Legos are the f*cking BOMB! [Single White Nerd]
Have you guys been reading some of the crazy blogs about dating on this site? I mean, sexting, sponsored international travel, smooching on the brother of the guy you met on an online dating website for people seeking sugar daddies. Hot damn. I can’t hold a candle to that. Not even gonna try. You know what I can talk about, though: Legos.
Growing up, I hated legos. They never fit together right. They jabbed into my fingers, made me yelp with pain, reminded me how lacking I was in fine motor skills. My parents bought me a few kits, but I never had the patience to put them together. In the end, I’d just shove a few of the larger blocks together to make obstacles for my hot-wheels cars. I liked the cars. Didn’t have to put them together. Anyway, hated Legos.
This past year, some friends bought me a Harry Potter Lego set–a four part diorama of Hogwarts Castle–for my 35th birthday. Huge set, over 1,200 pieces. I had, at some point, told them that I loved Legos. As a concept, this was entirely true. I love the idea of Legos. Making, for example, a Millenium Falcon out of little plastic pieces is theoretically awesome. The idea of doing such a thing myself, however, reopened old wounds inflicted by my childhood battles with Legos and filled me with angst and despair.
I assured my friends that I loved the Lego set (which I did, theoretically), took it home, and propped it up against my couch. It stared me in the eye every day for five months. Every time I walked into my apartment, there it was. Just looking at me. Little happy Lego Harry Potter characters smiling at me from the box. “Look how FUN we are,” they said, “If only you weren’t such an uncoordinated twit.”
So I had some free time over Christmas. In a fit of pique one day, I tore that massive Lego box open and dumped all the pieces onto the floor. There were ten (10) separate bags of parts. Three manuals. Within each bag, there were smaller bags with even smaller pieces. My inner five year old hovered on the verge of panic. Then my outer 35 year old slapped my inner five year old, ruffled his hair, told him to suck it up, and tore into Hogwarts Castle.
Within 45 minutes, I had worked my way through the first two bags. From two hundred or so disparate pieces, I had created a chunk of Hogwarts. And as I worked, it all become very meditative. I cranked up the Ingrid Michaelson, lit a citrus scented candle and doubled down on my efforts.
Over the next few hours, my world shrank. Just me, the instruction manual, and my legos. One small serrated piece atop the next, walls growing, chandeliers hanging above wee tables filled with plastic food. I was Lego-ing! Me! The guy who had been afraid of Legos!
As I gained confidence in my Lego skills, I started to see patterns. I didn’t need the manual as much anymore. It took me several days–and on each of them, I woke eager to hunker down with my little plastic pals–but I finished Hogwarts Castle. This huge (relatively speaking) edifice that had existed only as 1,200 some odd pieces. I had built it.
I was proud of myself. Perhaps disproportionately so. I went right out and got another set of Legos. Built that sucker in a day. BAM!
And I realized that, had I played with Legos as a kid–or had my parents slapped and encouraged and cajoled me the way I slapped my inner five year old–I maybe would have learned all sorts of fun lessons. Like big projects start with small pieces. And how sticking with seemingly overwhelming tasks can lead to an actual overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Legoa, I might have realized, are a modern concrete manifestation of the Taoist adage that ‘great acts are made up of small deeds!’
Maybe not that last one. I got carried away. Legos are exciting!
Hell, I might even have been able to draw some sort of a link between building Legos and building relationships. Something about starting small and building up to the big castle bits. Where a castle is a functional relationship and the individual legos are, like, conversations or something.
Then again, maybe not. Maybe I would have just played with Legos and enjoyed them. Because Legos are the f*cking BOMB!
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