Getting Rid of Gilda


I needed a new chair because my old one looked tired and forlorn. It had been Tom’s chair and when he passed away, he didn’t take it with him, so it sat empty, reminding me he was elsewhere. He had named the chair Gilda (I don’t know why) but it was time for Gilda to go so I gave her the boot and sent her to my grandson who doesn’t care about things like fatigued cloth, after all he pays extra for distressed clothing.


It’s COVID time, so when I started my search for Gilda’s replacement, I found the assortment of chairs was limited because no one was working in the chair factories. Finally, I went online to one of those companies that delivers right to your door and a week later, a huge box arrived. It must have weighed 300 pounds, but somehow, I managed to drag it into the house. Of course, it was in eight pieces, each wrapped in plastic and securely tied with wire, but the website guaranteed easy peasy assembling, all tools included, so I called my brother. He is retired, and I figured he could help me. “Sure thing, I’ll be there next week,” he told me cheerfully. One week turned to two, so I gave up and decided to tackle it myself. The hardware was in the box, but no tools and, of course, mine were somewhere, but I couldn’t lay my hands on them.


I went to the store to buy a screwdriver and a small wrench. I know how to use them, no problem there. The problem, however, was in getting the screwdriver package open. Not counting the plastic bag from the store, I found four levels of security between me and my new screwdriver (apparently screwdrivers are like baby chicks, delicate and in need of protection). Level one, hard plastic that neither my arthritic fingers nor my scissors would open. I found a rusty box cutter and started slicing but my finger got in the way and blood spurted over me and the plastic. I retrieved alcohol (no I didn’t drink it, just yet) and Band-Aids. My finger was now even less flexible, but I could still make it work. Level two, another hard, plastic COVID mask-like shield. I used the box cutter again and managed to saw the shield off. Almost there. Level three, some sort of buttons (four) that I had to unclip from cardboard that sandwiched the screwdriver. The cardboard was too heavy to tear, I tried scissors again and I finally laid my hands on the lovely screwdriver. But one more security level: four wire ties that I had to unfasten, but my arthritic fingers point in different directions, so the simple task of untying turned out to be a devil. I paid $8.00 plus tax for the screwdriver, but I can’t help but wonder which cost more: the tool or the packaging.


I began to tackle the chair and was happy to see instructions in picture format as the written ones were in tiny print, except for the section in Chinese, which was normal size. My fingers ached from the screwdriver ordeal, but I pieced together four of the eight parts before I called my neighbor for reinforcements. I promised her vodka and she toddled over in a jif, and together while wearing our masks, we finished assembling it, except for securing the arms. My new handy-dandy screwdriver was the wrong size, and I would have to buy a smaller version of the same tool. Luckily, the hardware store is next to the liquor store, which is next to the CBD store. And I’m even more fortunate as my son is here this week. He can buy me a new screwdriver and open the package as quick as a bunny. By the way, the new chair’s name is Buster.