Before you read any further, I would like to state for the record that yes, I do know how to read instructions. I’m that person who reads the instructions twice before assembling things. However, I do believe certain people who write these instruction things assume that no one does read them and therefore they can skip key information entirely because no one will notice!

Ahem. Now that that is out of the way, let me tell you about my battle with my weed eater.

Since my husband has a bad back and I love the whirring sound of spring weed whacking, I’m our designated whacker. Unfortunately, our usual weed eater refused to start. The yard was more than a little out of control. In fact, we were in real danger of creating optimum chigger ranching conditions.

Normally, my mom has had no issue letting me borrow various items, but apparently she was so excited about her recently purchased weed eater that she went out and bought me a matching one. “All you have to do is put it together,” she texted me.

Since my husband was running some errands, I would be taking this on alone. But I’m a mostly capable adult, I thought. I carefully opened the large box, took out all the parts, read and re-read and re-read the assembly instructions (one extra time since I could potentially injure myself if I did something wrong — and then this would be a whole different column), grabbed my battery-operated screwdriver and set to work.

I had the weed eater all assembled when I noticed something was odd. I twisted the handle around. That looked better, but something was still not right. I twisted something else to make the whole thing a little longer. Better, but still something was wrong.

By this point it was heating up and I was already well behind on my extensive to do list on which “assemble weed eater” wasn’t even mentioned. So I started it up and began working.

Imagine, if you will, weed whacking with only the blade edge of a machete. You have to bend over with said machete/weed eater so you don’t accidentally slice off your foot and thereby earn the name “Hop A Long Cassidy.” This means that in about 10 minutes the small of your back is reminding you that this is not proper lifting, standing, or whacking posture. However, you are determined (aka stubborn) so you keep going for two hours.

By the end of it, the yard looks like someone attacked it with the points of rusty hedge clippers on a moonless night after downing way too many adult beverages.

Plus now you can’t stand up straight, so you stare at it in a stupor, bent over like a hockey stick, hating everything about your new weed eater. At that exact moment your husband returns and after taking in the situation, looks at the weed eater — and not the instructions — and in two seconds finds the final adjustment THAT WASN’T IN THE MANUAL.

Yeah. I’m so done weed eating.

Winter Prosapio is a writer, working mom and Corporate Director of Communications and Government Relations for Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts.

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