A Case of the DIYs

My family suffers from an incurable disease known as the DIYs.

This invasive condition creeps its way into all aspects of life. People suffering from DIY see the world differently. When one enters a clothing store, she may encounter a clearance rack dress in a horrid color and several sizes too big. She cannot see this though; what her eyes behold is the dress of her dreams. “All I have to do is take it in a little, dye it, alter the sleeves, add some ribbon and it will be perfect!”

People affected by DIY may experience the same phenomena when considering new drapes, house painting, plumbing, home renovation, car repair, hairstying, etc. There is no project too large.

[Who needs Ikea when there is the neighborhood dump?]

Symptoms of DIY include: a desire to make one’s life more difficult, an immense mentality of frugality, and an unbreakable spirit.

Side effects may include: increased stress level, splinters, hot glue blisters, an ill-fitting wardrobe, and an uneven haircut, among others.

As I said, my family is particularly prone to this condition. Mama and Papa may even have been the first sufferers. When I was a child, my parents rebuilt a piano that they found sitting on a street corner. I am convinced that my parents can fix, build, sew, mend, paint, repair, rebuild, or grow anything on this planet.

DIY is not dumpster diving (although it can include that) or trash hoarding but a remarkable ability to see potential .

And, it is hereditary. Two years ago, Dumples and I were driving home through our neighborhood when she saw an adorable endtable sitting on a curb bearing a “FREE” sign. Perhaps to the normal observer, it was a splintery, dilapitated, trashy piece of furniture. We, of course, picked it up and took it home with the intention of refinishing it.

That summer went by as did the next. I started work on it once and took it apart, examing the work that needed to be done. Papa threatened to throw it away if I didn’t finish the project so from there it found a haven in the trunk of my car.

A few months ago, my parents sold my old car. I begged my dad to keep the table, vowing to finish it when I came home this summer.

Alas, I went home a week ago and, true to my word, attempted to work on the table. Somehow, a leg, a drawer, the back, and the top were missing. All week I tried to figure out the easiest way to fix the table. Mostly, it sat on the garage floor, mocking my lack of motivation whenever I passed.

I kept asking Papa for suggestions or help. His advice: “Chuck it.” He didn’t have the time or desire to pick up one more project.

Right before I left for the airport, I hugged Papa and whispered in his ear, “You can throw away the table. It’s my gift to you for being a great dad.”

Maybe DIY isn’t entirely incurable.

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