Why Do I Do the Things I Do?

>> Monday, August 2, 2010

Some days I do things that I realize make no sense, and I can't seem to explain why I even bother.   Today is one of those days. 

For the past day (ish), I have een working on putting together a 500 piece picture puzzle called "Kittens and Puppies."  Let me digress for a moment to mention a few things.  First, there are no puppies anywhere in the picture.  Second, I have always wondered about the phrase "picture puzzle."  If I'm putting it together (as opposed to solving it, or working it out), isn't it a given that the puzzle is a "picture" as opposed to ... say ... a word puzzle?  Just wondering.

Okay, moving on.  I'm putting together this puzzle, but I have a problem, and I know I have a problem.  I will never finish the puzzle, and I many never even come close, and yet, I persist in trying. 

You see, we were supposed to part with this puzzle last May at our annual garage sale.  In fact, the puzzle was sitting on the table, up for sale for several hours waiting for a buyer.  At that time, we knew all the pieces were there, because I painstakingly counted them all before including the box in the sale pile.   Unfortunately, the rain that day kept coming and going, and as the morning drew to a close, several very strong gusts of wind began wreaking havoc.  We amused ourselves repeatedly by chasing down odds and ends that blew into the grass or began floating off down the street. We even lost a matching set of painted hurricane glasses.  (Hey, at least we lost the set and not one each from two sets.)  One of the biggest gusts blew lots of books off one of the tables, and somehow managed to pick up this entire puzzle box and send it 10 feet into the yard.

True, I painstakingly counted all the pieces before the sale, but I never bothered to tape the box shut.

Brilliant.

Now 500 or so pieces were scattered in a radius of several feet.  We were doomed.  Nonetheless, Sister, Darling Husband, Niece and I diligently hunted for the pieces, counting as we went, and returning them to the box.  I have a vague recollection that we thought we found about 485 of the 500 pieces, but we weren't sure.  Of course, the smart thing to do at that moment would have been to take the box to the nearest trash can and be done with it.  For some weird, garage-sale-hazed moment, none of us thought that was the right answer. 

Sister wanted to get out the lawn mower and see if we could suck up more pieces.  I, instead, had this allegedy brilliant idea of taking the puzzle home and re-assembling it to find out how many pieces we had lost in the grass "just for fun."

That was May.  The silly puzzle sat in my bedroom since May.  Sometime last week, I picked it up, planning on moving it to a different "to do" pile, when I managed to dump it again, this time behind a stack of boxes.  No matter how I searched, I knew there was no way I was going to know if I got all the pieces this time, especially considering that I had no idea how many pieces I even had to work with.

Still, I didn't throw it away.

Now, I am sitting in my family room, typing this blog, staring at this partially assembled puzzle on the table next to me.  I am persisting in trying to put the blasted thing together against all odds, against all reason, and certainly with a few doubts about my sanity.

Obviously, I don't have all the pieces.  I'm not even close.  Yet, the weirdest part is that I can't figure out if I have too many edge pieces, or not enough.  The top of my puzzle is longer than the bottom,  I am missing no more than 2 edge pieces the way I have the thing currently assembled, and yet I have three leftover pieces that seem to fit nowhere.  Even better, all the assembled pieces seem to fit together seamlessly.

I am assembling a puzzle that doesn't have all the pieces, and I can't seem to stop myself.  I am sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere.

2 comments:

Peggy Sue Brister August 2, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

I'm too OCD about things being even. Numbers, whatever, anything. If I spilled a puzzle and knew I had pieces missing it would have immediately gone in the trash/outside. I wouldn't have even brought it inside to throw it away. I would not have wanted that UNEVEN puzzle in my house. You think I am kidding, but I am not. Ok, so I am a little weird and you aren't the first person to ever tell me that, but my vote is chunk that GD puzzle and never look back. I hate puzzles also. I bought some for my kids and I hate them as well.

Susan August 4, 2010 at 2:16 AM  

Very slowly, put down the puzzle and head to the garbage can. Okay, okay I know you aren't going to do that. But you SHOULD. But I do understand the madness.

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