Sunday, June 3, 2007


When it was first announced Ikea was building a store in Utah I was so excited I swear my heart did a little dance. I had only been to the magical store once before in Virginia -- but all I could remember was the glory. 79 cent plates! Couches named Flouborg! Cheap mass produced art work that looked sophisticated, but was most likely done by chimps! I couldn't believe I was going to have to wait a whole 13 months to send my money to Sweden. I thought about starting a savings I-ccount to fund all of the functional and sleek items that would call my name.

The Promised Land

The store finally opened on May 23rd. People actually slept out for days to be the first ones in. Now, I was excited, but those people were I-diots. There is only one thing I will ever sleep outside to get tickets for -- when Alan Wilder finally comes to his senses and reunites with Depeche Mode so they can take over the world. That is also when I will be leaving my husband. Don't worry, he knows, it was in our vows. But I digress. My mother, sister and I put off the pull of the big blue box until TWO WHOLE DAYS after it opened. I thought I was going to explode. We pulled in and were guided to a parking spot right in front of the entrance. I swear little birds sang and pulled at our clothes to get us through the doors. It was everything I had hop
ed for. I didn't mind the crowds, we were all there to worship European ingenuity together. We strolled through the aisles, we discovered novel ideas -- like a lamp shaped like a person, we ate Swedish meatballs. I found a rug, a bedspread, a throw pillow, a set of cups and a bed. But I couldn't just pick up the bed -- not without Ryan seeing it and giving his opinion. So, he and I decided to go back out once graduation was over and things weren't so crazy -- i.e. today.

It was a very different Ikea.

First of all, there was no one to guide us to our parking space. We had to do it by ourselves. And because I was with Ryan that meant we had to park the farthest away possible. I don't know what it is about him. I think he just wants to be the first one out in case of alien invasion. As we were walking in I was getting up my Ikea fever when Ryan said "Doesn't this kid of feel like were entering a theme park?" And I looked around and realized that was exactly what it was. Disneyland -- but instead of Mickey the mascot was an Allen wrench. Still, I pushed forward. After all, I love Disneyland and I have never bought a high quality, low price bed there.

When we got inside all of the smiley, happy people I had encountered on my first v
isit had been replaced with snarling, nasty jerks. People would stop in the middle of the aisle and hiss if you asked politely to get past. Ryan and I moved as quickly as possible to get to the bedroom furniture. There we found a couple sitting on the bed -- and not ready to move. When I tried to move past them to write down the item number they both acted as if I had walked into their bedroom and caught them en flagrante delicto. It really made me wonder -- were people living in Ikea?

We skipped bedding, we skipped lighting, we skipped glassware. We wanted to get our bed and get out. I was starting to get annoyed and Ryan was about to melt down and recreate the nasty mall scene from Dawn of the Dead. After all, these shoppers were like zombies -- moaning "brains and college apartment furniture." We moved into the self serve aisles. As we we moving down aisle 30 to our beloeved bed a woman came up behind Ryan. "Will you get out of my way" she said.

"We're both going the same direction, we'll both get where we're going" Ryan replied.
"What a fucking asshole" her husband said. He was wearing a t-shirt with an AK-47 on it.

We got our bed, we got it in the car (Ryan even helped another couple with their stuff) and made it home. That is where the real battle started.

Ikea includes very limited instructions for all furniture assembly. It involves counting the holes in a piece of wood in order to decide which piece is which. For ten minutes Ryan and I yelled about which one of us had counted the correct number of holes. It was like remedial sex ed. Finally, we started working together and were putting together the bed at a good clip -- until we got to the small screws.

The support system of the bed is made up of metal arms, which all have to be put together with extremely small screws -- from the bottom up. That's right, we were putting in screws smaller than a hummingbird's dong -- without looking at them. Ryan thought I was using the wrong screwdriver or positioning the rods wrong. I thought he should shut up if he ever wanted to see me naked again. We both kept dropping the damn screws -- and made up some new obscenities during the process.

After FOUR HOURS the bed was done. I suddenly realized why Ikea treats their employees so well -- they all have to put together the displays with this shit. I think they must have a very high turnover -- even with the great healthcare. I mean, who wants to spend their lives yealling at tiny screws? Besides my friend Murphy that is.

At the end of the day all was well. The cats were freaked, Sally didn't know where she was going to sleep and Ryan and I were about to stab each other with Phillips head screwdrivers. But the bed (and a small foot locker) were put together and done. We had a new room. It was glorious.


We laid back on the bed for a victory stretch. And at the same moment both of us turned and asked the same question "How many Ikea related murders happen in a year do you think?"


Amanda said...

If it is any consolation, it looks nice.