I used to think Ikea was a playland of joy and happiness. A place that was full of so many fun and happy ideas that the "d" became a "k". Turns out it's really a dank pit of a warehouse intent on slowly breaking down the fragile psyches of 20-somethings trying to make it on their own.
Here's what happens:
Step 1: A 20-something needs furniture. Perhaps they just moved into their own place. Perhaps their roommates have moved out leaving them without important furnishings and/or storage solutions. Perhaps they accidentally broke the furniture their parents gave them in an innocent beer bong incident. Whatever the case may be, this 20-something decides that they are now a grown up and should acquire new furniture on their own. Not so grown up they should go to Sears or The Brick for their furniture, because paying that much for stuff you sit or stack things on is really just completely insane. They are just grown up enough to buy items that are cheaper because you assemble them yourself and are all exposed, unfinished wood.
Step 2: Said 20-something goes to Ikea and successfully selects and purchases their furnishing items, as well as a few impulse-purchased ice cube trays (they are shaped like stars! How fun!) and tea lights (100 candles for $1? How can you not???) - this also makes them feel more grown up because a) they can afford impulse purchases here, and b) anyone who's gone grocery shopping with a parent who "just needs some milk" knows that being an adult is all about suddenly realizing you need something when you see it.
Step 3: Our happy 20-something brings all the purchases home, only slightly dismayed that they had to actually spend real money on them and begins happily assembling the pieces. At first it's easy. There are pictures that are more-or-less easy to understand explaining what to do, and every successful 20-something has a basic screwdriver set their parents bought them when they moved out. It's so easy!
Step 4: A feeling of success and pride overtakes the 20-something as the assembly continues.
Step 5: Everything goes to hell and nothing works and the 20-something's can-do attitude is shattered and they begin to question their worth as a human being because if they can't assemble a freaking bekvamustalgum, then what can they do??? I mean, they can't even find a job in the area of specialty they studied in school, but figured that eventually things would look up if they were creative and stuck to it, but if being creative and sticking to it won't even result in a successfully assembled bekvamustalgum, what will it result in? NOTHING that's what. PAIN. HORROR. HUMILIATION.
So I totally had defeated this Ikea monstrosity when one of the little screwy things I put in at the very beginning came unscrewed and the only way to fix it is seriously to undo everything else. It only took me 3 hours to get this far, so it's not so bad, right? I can do this without resorting to calling the boyfriend and being all little-girly about this, right? Right?
Great, all the self-esteem I built up after the end with the former boyfriend is completely gone. Thanks a lot, Ikea.
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