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.
i'm sorry sorry about all your trips.
we don't have an IKEA around here, and by the sound of your post, thank the good lord!!!
(but the Hemnes line does look very, very pretty!!)
Posted by: Erin | August 30, 2005 at 01:02 PM
I almost had a complete and total nervous breakdown in IKEA a few weeks ago, right in between the UUGLI couches and the SCHAZENFREUDEN bar stools. But at least the desk I bought had all its parts.
Also, I think I was the only non-pregnant woman in all of IKEA.
Posted by: Martha | August 30, 2005 at 01:08 PM
Oh man, that was funny - the way you told the story, not your agony and defeat at the hands of a Swedish juggernaut.
You will overcome! And then you will have you little Squishy to love and hug and obsess over!
Posted by: cate | August 30, 2005 at 01:11 PM
Aww. Ikea Woes. I would live at the College Park Ikea if I could, in the cute little 325 sq foot fantasy apartment. Damn abusive Ikea. I hope he treats you better this week.
Posted by: jamielynnlynn | August 30, 2005 at 01:11 PM
Being an ex-DC resident, I remember those painful trips down the 95 to the Potomac Mills IKEA (I am assuming this is the one you are going to). It took everything we had just to make the trek once, let alone 3 or 4 times consecutively! I feel your pain.
Posted by: Noelle | August 30, 2005 at 01:13 PM
You have just taken my life and written in down. I have been to IKEA approximately 10 times for ONE kitchen.
We are living in parallel universes... except I'm not pregnant or married or have pretty blonde hair.
Hopefully our kitchen will be done by the end of the week but I've been saying that for over a month now.
Posted by: suzanne | August 30, 2005 at 01:14 PM
Every time I drive by that IKEA I am overwhelmed. Gahhh! But I have an idea: Swedish store, Swedish furniture, Swedish boyfriend. Guess who gets to make all my IKEA runs and then put it all together? While assembling furniture is my forte, I can't do anything with drawers. So I am practicing saying, "It's Swedish, you're Swedish. You do it."
* DC-area Swedish boyfriend can be library-loaned for furniture-assembly purposes. Let me scan his barcode, you can borrow him for two weeks and then it's 10 cents a day. Thank you.
Posted by: Ms Meh | August 30, 2005 at 01:17 PM
Ah, didn't know there was a College Park IKEA...we left DC 5 years ago. That is SO much better than shlepping to Potomac Mills!
Posted by: Noelle | August 30, 2005 at 01:17 PM
You are a good woman. The only thing I have ever assembled is a Wal-Mart fan, and that took me a good hour to do. I would never attempt something so complicated as a dresser. That's what my boyfriend is for. Or my dad. He's good at that stuff, too.
Posted by: Frema | August 30, 2005 at 01:20 PM
Amy- Just recently discovered your blog, and have to say, this is possibly one of the funniest entries I've read.
As I'm also pregnant, I'm due to visit the (new!) IKEA here in Atlanta. Can't wait for my breakdown. Note to self: buy non-waterproofed mascara to prepare for screaming match.
Posted by: Pam | August 30, 2005 at 01:24 PM
I'm slightly less excited than I was that a new Ikea is openning a few towns away from me. It's the first one in my state, so I've been looking forward to it. Now I know not to take my husband with me because we will definitely kill each other from the sound of it. But, since he's Swedish I'll steal Ms Meh's idea and have him assemble everything. Good luck with the next Ikea trip! (Also, am jealous of matching bedroom set!)
Posted by: Jessie | August 30, 2005 at 01:34 PM
The way to avoid the frustration of trying to assemble IKEA product is to never take them out of their lovely flat boxes. I have IKEA shelves that are still in their boxes, years after I purchased them. That's what happens when the installation hardware isn't included! Every time I get an IKEA catalog I'm tempted to go back, but I realize that I might as well just walk in, throw some money on the floor, and then leave. Same end result. I feel your pain.
Posted by: eve | August 30, 2005 at 01:36 PM
Wonky drawer aside, that's a nice looking dresser. :-P
Posted by: Polichick | August 30, 2005 at 01:40 PM
I was always oh so sad that I wasn't fortunate enough to live in a town with an IKEA but now perhaps I am re-evaluating that sadness...
There should be a seperate box on divorce papers for IKEA-related divorces. The boxes should be irreconcilable differences and IKEA. And whatever the others are because I've never actually seen divorce papers...knock on non-IKEA wood...
Posted by: PaintingChef | August 30, 2005 at 01:42 PM
I dated IKEA and he was the worst boyfriend ever! Took a lot for me to break the co-dependent behavior (thanks Jerry Springer!) but now am free and lo, you have brought the nightmare all back to me! Gah.
Posted by: bluepoppy | August 30, 2005 at 01:49 PM
Haaaaaarrrrmmmph! Memories of my folks taking me to IKEA three years ago to celebrate purchasing of new apartment. Memories of the line. And the boxes. The exhaustion. Ohhhh the exhaustion.
Real Boy needs a dresser, and he wants it from IKEA. Thank you, Amalah, for letting me know that I must tell him: Real Boy! If you buy the Hemnes! You are damning yourself to the Fifth Ring of Hell!...And we ain't talkin' Sweden.
Posted by: Real Girl | August 30, 2005 at 01:53 PM
ikea is a very, very scary place. i have to psych myself up at least three days in advance for that journey.
the only reason i do it is to experience the sheer culinary joy of the soft-serve ice cream cones. they put the meatballs to shame...
Posted by: whoorl | August 30, 2005 at 01:53 PM
I've got your shelf.
And I know where I can stick it.
Posted by: HEMNES | August 30, 2005 at 01:57 PM
Your relationship with IKEA sounds a lot like my relationship with Home Depot. It isn't a Saturday unless we make 3 trips to The Depot. At least the food at IKEA is better then the hotdogs at The Depot. Blah.
I see the vision with the new furniture. It's gonna look great.
Posted by: Isabel | August 30, 2005 at 02:01 PM
You have perfectly captured the joy and the horror that is dealing with IKEA. When will we learn our lesson? When?
Posted by: Fraulein N | August 30, 2005 at 02:10 PM
unfortunately, there is no ikea near me. unless i want to drive 3 hours to the nearest one by chicago. although, if i will eventually have to go back 3, 4, 20 times, i don't think i want to chance it. i think with all that wasted gas money it would be better to chop down a tree and make a damn table myself. i enjoy looking through their website, though. except everything that looks interesting is only available in-store. which, after reading this, is fine, because i would just have to return it anyway.
Posted by: crystal | August 30, 2005 at 02:21 PM
Amalah, you've outdone yourself with this one! Hilarious!
And you've summarized my love-hate relationship with Ikea perfectly. My husband and I have had many a fight in the aisles of Ikea, but we are now united in hatred over Ikea's unability to stock the Omar wine rack at the Twin Cities store. I bet I've checked for it at least 15 times, and its NEVER, EVER been there. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. And yet I keep checking...
Posted by: Jen | August 30, 2005 at 02:23 PM
Ooooh sweet sweet Ikea...My first apartment was the Ikea smorgasbord, and OH! I miss it. Big semi-comfy chair! I miss you! Alas, the boyfriend is one of those construction-type tuffs who won't even speak the word "particle board" much less purchase furniture made of it. So we spend a lot of time at Home Depot. Cold, hateful, scary Home Depot. Sometimes I still dream of the simple days of hex keys and extra Swedish parts that don't go anywhere...Sniff.
Posted by: missbanshee | August 30, 2005 at 02:25 PM
Oooh, this was me three months ago when we first moved to San Francisco. Four trips in three days = very, very unhappy. Although I do love the grill pan that I bought on the fourth trip because it is called SKANKA. How awesome is that?
Posted by: Heather | August 30, 2005 at 02:27 PM
I had a violent shudder when I read your blog. The IKEA closest to me is in an insane suburb (Schaumburg) of Chicago, and I think people arrive to the store tense and wound up because of the drive just to get there. But anyway - IKEA can be evil, and to me, it just seems like a big production to get out there just to pick up a lamp or two (at least, that's how my family shops).
Oh, and my husband isn't Swedish, he's 1/8 Norwegian, but he's really good at assembling stuff, and I'll loan him out for a good price.
Posted by: Megan | August 30, 2005 at 02:28 PM
i'm sorry that you and ikea are fighting. i'll call and get some people fired.
Posted by: lissa | August 30, 2005 at 02:34 PM
And yet another marriage survives the Putting Together Furniture TOGETHER task. I SWEAR they should include that task in premarital counseling. That one and the Scraping/Installing Wallpaper (either would suffice).
Posted by: Cagey | August 30, 2005 at 02:37 PM
One of the worst things about IKEA is that you can never get out -- it's this maze that I continually get lost in, and wind up putting all these cute little housewares in the bag, and then when I get to the warehouse space FINALLY I find that they have the top to the table I want, but not the right legs ... and then I totally give up on IKEA because they are all talk and nothing ever pans out.
but what a lovely catalogue.
Posted by: Lori | August 30, 2005 at 02:41 PM
I just got an IKEA catalog from my MIL and was debating taking the two hour drive to Potomac Mills to get a bedroom set for my guest room and a changing table for the nursery. After reading this entry, I am left with just two words: fuck that. I'm not letting that bastard sweet talk me with his low prices, pretty pictures and promises of yummy food. Thanks for the warning.
Oh and your dresser looks really nice. Kudos to you for putting all that together cause I never could have done it.
Posted by: jomama | August 30, 2005 at 02:44 PM
"Motherfucking drawer that I hate so much die die" - oh my god Amy, my eyes are tearing I am laughing so hard!
Posted by: Diana | August 30, 2005 at 02:48 PM
Hehe, so why is it that after all of the nightmarish stories I've heard told about Ikea it is still on my list of stores I *must* visit before I die??
And everytime I put together a new piece of furniture (or watch my boyfriend put it together for me and sometimes help by holding the screws) when I get to the last step and realize that it's standing at a 45 degree angle to the floor or that it's split down the middle on the last piece, or that we're missing a vital thingamajig, I always say "next time, NEXT TIME, I shall check all of my parts and make sure they are all in working order before I start putting this together... I have yet to complete a preliminary inspection on parts on any piece of furniture constructed by these hands (or boyfriend's, but you know, whatever)
Posted by: Angela | August 30, 2005 at 02:48 PM
Ahh yes, the Ikea trips. . .they remind me of the annual Christmas tree fight. A real marriage tester:
"Hold it straight!"
"I AM holding it straight, just tighten the damn screws!"
"I would if you would hold it straight."
"I'm going to shove this tree straight up your ass."
Posted by: Kate | August 30, 2005 at 02:51 PM
along with all the meatballs and sweedish cookies at the end, they need to have some sweedish massage people because that place MAKES ME FUCKING NUTS!! i, too, cannot supress the periodic urge to buy cheap furniture and break my back carrying it around and assembling it.
as a matter of fact, i find i must go this very weekend...
Posted by: andi | August 30, 2005 at 02:58 PM
Thank you. Laugh out loud funny.
Posted by: Julie | August 30, 2005 at 03:04 PM
I can't get Husband to go to IKEA with me and there is NO WAY I'm going in alone. (This hilarious post helps neither of those issues!) I try to lure him with the promise of the yummy meatballs, but...no. Perhaps the promise of "cheap!" will work. But? The evil hex key? Not helping.
Posted by: Pammer | August 30, 2005 at 03:12 PM
It could be worse! You could be in the hospital with the baby already born and NONE of the stuff you wanted to be done is completed and your husband father have to spend two days finishing your bedroom and the baby's room before you come home just so you don't have a complete meltdown. Hurry up girl! You don't have much time left!
Posted by: bd | August 30, 2005 at 03:19 PM
We don't have an IKEA in upstate New York, but for a true test of your compatibility, try wallpapering a bathroom together.
Posted by: Lori | August 30, 2005 at 03:30 PM
You know, if you call up IKEA and rant and scream and threaten them enough, they will sometimes deliver what you need to your house free.
My friend did that because stuff she purchased at the Potomac Mills IKEA was broken and missing.
I bet they wouldn't want to unduly upset a pregnant woman!
Posted by: Kate | August 30, 2005 at 03:34 PM
I can honestly say I have no idea what the hell you people are talking about. I think Ikea is that store that The Amazing Race visited once, but other than that? I know nothing. And I believe that is a good thing. I don't need anything else to make me KRAZEE.
Posted by: Zoot | August 30, 2005 at 03:47 PM
I've never made it to an IKEA, but I have a feeling similar things happen in other stores.
We bought $500 worth of chairs at World Market (4 chairs for the kitchen- ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE on showroom floor) over a month ago.
Two are put together in the kitchen. Two are still in their box in the storage room.
And I like your dresser. It has character.
Posted by: Bonanza Jellybean | August 30, 2005 at 03:48 PM
Think of it this way: IKEA, the abusive lover (you have a husband, so if there's another man, he must be your lover, yes?) is preparing you for the pre-Christmas assembly hell to come. You know, where you buy wee adorable toy sets, batteries not included, assembly required? IKEAS has prepared you for this. You will thank IKEA when Squishy is 5 or so.
Posted by: KT | August 30, 2005 at 03:56 PM
We recently got an IKEA just down the way a bit. Thankfully, there are maps everywhere and little shortcuts to keep you from having to wander the entire maze - I didn't think they did that. We've yet to give into the furniture temptation and have thankfully avoided having to return anything (all we bought were curtains and some decor stuff) but your post does make me think maybe we won't be buying furniture there any time soon. Not unless we have plenty of time for repeat visits during non-peak hours, a full bottle of Exedrin, and a high desperation factor.
Posted by: Fuzzy | August 30, 2005 at 04:04 PM
Oh man, I have been totally salivating over IKEA's STEFAN chairs (twenty bucks! that's all! twenty bucks!); but alas, we do not have an IKEA anywhere close to here.
And after reading this, I'm guessing I'm gonna have to take my cheap-ass self elsewhere.
Damn you IKEA!
Posted by: capello | August 30, 2005 at 04:10 PM
I talked about my IKEA experience this afternoon on my blog today, too!
Amalah, I completely sympathize (except for the happily married and preggers part). Totally <3 you!
Posted by: The Muse | August 30, 2005 at 04:20 PM
I, at one point wanted an IKEA near by, after reading your post I am glad that there is not one for miles and miles! I have the same sort of love hate relationship with Target though, and I still go back! Gluten for punishment I guess!
Posted by: Jenna | August 30, 2005 at 04:21 PM
You should try my method of putting things together! It goes like this: "Dad, I think I'm doing this wrong! Can you come over and 'help' me?" Then, when my father shows up at my house, I run to "fix him a snack," and don't go back into the room until the cursing stops.
I have an Ikea just a mile or so from my house; I've been known to go there JUST for the meatballs.
Posted by: Diana | August 30, 2005 at 04:51 PM
When I moved into my first apartment and furnished it entirely with IKEA furniture, I had it all delivered. I had the opposite experience though - I got too many duplicates of pieces. Some may have been the result of me not putting them together right, but I am sure that desk was not suppose to come with two giant flat table-y parts.
I thought I'd hang onto it and do something ingenious with it, but really it just sat in the back of my closet until I moved out and threw it out - along with the desk. Note: IKEA furniture does NOT come apart as nicely as it goes together.
Posted by: stephanie | August 30, 2005 at 04:56 PM
That was too funny!
Sorry you had to go through hell to give me a laugh.
I have not delt with Ikea, but I have many horror stories about dealing with his cheap cousin, Target.
Posted by: Angela | August 30, 2005 at 05:01 PM
So that we always have room to take everything home with us, every time my husband and I have gone to Ikea, we have taken his pickup truck. And everytime we have driven home from Ikea, with the pickup truck loaded to the point where people will not drive behind us because we will surely send a BORBENSLITZLE floor lamp through their windshield, it has rained. And we have screamed and cursed and shaken our fists up at the cloudy heavens and wondered why the gods hate us shopping at such a wonderously horrible place that has every solution to every storage problem on earth.
And no matter where you live, Ikea is never close by. I have no idea why.
Posted by: RockStar Mommy | August 30, 2005 at 05:24 PM
goodness woman! How much can you take?? Buy pre-built furniture!! :-)
Posted by: VHMPrincess | August 30, 2005 at 05:37 PM
Oh my god! The hideousness of the scraping of the wallpaper.
::runs and hides::
The husband decided that, after seeing fightclub, he would never ever own anything from Ikea. Not to mention his previous resistance to owning anything made of particle board. I'll just sit here in my 100% natural wood kitchen chair at my 100% natural wood table (bo-ring) and lament the missed screaming matches, and perhaps the meatballs, because, damn! All this food talk's got me hungry.
Posted by: Kathleen | August 30, 2005 at 05:38 PM
Am I a complete work-obsessed DORK that I saw that vanity cabinet and thought to myself, "OMGZ, that is from my work!!!!"? Yes. But it's okay. Everyone knows Home Depot rules.
Posted by: sar | August 30, 2005 at 05:55 PM
Oh, and Miss Zoot, turns out that Amazing Race episode was one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen. Those people brought fighting in IKEA to a whole new level. Every time a team thought it would be faster to count the eleventy billions pieces of crap in the box vs. put together that desk, my siblings and I about had heart attacks. But apparently putting together IKEA stuff isn't that easy...?
Posted by: sar | August 30, 2005 at 05:58 PM
... what's an IKEA?
I live in Florida. To us, IKEA is merely some place you northern people absolutely love to shop at.
PS - the FAMNIG HJÄRTA pillow is guaranteed to give any child or significant other nightmares. +10 points.
Posted by: xtine | August 30, 2005 at 06:05 PM
My husband is Swedish. The only home improvement he's capable of, really, is assembling the IKEA furniture. Because the Swedes, holy christ, they don't go to church, they go to IKEA. No I mean it. They pray to the alter of IKEA. We live outside Boston. The closest IKEA is in New Haven. That's, like, FIVE HOURS AWAY. We've gone, oh, 6 times. All while I was pregnant.
I've put my foot down, though, after I discovered the rug we bought for the living room sheds like a giant neurotic snivling cat. And godDAMN I'm sick of particle board. But they make fun stuff for the kids.
Posted by: Nicole | August 30, 2005 at 07:58 PM
How sad is it that I'm going to see if there's an Ikea near me, because I CAN FIX HIM, HE HAS POTENTIAL and I need a bed.
Posted by: Sheryl | August 30, 2005 at 07:59 PM
Oh. I know it's a nightmare, but LOVE Ikea. I actually have the Noresund bed. And while it is heavy, it's super easy to put together.
I will definitely not be buying Hemnes stuff now that I know!
Posted by: Bethiclaus | August 30, 2005 at 08:03 PM
Ah, yes, it seems all over the world IKEAs are in some godforsaken far-off place that is otherwise unknown. Apparently it means the products are cheaper, but it would be nice if they came with the right parts once in a while. Despite everything, people still fight to the death for ownership of Scandinavian interior delights. Seriously, British people have an IKEA obsession. And following a Google Search to find that article, apparently the Saudis are even worse.
Posted by: Zoe | August 30, 2005 at 08:08 PM
I've always wanted the Hemnes bed. I think it's pretty.
Posted by: Heather | August 30, 2005 at 08:20 PM
Hey now...the last month of pregnancy is the perfect time for major home improvement projects. It worked for us - my due date was May 4th and we decided to lay ceramic tile - 800 square feet worth. When did we start? April 10th. Yeah. We finished Sunday, had carpet installed on Monday, my ankles swelled on Tuesday and my water broke on Friday. We didn't even have the crib put together yet. Good times. Then we had the mother of all battles about the [email protected] circumcision.
Posted by: Tammy B. | August 30, 2005 at 08:48 PM
With 4 weeks left my wife (and I) decided we needed hardwood floors (4 rooms) ceramic tile in kitchen with matching backsplash (on diagonal)new paint throughout house and carpet in the basement. Also new light fixtures in dining room and 2 story foyer. Wife was in labour while electrician completed hanging the chandalier in foyer. She was screaming, and I'm pretty sure the electrician started to cry. She would not leave for the hospital until it worked. i think just before the next child she may actually build an entire house. Good Luck. J
Posted by: Jsy Gatsby | August 30, 2005 at 08:52 PM
I have never been to Ikea because there isn't one near my house...yet. But you've given them such praise and high marks that I'll be the first in line when they open!
Posted by: Nicole | August 30, 2005 at 09:36 PM
OH! I totally forgot to add...all IKEA furniture "assembly" should be done tag-team stylie. Two people trying to assemble together? Instant relationship death. Just wait till you're ready to jam the hex key into your eye and tag off to said partner. Much safer this way, and you have time to get booze in the meantime.
Posted by: missbanshee | August 30, 2005 at 09:46 PM
A few weeks ago I went to IKEA to get Hemnes the Nightstand and Leksvic the Buffet. The Husband wanted to wait until Sunday to go, and I informed him that we HAD to go on Saturday, because I didn't want to have to go back after work on a weeknight or wait until the next weekend. We had to go on Saturday so that the return trip could be on Sunday. Obviously. And actually, this time we didn't have to go back, but it's kind of sad that I have to have that kind of reasoning.
Posted by: Elizabeth | August 30, 2005 at 10:04 PM
NOw I'm thinking its not so bad to NOT have one of those things around. Target actually has some decent stuff. I like the lights in your room though.
Posted by: Lisa B | August 30, 2005 at 10:46 PM
ah, HEMNES. Did you know he's a bunkbed, too? Assembled one for the littles just this saturday. The only thing more more likely to turn me into a raving beehatch than actually being IN IKEA is ass-embling IKEA furniture. freakinA. Plus, we had to go from SF to the Oakland IKEA for the bunkbed and then the fabdad had to go to the EastPaloAlto IKEA to get the matress that the oakland one was out of. Why can't they ever have all the stuff?
Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.
I think they are in cahoots with the beer, wine and hard liquor companies.
Posted by: deb | August 30, 2005 at 10:48 PM
I agree 100% with your characterization of Ikea as an abusive boyfriend.
I have finally learned NEVER to go there with my husband. Back when we were dating we went there and had the biggest fight of our entire relationship. I stormed out of the store and was all prepared to leave him stranded. Unfortunately he drove and still had the car keys. I had to stand, full of righteous indignation, and wait for him to get his sorry ass back to the car.
Ikea + relationship = very bad thing.
Posted by: beth | August 30, 2005 at 10:52 PM
Note to self: Unbox all things purchased at IKEA in parking lot and inventory *before* leaving the premises.
Also, leave beloved at home.
Posted by: megan | August 30, 2005 at 11:00 PM
Hey Amy. De-lurking to say that I hear you. Even here in Sweden IKEA can nearly destroy relationships.
I've been thinking about getting the Hemnes bed in white. Hope you're sleeping well in it despite the frustrations.
Posted by: amylou | August 31, 2005 at 04:14 AM
I used to date a guy in Southern CA...we loved IKEA (note, "used to date").
I married a guy who will ONLY buy furniture that is delivered fully assembled and gingerly placed in its exact proper location by the deliverers.
That's probably a large reason why we're still married. Can't afford a lot of furniture, but still married.
Posted by: Jana | August 31, 2005 at 06:34 AM
Oh! My! God!
You have so aptly captured the heaven and hell that is IKEA. Although I've sworn off buying the furniture I cannot resist the siren call of the Marketplace.
Posted by: Lisa Ann | August 31, 2005 at 09:29 AM
I worked at IKEA doing their Quality Assurance and though it was exciting to interface with IKEA of Sweden (IOS) and IKEA North America at times, mostly the job was hell because of precisely what you described with your most recent experience. I could STILL do a walk thru any given IKEA with you and tell you what products suck and why and what to get instead. I swear... the IKEA knowledge and experience that I have is priceless and the one reason why my friends will never stop being friends with me - oh, in addition to my kick ass furniture building skills from working there. BTW - the little hex screwdriver thing is called an "Allen Key." And also, for further refereference, if you need to take things back to IKEA that have been packaged incorrectly, tell the IKEA people to check the "datestamp" and to be sure to give you something that is NOT within an affected datestamp.
Posted by: andrea | August 31, 2005 at 09:52 AM
alright seriously. there are corpses littering the streets after all that right? because someone needed to die. after all that. someone had to experience pain. i'm thinking the guy who packs the dressers, to start. him for sure.
Posted by: honestyrain | August 31, 2005 at 12:17 PM
Nothing from IKEA (I live in the Midwest, where Swedes don't think we need cheap, sleek furniture), but my husband and I have put together a VERY large computer desk, an armoire and numerous sets of shelving.
We have never fought while doing it.
Am I some kind of freak or what!?!
Also? I am in serious nesting mode and I am definitely not pregnant. I AM freak!
Posted by: Amytoo | August 31, 2005 at 01:34 PM
You bitches. How dare you mouth off like that? With all I do for you?
I give you meatballs and lingonberry drinks and as much cardboard as you want. I have a ball room that all the real parents are lined up out the door for their kiddies to use, even though they have a faint suspicion that there's no way to clean all those balls every night, so they must be full of snot and pee. I have showrooms that look way better than any house you've ever lived in, even though the shelves hold hundreds of copies of one Swedish Reader's Digest Condensed Book.
All I want is for you to be happy with my low-price, good-looking modular furniture. The other couples are all gagging for it. Why can't you appreciate me? Instead, you make me so damn mad I end up giving you what you deserve - a box almost full of parts, no hex key, and instructions for a different furniture line. It's all you're worth. I don't know why I bother.
I swear, next time I'm going to give what I got to that couple with the parakeet. They'll appreciate what I got, and their pet won't scratch my shit up the way yours do.
Posted by: IKEA | August 31, 2005 at 02:26 PM
You are too hilarious! I just bought some bar stools and a 6'x6' cubbyhole nightmare of a bookcase from IKEA. Last week. Which I still haven't put together even though my books are crying in cramped agony in small cardboard boxes. WAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Diana | August 31, 2005 at 07:59 PM
I am crying and laughing, because I so KNOW what you are talking about! We had the same problem with our hemnes dresser except ours didn't have any of the right screws, etc. They had to mail them to us because we were so not taking it all apart and taking it back again. When we moved, our Hemnes dresser SPLIT in half, in HALF and we nailed that sucker back together. With IKEA, it's a love/hate relationship. I can't believe you have to deal with this during your last month. Good luck!
Posted by: Jessica | September 07, 2005 at 12:13 PM