Saturday, November 04, 2006

IKEA Idea

Last week was kind of hectic here. Mr. Minivan's father passed away and we had a ton of company. Friends, relatives, and other assorted visitors. Nice to see everyone--not so nice why we were seeing everyone. Anyway, Mr. Minivan's brother--we'll just call him Doug--stayed with us for about a week. It was lovely to have him and in between composing a eulogy, demanding expensive out-of-season berries and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and trying to beat Boy #2 in ping-pong, he came up with a few decorating ideas for me. "You need a TV cabinet to put all this equipment in. I don't like the table the kids' computer is on. And you need a new computer chair." He also had a solution--"Let's go to IKEA and get some things and I'll put them together." Naively, believing he was the handier of the brothers, I went along with his idea. I guess I had forgotten about the magic of IKEA. A few years ago I bought a CD tower there and got to work. 200 parts, 4 hours, and a sore shoulder later, I had it put together. I seem to remember at the time thinking, "I'll never do that again." But, of course, I forgot that soon after. Anyway, we set off to IKEA, over the hill and through Burbank, and emerged with an "antique stained" wood TV cabinet, a small computer desk, and a very comfortable computer chair that somehow fit into an almost-flat box.

We got home and he began to work. I was online in the next room, surfing to the comforting sound of an electric screwdriver when the first sounds of trouble disturbed me. "Oh no!" he said. "What??!!" I asked as I ran into the other room. "False alarm," he answered. A few minutes later, "Oh, no!" and then,"Sh%$^t!!" That didn't sound so false to me. "What, what??!!" I asked again. Turns out that the instructions, sketches really, with not a word of English or even Swedish in sight, were a little confusing, and that the cabinet doors or maybe the shelves, were put on backwards, and were difficult to remove. And when I say "were put on backwards", I think you know by whom. The cabinet was functional, but not as attractive as it was supposed to be. All of a sudden I remembered why I had made that mental note a few years ago to only buy items I could carry alone--not furniture--that is, at IKEA. But I also remembered my new mantra "Don't sweat the small stuff" and I told him not to worry about it. But he worried and stewed. "Maybe I can take the doors off and drill holes on the other side," he said. "Don't worry about it. You've done enough," I said. More than, in fact. "Why don't we take it back and get another one and I'll put it together." I stared at him. I mean, I've heard that "measure twice, cut once" thing, but this seemed a little extreme to me. "Well," I said, "if you and Mr. Minivan want to load this thing into my van and take it back you can but I'm not going back there."

So that's exactly what they did. And our friends at IKEA gave them a really hard time about returning it but after a long conversation with several employees and the manager, agreed to keep the cabinet and put it together properly. Which, as I thought about it, was a win-win. For me, that is. I went back the other day and picked it up. I told the guy helping me that I needed the name and number of the guy who put it together because he was probably going to be my next husband. He laughed as if it were a joke....can you believe that?

The cabinet looks great in our family room. IKEA's not so bad after all. I was just browsing through the catalog and there is this cute little coffee table....

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! glad I wasnt' there ; )
I don't know why you don't write a book Marta, you are a very funny writer, I'm sooo serious! i needed that laugh, thanks, Anzu

Anonymous said...

Oh, my gosh! You crack me up! I've been to Ikea also!

Anonymous said...

I went to Ikea to buy a bed once, with my boyfriend. We were in Denver, where we used to live. Anyway, he wanted the model that you like have to squeeze in and I wanted the more spacious one that sits on the floor. So we compromised and bought two of those foam chairs and put them in our house in Littleton. It looked really cute.

Anonymous said...

When you said, 'electric screwdriver' I thought you meant a drink. That's what a dingbat I am?

The Big Squay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Big Squay said...

The IKEA intelligence test aka "furntiture assembly" is very well known and used by countless corporate and intelligence agencies to find and recruit skilled engineers. Clearly this person Doug - obviously not his real name - does not have the necessary skills. Perhaps there's a future for him as a consultant.