From the beginning the mirror was a challenge: It was difficult to find a mirror that measured 3′ x 4′. And once we did find one the sales staff was flummoxed as to how to wrap the mirror so we could safely transport it home because “everything we sell is usually delivered.” A bright woman named Maria stepped up. She works in maintenance at the store. She quickly cobbled together a “box” from trash bags, a couple of pieces of cardboard and almost an entire roll of packing tape. Then one of the brawnier sales staff hefted the mirror into our SUV. We were off!
Of course, we had no idea how the two of us would get the mirror out of the vehicle by ourselves once we reached home. So we stopped to eat. Because everything seems better after a California Pizza Kitchen dinner.
When we got home, Mike corralled our three cats for safety — ours, not theirs. (Have you ever tried to carry anything bulky or heavy around cats? Ours assess the situation, then begin to twine around our legs meowing as if they are wounded. It makes for some ugly scenes, let me tell you, when a foot or tail gets stomped.) The three cats supervised from behind french doors as Mike and I carried the heavy mirror up the front steps, into the foyer and up the double flight of steps to the master bathroom. I was sweating after we finally eased the mirror down onto the floor and leaned it against the wall.
Mike is the mathematical and mechanical brains in our family. He immediately set to work measuring the wall. Measuring the mirror. Scratching out numbers, calculations and sketches on a formerly blank piece of paper. By nightfall, our bedroom was a tribute to home improvement do-it-yourselfers: tape measure, wire, hooks, screwdrivers, hammer, pen, paper and more littered every surface. I fell asleep amid the supplies, assured that Mike had the project well under control.
The next afternoon, after I watched the Steelers lose pitifully to the Jets and Mike clocked a well-run 8K race, we reconvened to actually hang the mirror over the vanity. Mike called in reinforcements: our son Max and our daughter Tory. We gathered in the bathroom, four Snedens on a mission. The kids leaned in and listened carefully as Mike explained the approach. They nodded their heads. Everyone assumed their position. Mike and Max each took a corner of the mirror in hand. Tory palmed the 48″ long yardstick she would use to guide the mirror wire onto the awaiting wall hooks. I flicked on the flashlight and stood behind and to the right of both Max and Tory. The flashlight beam would give a clear visual to help Tory see what she was doing. The kids glanced at each other, then we commenced Operation “Hang the Mirror.”
It became apparent pretty quickly to both Max and Tory that even with a 48″ long yardstick, Tory would only get the mirror wire onto the wall hook by “accident.” Max suggested an alternative approach. Mike stood firm: His approach was the best approach. The men hefted the mirror up again. Tory tried the yardstick approach again. Eyes squinted. Yardstick held steady. Epic fail to hook the wire.
Max restated his alternative approach. Tory concurred. Mike grumbled.
Plan B. Tory clambered up onto the vanity. She balanced herself in the narrow area between the two sinks. I held her butt so she wouldn’t fall. She leaned up and slung her arm over the top of the mirror. She hooked the wire onto a steady finger. As the men moved the mirror closer to the wall Max coached Tory. Up! To the right! Drop it! Now!
The wire slid neatly onto the wall hook. In less than a minute the wire was firmly attached to the second hook. We all stood back and admired our work. One mirror. Four people. Teamwork. Family!
What did you do this weekend? Care to share in the Comments, my friends?