Be A Builder

This weekend I built. I did something I didn’t think I could do and built…well, technically, I modified, but it was still an accomplishment. I took an Ikea bookcase, one of the large ones, and added crown molding to it to make it look fancier then primed and painted the entire thing (6’X6’X1.5′). This may not seem like much but I’m not a known DIYer, I’m more of a thrower-awayer and buyer of newer.Funny-Construction-Pictures-5

I’ve never considered myself a builder. As a kid Lego was never my thing, I was more likely to rip the heads and arms off of dolls and action figures or to experiment in light arson. For as long as I remember, I’ve been a destroyer, a force of ruination. At the very least, I have lived as an oaf, a clumsy ogre bumbling my way through the day leaving a path of rubble in my wake. A destroyer of toys, a wrecker of personal relationships, an obliterator of my body, a demolitionist of career ambition, an exterminator of overwrought metaphors.

So, this weekend felt like a turning point. Like I am capable of creating something, crafting or modifying something into a thing I can be proud of. And I think that’s an important mind-shift. I think we should all want to think of ourselves as builders and crafters and creators as though we’re making something, moving forward, progressing ourselves and, hopefully, society. I know that in my building there is an element of destruction, the yards of wood that I used and some wasted probably came from a rainforest, but at least I’m trying to make use of previously destroyed things.

construction fail
I’ve seen this before and I’m 82% sure it’s fake.

The importance of the “builder” versus the “destructor” mentality was no more apparent than this weekend with Beirut and Paris. Not that I’m equating my rebuilding a crappy Ikea bookcase with multiple national tragedies…even though that’s exactly what I just did. There’s not much I can do about terrorist attacks. Then, I went onto Facebook (a great destroyer of relationships and personal image) and realized that my roll in terrorist attacks is not to be a complete jerk in the aftermath. A friend of a friend somehow managed to take these tragedies and bizarrely connect them to his wildly incorrect political beliefs regarding global warming and gun ownership. Hey, why not take death and chaos as an opportunity to offensively push misguided agendas? Because it’s mentally destructive. All I have to do to be a builder is not use tragedies like these to accrue imaginary political points. Or even to follow my destructive impulses to question people’s disingenuous mourning.

remodeling funnyI also have to temper my newly found ability to not destroy. After finishing painting, I walked around my house looking at things and thinking, I could build that. That picture frame, I could make that. Slow down, Bob the Builder. Maybe, instead of thinking I’m adept at construction, I need to focus on growing. Maybe I should plant some seeds and figure out how to nurture things so that they have healthy growth instead of taking old things and reconfiguring them into new things. When I think about growth, I realize that being a builder is a minimum. Sheesh, I have a lot of personal building to do to get to growth. Or maybe this entire scree was an existential crisis relating to my insecurities about the world and my roll in it and I need to relax.


Add yours →

  1. I congratulate you on your bookcase. May it fill you with pride every time you look at it!


  2. Congratulations on improving a piece of IKEA furniture!

    But hey, at least some good came out of this weekend.

    I spent mine trying NOT to look at what people on facebook were saying about Paris. ISIS is such a cartoonish villain – they aren’t trying to get land in Europe, they aren’t even secretly trying to rob a bank like all the “Die Hard” baddies. They are just killing because they’re villains.

    This would never work in a movie.

    So small contruction projects are a small ray of hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on the bookcase. As someone who is not handy but has read numerous buzzfeed articles on DIY things and crown molding, I can assure you that I’m probably the most impressed commenter here. I want to put crown molding on things and upcycle and whatnot!

    I surfed facebook in the aftermath of Paris, but stayed silent. Luckily, I didnt see anything too heinous (though I’ve already blocked a bunch of people from showing up in my newsfeed.)


  4. abeerfortheshower November 16, 2015 — 8:38 am

    Congrats on the bookcase! Modifying something takes a modicum of talent, so don’t sell yourself short. Also, if this tragedy has taught me anything, it’s that people will invariably hyperfocus on the petty crap that doesn’t matter, and I still have way too many racist/backwards Facebook friends no matter how much I keep chopping them down. They’re like digital weeds.


  5. Wow! Congratulations! That was ingenious. Not many people take the time to buy molding to make a piece of IKEA furniture better. Our little ordinary Pickleope has grown into a Renaissance Pickleope. You see, this is what happens when you own your home. You start with little stuff and then your weekends are consumed with watching This Old House on PBS and getting your latest subscription of Handyman Magazine in the mail. Then you start renovating in Beast Mode like my husband does without my permission. Then I have to shoot him and the police come and it gets messy and there’s a scandal etc, etc, etc.

    I have to stop watching How To Get Away With Murder. It’s a bad influence.


  6. Damn good post, Pickleope. I am sad. I’m too sad to point a finger at anyone or anything. I don’t spend much time on Facebook. I have Facebook so I can see photos of the youngest members of our family. I usually post links to my blog, too, because I learned that quite a few people follow my blog through Facebook. If people write stuff on their blogs that upsets me, then I move along.

    I could tell the story that I’ve probably already told a million times and Willy Dunne Wooters buying furniture that needed to be assembled, but no. I am sad.

    Sad Janie


  7. “…experiment in light arson”. Best line I have read all day. Hands down.


  8. You did good, I am sure you must feel good about how well you did


  9. Congrats on the project!

    Any god that needs me to kill for it can f*ck right off.


  10. Speaking of light arson, I can’t think of a better way of decorating a piece of IKEA furniture than by using the spectacular effect of fire.. you can really get a dull piece of furniture to light up a room.


  11. Feels great being able to being a builder, doesn’t it? I remember back in school when I built a wooden box in woodworking class. It was simple. Nothing special. Still, I made it with my own two hands (along with various woodworking tools). The only thing I’ve ever built to this day, actually… Many years later my (now deceased) brother-in-law stole it when my wife wouldn’t lend him any more money. When she finally started speaking to him again he said he threw it away when he broke it open & found out we didn’t have anything worth stealing inside. Nothing important, you know? Just random crap & keepsakes from my childhood. That’s all… Encased in the only thing I ever made… But, no hard feelings…

    (PS: On a side note, the “now deceased” part was not as a result of that incident. Just so we’re clear.)


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