To DIY or not to DIY

Cute story with a lesson and a laugh:

[My old piano] was tuned and playable, though the amiable repair guy warned me that numerous parts were so old and brittle that if he tinkered with them too much, he’d end up breaking more than he fixed….

I might have thought I’d save money taking a screwdriver to my antique Steinway, painstakingly made by expert craftsmen. But that’s looking like a rather unlikely, and rather disrespectful, point of view right now.

Instead, my experience leads me to theorize that complicated DIY projects follow an economic law that one might call diminishing returns to complexity: The more complicated the DIY project, the less one saves in money and time with every additional step. The amusement of others, meanwhile, probably follows the inverse rule: The more complicated this gets, the harder you all will be laughing — at me, not with me. My husband sure is.

…I told my piano troubles to a neighbor, who made me feel much better about the whole thing…

She: "How are you doing?"
Me: "I killed my piano. I have this 124 year-old Steinway that my husband got me when we were first married..."
She: "You've been married for 124 years?"

Posted by James on Wednesday, July 28, 2010