When I moved recently, I made one vow. That vow was to never, ever again buy furniture from Ikea. So of course, what did I almost immediately do upon moving? Made a trip to Ikea. (Just to buy some odds and ends from the marketplace.)

Ikea is one heck of a trickster. The people who design Ikeas must have PhDs or work experience in amusement parks because they make the main entrance (into the showroom) too appealing to pass up. And they make the other door (directly into the marketplace) damn near impossible to find. Hence, on our Ikea trip (to the marketplace only), we ended up going through the showroom. 

$900 and several pieces of furniture later, we returned home. And that’s when the real regret began. 

If you’ve ever assembled furniture from Ikea, then you know my pain. It’s a universal pain, an international pain, and dare I say, a rite of passage into adulthood. It had been a while since I’d subjected myself to Ikea furniture, and so in my defense, I’d forgotten how bad it is. Or perhaps I’d thought that progress had been made in the humanity of Ikea on us, its hapless patrons. 

From the moment we started to unload the car, all the years of Ikea furniture transport and assembly flooded back to me in a wave. Nay, a tsunami. To make a long story short, at the prospect of lifting a 100+ pound box (an 8-drawer dresser all in one box!), I declared “Impossible, we need to take this box apart.” But no, I was encouraged (ahem, peer pressured ) by my boyfriend that “We can do it!” We made it as far as two steps up before I was in tears, declaring (again) that “I can not do this!”

He finally gave in and let us do it my way, which was hardly a better option at all. We opened the box and took the beast of a dresser into the house piece by piece. I think this task took about two hours, give or take. 

Then, the real fun ensued. Building it! 

Ikea furniture assembly is torture. They should make prisoners do it as part of a work release program. It seems only fair for them to brunt the burden of it, just as our taxes bore the burden of their clothing, food, and shelter. Plus, it really does build character, and the sense of pride that one feels at the end of an assembly is something everyone should experience, really. (P.S. Am I the only one with an alarming number of parts leftover after a piece is fully assembled? Just checking.)

Seriously though, I’m convinced that the pictogram assembly instructions are some sort of cruel psychological test by the Swedes. “Let’s make attractive furniture, price it unbelievably reasonably, and watch the mice take the bait!” These are words I’m convinced Mr. Ikea has said.

After that first trip, I’m almost embarrassed to tell you this, we made three more trips, and came home with even more furniture. And there’s at least one more trip in our future. (Just  to return a couple of things.) 


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