All of this can be summed up in a single sentence I shouted to my room-mate, “This is like some effed up game where you climb through wood and screws on your hands and knees… and if you don’t hurt yourself, you get a shelf.”
Once upon a time, I had furniture I didn’t have to build myself. It was in a land far, far away where I didn’t have rent, responsibility and I, obviously, had not yet discovered the joys of doing my own laundry.
That joyous time was high school, and that furniture belonged to my parents.
While I’ve been fortunate to hang onto a few key pieces from my the ‘rents in the past 6 years, not much survived college that wasn’t made of the same sort of polymer that’s also used to make tupperware. I stressed. I moved into a new apartment. I stressed some more, and then the Post-Collegiate Gods smiled upon me and bellowed, You shall discover Ikea, and yooo-oou shall build! and I said, …Oh maaaaa-aan.
I found many things: I discovered brushed chrome, bins, furniture that looks heavy that isn’t, furniture that looks light that is actually quite heavy, and isles that can go on for days. Ikea is awesome in many ways, but once you leave the spick-and-span store where everything is perfectly placed, and –more importantly- put together, things… change. Screws suddenly disappear. Nails bend. People throw their backs out.
My friend Jaco said that Ikea is like an erector set for big people. If he only knew.
Seriously– thanks to Ikea, I can feel better about any ex-boyfriend and the worst imaginable intimiate encounters. Why?? Because I’ve spent more time on my back, awkwardly bent into strange positions with a screwdriver, grunting, attempting to build a moderately priced furniture …and have felt more generally defeated than a person should ever feel at their own consent.
So what is the moral to this weird tale? You’ve made it this far, so I suppose it’s safe to tell you that this week has been a total eye-opener: after building three separate (quite large) pieces of furniture entirely on my own, I’ve found myself suddenly appreciating Mom and Dad staying up on Christmas Eve, building that damn desk and chair set I asked for.
I’m acknowledging this weird hazing as a step through the threshold that is my 20’s; I’m saluting my shorts to those who survived before me –and made it out alive, and that now have furniture that is not entirely made of masonite.
Here, here: to anyone who has played a game of real-life Tetris in the back-seat of their Mom’s CRV just so, after great laborious efforts involving leftover parts and instructions without words, they can hang their clothes up.