There is a running joke that men can’t follow directions… no, that’s not really it… Not can’t but won’t. The bad thing is when men are faced with a task that is generally associated as a “man project”, the directions actually promote the stereotype. An intricate task with minimal information. A few pictures, as if that were all that we needed, because Lord knows we aren’t going to spend our time actually reading anything.
I took on the challenge of replacing my stereo in my car. I’ve done it before, so I knew it was not an insurmountable task. I prepared myself, checked out videos, researched forums, and made sure that I would be successful. I even looked at the directions beforehand to make sure there were directions… last thing I wanted to end up with was a hole in my console.
Now, I admit, I didn’t have to look at much in pulling the stereo out (no, I’m not being a stereotypical man… the videos I watched multiple times helped 🙂 ). However, it does seem to be much easier to dismantle something than it does to build. That’s probably true in so many areas of life… love, relationships, goals… whatever they are, break easier than they fix, and end much more simply than they continue. Percentage-wise, I probably spent 20% of my time dismantling the original stereo, and 80% putting in the new one.
I was feeling pretty confident. Probably too confident. Holding on to the success I have had in the past, I figured it would be a cake walk. Still, I kept the directions, what little there were, close.
Wires… so many wires… taking the console off was easy. Even removing the actual stereo unit came out without incident. Dealing with the wires, however, that was another story. If there was anything that the directions focused on, thank God, it was the wires. The problem was that on one connector, there were too many wires, and on another, there weren’t enough, and the directions only spoke of some, not all of the wires… what was I to do now? Roll the dice? Trust that the extra hanging wires were really not needed? Well, I had no choice… I could only continue to follow the directions in front of me, and hope for the best.
The new unit went in ok, or so I thought. Another problem arose, because the apparatus to hold the actual stereo had more pieces than I needed, and, you guessed it, no instructions on how to handle all the pieces. This was a serious man project challenge. I would love to say I got it right the first time, but it took a few (ok, a lot) attempts to figure out what I didn’t need. That’s ok, right? I have nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon than to try and try again to get something to work…
Finally, I got it all in, secured, and after a big scare because of a small blown fuse, it is now working. Took much longer than I planned, but it was worth it. Yeah, sure I could have taken it to some professional to put it in, but I wouldn’t have had the joy of figuring out the mystery of man project directions :-). I’m not always as good with my hands, say, as my son the repair tech, but every now and then it’s fun doing a stereotypically (no pun intended) “man project”
One thing I learned growing up with a strong mother, is that there really is nothing men can do that women can’t. For proof, check out Estrella Azul, who is awesome at creating, fixing, and generally all things with her hands (not to mention being a great writer!)