges so I let it be and started walking to the IKEA store. On the way, we saw some heavy security and barricades places all over the walkway and roads to the mall were closed to vehicles for the West Ham football game due that night. The husband had completely forgotten about the friday night football which basically meant that we weren't going to be able to get a cab right at the store. By now, I had already started regretting my impetuous urge to save on money by refusing the home delivery but then when have I really accepted my mistake to the husband, so I carried on. We carried the rug and the mirror, both which were significantly heavy, across the mall, over the bridge almost knocking several people on the way until we found a Uber X which carried us back home. At this point, we were grinning ear to ear not realising what else was in store for us.

The husband and I have lived only in rental houses so far which meant we weren't allowed to drill holes into the walls lest our hefty deposit be cut. Needless to say, that meant that our DIY tools consisted of one small hammer and a tube of wood glue. Considering that wasn't enough to hang a mirror weighing 7 kgs, there was a long arduous wait for a driller set ordered on amazon. Next, we had to pick up the nails from a local hardware shop. 

Now armed with all the tools, we measured up the width and made some markings on the wall. The driller set was quite complex and we had to resort to several youtube videos to just get it working. Slowly and steadily, we started drilling into the wall and the first nail was in place with little effort.  That seemed quite simple! However, as they say, it takes a considerable amount of knowledge to realise the extent of your own ignorance. As we started drilling the wall for the second nail, we realised there was a electricity board right behind it, which meant there was a high likelihood we would fuse ourselves along with the whole house if we drilled in too deep. Once that realisation was dawned upon us, we became a little more careful and the second nail was fixed. All in all, it wasnt so difficult. All we needed to do now was to lift the mirror and hang the two hooks on the two nails, simple right? Wrong. Ten minutes later, we were still juggling with the mirror as it refused to stay upright. Several attempts later, we finally realised that our measurement wasn't in fact off by half an inch.

Determined not to give up, this time we measured and re-measured the width in all possible metrics - mms, cms, inches as after all one should commit no stupidity twice, the variety of choice is large enough. However, there were already two significantly large dents on the wall which we needed to cover if we would ever hang the mirror. After carefully choosing the height so that our past stupidity will not be on display to any future guests, we drilled another hole and placed the left nail. We were getting better or rather overconfident as time passed. We made a small dent for the right nail but it refused to stay. By this time, I was getting rather impatient at our deplorable DIY skills so we somehow hammered the nail in thinking the finish line was near. As they say, never underestimate the power of human stupidity. This thoughtless little act however made the hole in the wall so big that the nail started popping out without even the weight of the mirror.

The first time, it was a mistake, second time a choice and third time it had become a habit because if plan 'A' doesnt work, well there are 25 more alphabets. Between the second and the third attempt, there was a mad dash made to the local hardware shop to see if there was any way to salvage our failed attempts but quickly realising that there wasn't any, we made the markings for the third time. There was no way that we would stop now even if that meant bringing down the wall. The wall for drilled for the third time and the nails were put in place. We carefully placed the hooks in line with the nails when, lo and behold, the mirror did indeed fit perfectly except that it was not exactly straight and was slanting to one side. In desparate attempt to finish what we had started, we did indeed measure the width correctly but somehow did not line it parallel to the ground.

We stood there staring at the mirror calculating the angle of the slant but in the end, several failed attempts later, today the mirror stands in the hallway, pretty much doing its job. 

We have learnt so much from the mistakes, that we are thinking of making some more. Because after all, life is just like this DIY mirror project. Sometimes we dont measure up things the right way, sometimes we start over again, and sometimes we have to live with the mistakes that we make. In the end we may not still end up with a perfect outcome. But if you smile at it, it will smile back at you !


Vivek Garud said...

NOW ITS THE TURN OF diy garden....

Gauri Lonkar said...

Yes may be I will try it on your terrace :)

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