Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Not Just A Puzzle. It's An Emotional Journey.

On a rainy day, my husband and I decided to assemble a 300 piece puzzle.  We cleared the kitchen table and dumped out all the pieces.

This was going to be so easy!  What were we thinking, buying a 300 piece puzzle?  We should have bought the 1000, no, the 5000 piece puzzle!  And a flat, two-dimensional puzzle?  Child's play.  We should have bought one of those 3-d puzzles of the Taj Majal. 

Cheerfully, we began to piece together the puzzle's border. 

The border was not as easy to assemble as we thought it would be.  We discovered that when you buy a puzzle of trees with orange leaves, most of the pieces are orange and look exactly the same as the other 299 pieces.  When you are dealing with predominantly orange puzzle pieces, and you find a piece with a fleck of green, that is suddenly the most exciting moment of your day.  Holy eff!  This piece has a fleck of green!  This is the most amazing thing ever!   

After we assembled the border, we were left with a pile of orange pieces.  Uh-oh.  Why did we buy the fall foliage puzzle?  There was a tropical fish puzzle with like a gazillion different colors.  We bought the most difficult puzzle in the world.   

After many breaks, and pep talks, the puzzle began to come together.  We are puzzle gods!  Is there a competitive jigsaw puzzle circuit?  Because we would destroy the competion.

It was slow, but satisfying, process.  Kind of like climbing a mountain.  But less athletic.

And finally, after several days and many puzzle sessions, we were in the home stretch.  Our shoulders were sore from hunching over the table, and our eyeballs were ready to fall out but we were almost there.

And then, magically, we were done.  We admired our handiwork, as if we ourselves had grown the trees and painted the leaves orange.  We talked intensely about the different shades of foliage.  We praised ourselves for our perseverance and teamwork.

And then, in the space of about 45 seconds, we disassembled the puzzle, dumped the pieces back into the box, and shoved the puzzle box on a bookshelf.

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