How I Became a Man in 5 Hours

In many ways, I hit puberty on Saturday. I went through the rite of passage that every boy has to go through to become a man:

I installed a flat-panel television on my wall.

I haven’t had much success selling my condo, so I took the advice of frequent commenter Eric (Big Papi) and decided to spruce up the place a bit with a 37″ flat-panel HDTV.

I found a great deal at Best Buy and even negotiated the price down after the sale ended (good customer service), and on Saturday I picked up the TV in the morning along with the mounting bracket and special screws at Home Depot (where the customer service was horrendous–I was in the hardware aisle for 20 minutes and not a single employee came down the aisle that entire time).

Cutting holes in the wall for wires, returning to Best Buy for wire extensions, and mounting the bracket on the wall took a while, but they weren’t hard work. Precise work, but not hard, even with the cat trying to eat the drywall powder.

The hard part came when I tried to actually hang the TV on the mount. I made this way more difficult than it had to be because I’m a man, which meant (a) I skimmed over the instructions and then dismissed them, and (b) I didn’t ask for help lifting the TV onto the mount. I’m pretty sure I get extra testosterone points for that.

Because of those two things, I almost really hurt myself and broke the TV and possibly the wall. I had the wrong brackets on the back of the TV. Fortunately, with my patience and my muscles exhausted, I figured out my mistake and gave it one more go. It worked, and now I have this beauty on my wall (extra points if you can spot something missing in one photo that’s in the other in the exact same place).

So yes, America. Today I am a man.

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