IKEA Jones and the Dresser of Doom
August 30, 2005
Three IKEA trips in three days = A very bad three days.
Now let me just state for the record that I love IKEA. So much. I love the Swedish designs and the low prices and the product names like BJÖRKENTOPES and the big flat boxes. I love how adorable everything looks in the catalog and I love the promise that if I just buy that set of baskets and that particle-board cubby-thing my organization problems will be solved forever. And I love the meatballs.
Yet I'm beginning to realize that IKEA is not very good to me. The store is far away, crazy and crowded. By the time you get to the lighting section you realize that every couple in the store is having a nervous breakdown and/or screaming match and suddening you are yelling at your significant other too because IKEA doesn't have the lamp you wanted but BY GOD WE ARE LEAVING THIS STORE WITH A LAMP SO JUST PICK OUT A LAMP THEY DO HAVE FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
And by the time you get to the self-service warehouse to find the four boxes that comprise the ZRÅDALEKTOP shelving unit and find that they are sold out of three, one of you is usually crying and/or drawing up divorce papers.
Basically, IKEA is an abusive boyfriend who twists your arm too hard and then buys your forgiveness with an ingenious media storage solution that he will then not help assemble because he wants to go drinking with his friends and after you assemble it yourself you realize that it doesn't actually fit your TV after all and it kind of wobbles but you use it anyway because you don't want to make him mad because he hits you sometimes.
But still. I love IKEA. IKEA can change! IKEA is so good to me when he's sober!
Although this past weekend, IKEA pretty much beat the living shit out of me.
We went to IKEA on Saturday to buy a dresser. And possibly some little matchy-match bedside tables. Now that our bedroom has the pretty new floors and Jason's closet and wire hanger collection has been moved upstairs, we decided it was time get ourselves some furniture.
We chose the HEMNES 8-drawer dresser. Because it matched the HEMNES 6-drawer dresser we already had, and because we completely forgot what a fucking fiasco that damn dresser was because we bought the brown one and half the stuff in the box was white, and when we showed up to return it there was another couple returning the OTHER half of our HEMNES because they wanted white and ended up with a bunch of brown pieces and the cheerful IKEA worker was all, "Well! Didn't this work out nicely!" and we all glared at her with looks of glarey death.
Anyway. We bought the 8-drawer version on Saturday, along with two bedside tables, two rugs, some lamps and these cute little stacking baskets that I don't KNOW what I need them for, I just know that I NEED THEM. STOP ASKING.
We almost bought the NORESUND bed, but Jason decided it was too big and heavy and I pouted because COME ON, the box is so thin and flat! How bad can it be? Even I could carry that box! I will so help you carry that box!
In the end, I carried the stacking baskets upstairs. Jason carried the rest and kept looking at me like, "I cannot believe you almost talked me into buying a bed. You don't care if I live or die, just as long as you and your goddamn nesting syndrome are happy."
I set to work assembling the bedside tables while Jason ripped open HEMNES Box One of Two. And found that pretty much everything in the box was completely broken. The top of the dresser was cracked in two, like somebody had smashed it with a big Swedish karate chop.
"It's okay!" I chirped. "We can take it back tomorrow! And then we can get the bed!"
We took the broken pieces back on Sunday, marching them past the staggering masses at the registers who eyed us warily, and we looked back at them and nodded wisely. "THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. THERE IS A REASON THAT TABLE ONLY COSTS $29."
We also went back to the NORESUND bed and I again tried to convince Jason that it wasn't that heavy.
(It really was that heavy. I am an optimist but mostly a liar.)
So we didn't buy the bed. We went to Home Depot instead and bought 400 pounds worth of bathroom-related things because our insanity knows no bounds.
(We also bought a sink, a medicine cabinet and a towel rack, because four weeks before my due date is TOTALLY THE PERFECT TIME FOR MORE HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS.)
We came home and started assembling the dresser. Again. And we realized that huh, we seem to have a lot of pieces left over.
And huh again, we seem to be missing some pieces. Like, all the drawers.
We were missing all the drawer bottoms and two drawer fronts. I was not so chirpy this time when we realized we had to go back to IKEA. Again.
We went last night, after work. The same cheerful IKEA worker whom we spoke with on Sunday helped us, although she was not so cheerful this time and admitted that she hated the HEMNES line with a passion because they are always, ALWAYS boxed wrong. Good to know! Bastards.
I took the drawer bottoms and drawer fronts back to the car and then ordered Jason back into the store, because we were buying that damn bed.
They were sold out of the bed. OF COURSE THEY WERE SOLD OUT OF THE BED. We'd only stared at the stack of 20-odd beds on Saturday and again on Sunday, why in the world would we expect them to have the bed on Monday?
So we bought a different bed instead. Because it was there and it was cheap and yes, it was the HEMNES bed. Because we have learned NOTHING.
Actually, while the bed was an experiment in hex key horror in terms of assembly, it was at least intact and contained all the necessary pieces. We're pretty happy with it.
(And no, that's not our bedspread. That's a tarp we threw over it this morning because the contractors were coming to redo our stairs today since they did them wrong. Except now they are not coming today, they are coming tomorrow, and I am wondering if IKEA sent them to destroy me and if they are possibly from the HEMNES line and whether HEMNES is Swedish for "HA HA HA GO TO HELL YOU CHEAP SUCKER.")
Something still ain't right about that fucking dresser though.
I put all the damn drawers together last night and actually had it down to quite a science by the time I got to the last one. And then: disaster. Something was wrong. All the little pre-drilled holes didn't line up right, or something.
Jason: Holy shit, we have to go back to IKEA.
Amy: WE ARE NOT GOING BACK TO IKEA.
Jason: Amy, there is something wrong with that drawer.
Amy: I CAN FIX IT. I CAN FIGURE IT OUT. WE ARE NOT GOING BACK TO IKEA.
So after attempting several MacGyver-like solutions involving extra dowels, I made Jason drill new holes in the drawer to make it work. And indeed, it worked. It was a fine-looking drawer. Until I tried to put it in the dresser.
It won't go it all the way. And I died. And then I came back to life to kill the dresser and to say many, many bad words at it.
After closely examining the delicate faux-woodgrain pattern of the oddball drawer, I've determined that the cheerful IKEA worker gave me a drawer front from a different dresser.
And that we have to go back to IKEA.