Sunday, April 6, 2014

Easier Read Than Done

Shh, it's a surprise for my dad.
I bought my dad a building kit.

Final product: a robot that waddles like a duck.

It will be right up my dad’s alley.

He likes working with his hands. And he is not averse to reading the instructions.

I don’t mind reading instructions … Well, I don’t like reading product instructions, since they often read like they were translated from Japanese into English by someone who only speaks Portuguese … But I love reading how-to’s. I went through a long spate where I read books (as in multiple) about how to be more efficient and organized. My husband referred to those books as my “productivity porn.”

What I don’t like is the doing.

It is never as easy as the reading.

Step 1 will be perfectly straight-forward. Say you are reading about how to change a tire. The first step might read, “Remove the hubcap.” But how do you do that, exactly? They don’t say, assuming that every idiot knows how to remove a hubcap which, umm, I don’t. Then you need to loosen the lug nuts, but they are all impossibly tight and you are getting sweaty leaning all your weight on the wrench (or as the directions I’ve cited suggest, hitting it with a god-damned rock). It’s actually pretty decent of these directions to acknowledge that you are going to have difficulty. Most don’t.

I think it’s interesting that my husband far prefers how-to videos (found on YouTube) over written how-to’s, even for something like a food recipe.

However, I lack the patience to sit and watch a 20-minute video. Perhaps I am fooling myself, but reading seems to zip along so much faster.

Ultimately, I realize, that’s my problem: no patience.

Hey! Maybe I can read up on that.


  1. When all else fails, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.

  2. The above is a quote from Francis E. Peterson