Bonding Over First World Problems

I recently got wrangled into helping my parents fix the mount for the their flat screen TV. The issue was small – a blown ball bearing in the mechanism that allowed the TV to swivel. I figured it would take us 15 minutes to replace. You know where this is going, right?

I showed up and my mom and I held the TV while my dad unscrewed it. Then my dad and I got to work on dismantling the bracket, assuming that we would just need to slide one piece off, replace it and remount the TV. 15 minutes. Ha.

Well, things weren’t dismantling all that easily when my dad decided to reverse engineer the new part (they’d had to buy a whole new mounting system) in order to figure out the failings of the broken one.

Me: “Um…just a suggestion here…it might not be such a good idea to take apart the one that is working in order to understand the broken one. Perhaps we should bag the idea of replacing just a part and replace the whole thing. It might be easier at this point.”

My dad’s response was unsavory, calling into question my mental capabilities and, basically, telling me to stuff it to which I replied, “I’m not trying to be a jerk. It would be great if you extended me the same courtesy.”

Then I sat my ass on the couch and watched him try to get the new piece back together again. For 45 minutes. At which point my dad says, “You know, Ann, it’s probably a good idea just to replace the whole thing.” I chose to keep my mouth shut.

LONG story short, it took the three of us three and a half hours to get this task accomplished. There were character insults made, f-bombs dropped like they were nothing, some hand gestures thrown behind backs, sweating, and repeated comments calling people’s intelligence into question. I’m just going to say that every suggestion or observation I made turned out to be correct. Yeah.

As all of this was wrapping up, I finally decided to ask why any of this was necessary in the first place. Come to find out that the TV didn’t swivel as well as it used to. Therefore, my mother’s view from the dining room table was blocked by the modular entertainment center they have. Modular, meaning you can move pieces around. Pieces that might be blocking the TV. It’s also important to note that there is another seat she could have sat in and seen the TV just fine.

Me: “Wow. You guys really have some first world problems you need to sort through.”

Dad:  “At this point you should just stay for dinner.”

Me: “Oh, hell no. I need a break from the two of you!”

All in all, it was a bonding experience and we had a laugh about it when it was all over. I also learned a very valuable lesson. I’m never helping them with anything like this again. Ever.

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  1. Ma

     /  January 23, 2013

    It was swell of you to help. Entertaining to say the least. Note: it swivels so nicely now that when I sat down to watch it scared me – right in my face! As it turned out, it was a good thing that Dad refused to ask a friend to help…


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