VICKI'S VIEW: Stubborn and Mule Headed

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I am stubborn by nature. Both of my parents blame the other for my condition; I blame them both because it seems as though I have a double portion of their mule-headed behavior.

Case in point, how many times have I told them to call me if they need me, and how many times have they NOT called when they could have used help? Since they read my articles each week, I relish being able to write this.

But I do agree that I am stubborn and obstinate. If I weren’t deeply religious, I would be unmanageable and probably have no friends at all. Actually, I would probably be in jail. However, even I know when to quit.

Recently, I bought three floating shelves to hang on my living room wall. For those of you unfamiliar with floating shelves, they attach to the walls with hidden devices behind the shelves. Supposedly.

For weeks, I searched for shelves that would look good for a low price. I wanted shelves but didn’t want to pay $60 dollars for each shelf! I found some at Target for $35. Perfect.

I have said before that my dear husband has no talent whatsoever with tools. He has a loaded toolbox that would make any handyman salivate, but he doesn’t know how to correctly use most of the tools. And he gets so easily frustrated because of his lack of expertise that I just try to keep him away from any manual labor involving tools.

So when my floating shelves arrived, I carefully waited until he was gone to install them.

Now, according to the instructions, I was to drill a screw into a wooden stud behind the dry wall, leaving a small space to insert the screw into the hole located on the back of the shelf. I knocked until I found the stud, drilled in the screw, left the space for the precut hole in the shelf and checked. It was a perfect fit.

Next I went to where the other stud was supposed to be…exactly 16 inches away, just like the builder’s manual on Google said. I drilled into….dry wall. No wood there. Well, I must have missed the stud by a tiny amount. I could easily patch one hole, I thought. easy peasy. So I drilled next to it. Nothing. Just dry wall. Finally, I found a stud, drilled and the shelf worked perfectly. Evidently, the substandard trolls who built this house were unaware of the typical 16-inch stud philosophy. Now for the second shelf.

I drilled four more times and found nothing but dry wall. Then my husband came home. In his desire to help me achieve my goal of having three shelves installed with my beautiful knick-knacks on top, he began to drill holes.

I made him stop and decided to come up with a better idea. I went to the store and purchased Command Strips that stick to the wall and attach with Velcro. The instructions said the strips were good to hold up to 15 pounds. Perfect. I didn’t have that much weight to add, so this would be great.

The shelves stayed up for one solid hour, then came crashing down.

Next, I ordered some brackets to give us a better chance of holding up those shelves in the drywall. The brackets arrived and we started over. This would be better. Each bracket had three pre-screwed holes and would easily hold up those shelves. Nope, it didn’t work, and now we needed drywall anchors. Fourteen holes later, we still hadn’t found a stud and were struggling to find a drill bit big enough to fit the anchors. We finally got two screws inserted, attached the shelf, and it was….crooked. Between my baby cataracts, my bifocals, and the tiny level, we messed up, so we gave up.

The next morning, I got up and stared at the 14 holes in my wall. And what did I do? I tried again. No studs and the anchors didn’t fit…again.

At church the next day, my husband spoke to a builder who said that studs could be anywhere from 12 to 24 inches apart. Shouldn’t there be a law or something that says all studs must be a certain number of inches for everything? Wouldn’t that make sense? It would in a woman’s world.

I got up the next day, patched all the empty holes staring back at me, spackled, sanded, and repainted the wall. What a pain. My husband went and purchased a giant level and a stud finder. The free one I downloaded on my phone was just weird. I couldn’t figure it out.

After all this and the extra money I had to pay to make these shelves work, you think I would just quit. But did I give up? Absolutely not! I would not let a lack of wooden studs defeat me. I was determined to prevail!

It took weeks, but I finally got two shelves installed with all the pretty little decorative knick-knacks strategically placed on top. Just like in the HGTV magazine.

What about the third shelf? The stupid thing is going back to the store!

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