I have loved IKEA since the first time TupperDoug dragged me to the one in Pittsburgh. "It's a furniture store," he told me.
"Whoopity-doo," I said.
"No, you don't understand. It's Swedish."
Having set my expectations firmly at underwhelming, I was entirely unprepared for the awesomeness that awaited me on the inside of the gaudy blue and yellow building. Everything is set up like rooms that look exactly like the rooms on the Real World (which I was still into at the time)(The reason for this is that MTV decorates the Real World houses with stuff from IKEA). It's so modern and trendy looking, and affordable! and best of all, you can take your furniture home with you the same day. Oh the hours I spent at Pittsburgh IKEA, wandering around with Doug and not with Doug, since my addiction became so great that I started sneaking into town behind his back to quench my IKEA need. I soon had a couch, several chairs, a dining room set, a coffee table and assorted rugs, curtains and picture frames. My house could have been an IKEA catalog page and I was so, so happy about it.
Flash forward a number of years to 2005 when I moved to Chicago. My friend Fish just bought a new house, where he has moved with 3 and a half other fine gentlemen (the half gentleman being Phil, who doesn't officially live there, but also never seems to leave). Move in was two weekends ago and I went out to the new abode for the duration to help out. One of our first orders of business? A group outing to Schaumburg IKEA. Imagine my joy at spending the better part of four hours in the store of my dreams! JoE, Fish and I giggled as we stood in line with an overflowing shopping cart and two flatbed carts full of at home assembly joy.
It was all downhill from there.
The first problem encountered was Fish's new four drawer dresser. It wasn't that it was difficult to build, it's just that it is difficult to build a four drawer chest when you've only been provided with two drawer bottoms. I mean, you can do it, but there wouldn't be much point now would there? The bottom is kind of an important part of the drawer. In the meantime the MASSIVE wardrobe JoE had purchased ( I am not kidding you, you could comfortably fit five people in there) was the wrong color and had to be exchanged. Also the mirrors that are meant to be hung inside the doors were missing the adhesive backing that we were assured would be in the package.
And then there was Fish's bed. It seemed simple enough at the start. If you've never built IKEA furniture before, let me explain that there are no words telling you what to do anywhere in the instruction book. The entire tale is told through drawings. On the first page is a drawing of the tools you will need, which in this case included both a phillips head and a flat head screwdriver. Step one was a drawing of this: screw hex nut onto double threaded screw. Use included flimsy wrench to drive screw into the footboard. Further use included flimsy wrench to remove hex nut from double threaded screw and save it for later. This went ok until I tried actually getting the hex nut off. For every time I tried to turn it, it would start unscrewing the screw from the footboard. Eventually we solved the problem with a pair of pliers holding the screw in place, however I was mildly annoyed at that fact that pliers were not pictured at the beginning of my instruction manual. Next there was the problem of the metal supports spanning the space between the midbeam and the sideboards. The screws required here were miniscule, and had to be screwed in upside down, into pieces that kept slipping out of where they were supposed to be even when someone else was holding them there for you. Fish and I struggled with this for an hour. Just as we thought we were nearing the end we discovered we were missing one screw. FUCKERS!!!! There was no way I was giving up. Fish was sleeping in his bed that night come hell or high water. We managed to scare up a screw in the house that was the same size but a different thread, which I managed to force in through sheer will.
After all that, my blind devotion to the IKEA gods is waning. All those years, IKEA, all those years of loyal purchasing, only to be betrayed during my most comprehensive visit yet? Why? Why have you forsaken me IKEA? I have done everything that you asked: I have pulled my own boxes out of the warehouse, loaded my own car, assembled my own pieces. I don't understand why you would abandon me like this. IKEA you have broken my heart.