Thursday, October 8, 2009

Some assembly required

I came home from vacation, stepped through my front door, and was struck by two, well...striking realizations. It's time to get a boyfriend. And move the couch. Not necessarily in that order. Although, in hindsight, perhaps I should have paid a bit more attention to the order. Then, the boyfriend could have moved the couch.

I rearranged the furniture and then went to Ikea to buy a rocking chair and a lamp. That's the danger in moving a couch—you may discover a huge empty spot in your living room that now cries out for a rocking chair and a lamp. While I was out, I considered picking up a boyfriend as well, but then thought better of it. Everything from Ikea has to be assembled, and the assembly is always a disaster. It all comes with these instructions drawn out in cartoons of a doughy bald man building furniture. You look at them and think, piece of cake. You don't even have to be literate to do this. In fact, literacy would unnecessarily complicate such a straightforward task. Surely that's why Ikea has chosen, in its infinite Swedish wisdom, to leave these directions unencumbered by the written word.

Twenty minutes later, you find yourself staring in disbelief at that doughy bald cartoon man, telling yourself, "This simply cannot be this hard. I mean look at that neckless moron in the picture. He got the chair put together, and he doesn't even have thumbs." And then you swear at that smug thumbless son of a bitch.

This rocker was actually a bit more difficult than my previous Swedish masterpieces because one of the sides didn't have the appropriate screw holes. This necessitated a return trip to Ikea for a replacement part. It was there, in line at the return and exchange department that I met the angriest people on the planet. These are people who have spent hours, sometimes days, yelling things like, "Who the fuck are you smiling at, asshole?" at the neckless cartoon man standing next to the kitchen cabinetry he just assembled in four steps. Without thumbs. With their own hands cramped into claws from the hours spent trying to rebuild Rome with an Allen wrench, they stood cultivating their growing rage at the Swedish furniture purveyor.

Next to the line there was a large sign--a drawing of several clocks with hours colored in green, yellow, and red explaining the best times to visit each day to avoid crowds. Basically, it's a sign next to the line explaining that if you had planned your trip better, you wouldn't be stuck in this damn line reading that sign. For example, if you took time off work to, say, visit Ikea at 10 am on a Tuesday, there would hardly be a line at all. The man behind me studied the sign, looked at the line, and then said, under his breath, "Fuck this place."

I finally got the piece I needed and, since I was there anyway, decided I'd pick up a few tea lights. I left with a few hundred. The other night, when I lit them all on my mantel, it looked like I was shooting a fucking music video in my living room—like at any moment, Celine might waltz through the front door to belt out Power of Love.

I will say, though, that the living room has been completely transformed by moving the couch, buying a rocker, and starting a few hundred tiny fires. In fact, I feel so much better having rearranged the furniture, I'm not even sure I'm going to need that boyfriend. It's just as well, because, like I said, I left Ikea without one. I didn't even look to see if they stock those. Although, I assume they do. You can buy everything from throw pillows to meatballs there. It only follows that you can probably pick up a flat packed, easy to assemble Swedish dude for like, two hundred bucks. Tops.

Like I said, I considered it, but then remembered that I'd have to actually put him together. With an Allen wrench. Frankly, two hours spent fighting with new boyfriend parts while swearing at a neckless cartoon moron only to end up with some poor Swedish guy with one leg just a little shorter than the other and the gnawing feeling that he might have been a bit better in bed if I had just splurged and gotten him from Pottery Barn... Well, that just didn't seem like the best way to start a relationship.

9 comments:

dive said...

Ew! Ikea! Sweden's revenge on the world for dumping all that snow on them.
Don't go looking there for a boyfriend, T; he'd not only need self-assembly but he'd also have a bloody silly name.

Georgia said...

If you ordered him from Pottery Barn, would he come already assembled?

amusings_bnl said...

jebus, tee. can i just say your past several entries have cracked my shit right up? you are on fire lately...

and inspirational.
i gotta get back to writing more ...

.j.william. said...

yeah, you know those ikea boyfriends: they look sorta nice at first, though a bit plain, and seem like they're going to work out well, but their veneer is quite thin and they don't last very long.

Eric said...

This is hilarious, T, another great post and laugh-out-loud funny.
I'm also pretty sure that the only guy that Ikea sells is the doughy neckless & thumbless model and you could pick one of those up in Jersey for nothing.

Susanlee said...

Oh my god. I laughed so hard I had to take my inhaler. This is awesome. I love Ikea, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't purchase a boyfriend there. I can't say the names Sven and Sigvard without giggling like an idiot. That always leads to trouble in the bedroom...

MmeBenaut said...

Ikea. I've heard so many stories like yours Terroni but not one of them was told with so much flair and humour. I hope you rocked all night in that chair with your tea lights blazing ... you might just have to go buy a Celine CD and then, in the CD store you might have a better chance of spotting an already assembled rather handsome potential boyfriend. No boyfriend in his right mind would be seen dead at Ikea :))))) The dude that you want would buy the timber from a hardware store and build the rocker from scratch in between moving all of your furniture wherever you might desire to have it placed.
Bravo little one on decorating your space. I'm still waiting on those photos ... perhaps when I'm in NYC?

Shan said...

I am enjoying the time you have spent with your blog lately (so clever you are!). And, if you do find a good deal on a quality boyfriend soon, I would hope that he understands that you will still need to spend time on your quality blogging as well. Oh, AND that Dr. stuff you do. You might need to fit that in here and there as well. ;D

Maria said...

A few years ago, I decided that Bing and I needed to spice up our love life. I bought some fancy pants candles and lined them up all around the bathtub and the windowsill before it occurred to me that we would not be able to get into the tub without burning our thighs and possibly our pubic hair. So, I blew out enough for us to get in the tub. This was nice, except for the fact that one wrong move and our hair would have caught on fire. After a pretty cranky bath with very little foreplay, we blew out enough candles to crawl out and as I was getting out, I choked on the candle smoke and had a coughing fit and knocked several candles into the bathtub.

It was so romantic.