by Carrie Cutforth
Many of my friends have had those DIY days where they suddenly find themselves over their heads, crafting a misguided recipe for disaster. Over the years, I've held my tongue as they cried over their design disaster deficiencies, in an attempt to abide my competitive spirit for "Failing Hard." But eventually, I'll spit out the words of feigned comfort: "Could have been worse. At least you didn't melt your bathtub."
"You melted your bathtub?" the listener would cry with incredulity. "How... whut... how?" they would sputter.
Yes, exactly how does one melt a tub? Fortunately for you, dear reader, I have created this eight-step guide.
STEP ONE: BE DEPRESSED
Let that depression fold you into a crumpled origami tin swan with "doggie food" buried deep inside. Reheat the trauma of those festering scraps in a microwave up to seven times, and regurgitate your cud, choking back the sludge by lubricating your throat with tears. Pass the salt!
Make your days fraught with the elongating twitching of time.
Allow nothing to get done.
Your last year's craft projects menacingly compress you in from the corners of your apartment.
Someone at some point finger traces the words "Finish Me" in the gathering dust.
Your half-started projects silently mock you even when you're lying on the bed with a cool wet towel over your eyes in languid repose.
Read more: The Desperate Desires of a Middle-Aged Woman
STEP TWO: COMBAT YOUR DEPRESSION WITH A MOMENTARY LASPE OF UTTER DESPAIR
Find a small crack in the clouds. Lick the hoary sunbeams that deign to bathe your face. Convince yourself that you are not just reduced to the frayed and threadbare joints life has pressed upon you. Make a rallying cry: I will defeat this nothingness! I will be accomplished! I WILL CRAFT!!!
STEP THREE: DIY YOURSELF OUT OF DESPAIR
Go picking amongst the rubbles of existence looking for something Worthwhile To Do that will boldy convince yourself: your life has meaning. Excavate through the tumbleweeds of yarn, the moss covered unpainted papier-mâché sculptures, the cobwebbed covered, only partly-started crochet doilies.
Gasp at fuzzy pipe cleaners for the will to live.
Pick a project suitable to breathe renewed spirit into your self-esteem. Pick a project that is bold. Pick a project that is manly. Pick a project that Ernest Hemingway himself would be proud of.
Make sure it is furniture of some kind, wood and hard, and the task itself requires the adventurous use of dangerous chemicals.
STEP FOUR: TAKE ON A PROJECT WITH FULL INADEQUECY OF RESOURCES, PHYSICAL SPACE, AND MIND AND SPIRIT
Do this quick now! Do it in the heat of the moment! Do not allow yourself to adequately plan or think this through, because thinking leads to overthinking leads to the never-ending hamster wheel think-squeaks of your mind. Planning slows down action and action is what is needed right at this moment. YOU MUST DO!
Consult your Pinterest board for several hours. Forget to eat while watching DIY tutorials knowing deep down that eating requires rinsing a dirty plate anyways.
Decide to strip a shelf that you have been meaning to for years. Laugh in the face of lack of inadequate space, supplies, or ventilation. You have a bundle of yet-to-be-recycled newspapers don't you? You have a bathtub that is both wider and longer than the shelf itself, do you not?
Defy the limitations of Space Time Reality and get ye to the craft!
DAMN THE TORPEDOES! FULL SPEED AHEAD!
STEP FIVE: WALK AWAY FROM THE ILL-CONCEIVED PROJECT BECAUSE WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG
Courageously swaddle the interior of your bathtub with a thick lining of yesterday's news. Slay the shelf and heave its lifeless corpse into the tub. Murder it with a dousing of wood stripper. Do not read the instructions to give you any pause. Feel accomplished.
INSTRUCTIONS ARE FOR SUCKERS!
Feel proud you have done A THING.
STEP SIX: TRY TO RESCUE THE SHATTERED REMAINS OF YOUR BATHTUB AND PYSCHE
Realize Doing A Thing is tiresome and chemical fumes exhaust your throat. Walk away for self-care. You deserve a moment of rest in the midst of all this constant inactivity.
Watch kittens on YouTube.
Somehow end up on a blog post written about Al Yankovic clearing decades of fan mail housed in banker boxes from storage units.
Feel proud of Weird Al for finally slaying this unsurmountable feat as confidently poised beside his hefty accomplishments as a smug Hemingway smiling over a dead animal's carcass.
Feel proud of yourself for your wondrous accomplishment of starting an ill-conceived project.
STEP SEVEN: LET THE FAILED REMNANTS OF SAID PROJECT TO DAILY SERVE AS A REMINDER OF YOUR INEPTITUDE
With renewed importance, go check on your partially-baked craft.
Be greeted by the frothing bubbles of the now chemically-melting basin. Heave existential sobs while scooping the cottage-cheezy liquid plastic of your once bathtub into old sour yogurt containers.
Bury the dead body of your freshly killed craft in the dumpster behind your apartment. Do not bother to pose with it for the camera.
Take comfort in the fact that at least you finally got around to disposing of its carcass along with the stack of newspapers you have hoarded for months.
Check this craft off your list. And recycling.
Dread any call from your landlord and stop taking showers.
STEP EIGHT: REDEEM YOURSELF YEARS LATER BY TURNING THE STORY INTO PURE COMEDY GOLD
Use this experience to abandon performing any future attempt at a DIY project. Consider becoming a writer instead. Spend months online creating a moodboard of "Writing Inspirationals" on Pinterest.
At least no bathtubs will be harmed in the process...
Carrie Cutforth is a foul-mouthed saucy minx, a salty dog, and a shifty-eyed transmedia grifter. Her kids call her mumsy.