Last Wednesday I discovered a new Hell. Not the traditional one in a shade of red, underground and surrounded by fire. This one is filled with flat packs, white laminate and dowel. I’ve always liked flat packs – the convenience of not needing to pay for delivery and no need to wait around for the delivery people to turn up. But my hatred for flat packs has grown, almost on the same level as my hatred for kale and coriander.
You see my 2 yr old son has finally moved into his ‘big boy room’. A right of passage, with the need to buy a chest of draws and one of those cube things that everyone seems to own, which meant we needed to take a trip to Ikea. By ‘we’ I mean myself, my son, my mother, my father and my brother. I was there to tell my dad and brother where to find the items and my mother was there to stop my son from running off.
The issues started with the need for 2 cars. 2 cars to buy furniture! The furniture got its own car! The little Mazda 3 was cast aside and the big gun was brought in. The Holden Commodore station wagon, folded down seats required.
It only took us 2 hours to find, buy and pack the car. About 30 minutes was spent on finding, buying and packing, the rest was spent on eating cake and drinking bottomless coffee. Pretty good coffee to come out of a machine as well. I think that is a new world record, I have been to Ikea on weekends and it has taken me 2 hours just to get through to the checkouts, and thats without eating or buying anything. Oh magic tip for Ikea shopping, go on a Wednesday morning around 9:30. It is empty and the breakfast menu is pretty good.
Like Lorelai from the Gilmore Girls, I have a tendency to name objects, my robot vacuum for example is named Greg. With Ikea you don’t need to seem like a crazy person, they have pre-named the furniture with cute yet masculine Swedish names like Malm and Micke.
We arrived home and unpacked the car just in time for nap time. Magically my son was so tired from our Ikea adventure that he did actually have a sleep. Allowing me 2 hours to start building. I didn’t even get to open a box when I received the biggest paper cut ever on my pinky! All I had done was push the box over so that I could use the rug to place the pieces on the ground. No box cutter or bandaid’s in sight! With a tissue wrapped around my finger I began to build. It’s very hard to try an assemble flat pack furniture with a finger in the air to stop any blood getting onto the white melamine. I don’t know how people can drink tea with their pinky in the air.
5 hours later and I had not yet finished assembling the chest of draws… power tools were needed. I do not own any power tools, and my fiancee only owns those that can be used to fiddle with cars. So much for just needing an allen key. Which by the way, the chest of draws did not come with an allen key nor require one. Domestics then ruined the ‘super doper fun’ I was having building furniture. Dinner was cooked, baths were had and stories read. Back to building I went. With a half assembled chest of draws and finger in the air I moved onto the next box, the cube thingy everyone owns. Now I know why everyone has one, quickest thing to assemble, I was finished in 20 minutes. My faith in the allen key was beginning to be restored. I went to bed at 11pm that night with aching muscles.
A week later and the chest of draws is still not completed. I have been to Bunnings 3 times and each time forgotten to buy a drill to finish the chest of draws. Eventually my dad will come over to finish building the draws for me. He’s busy fixing everyone else’s furniture and homes – a handyman by trade.
Maybe one day I will love flatpacks again but right now I still have a stinging sensation in my finger if anything with the remote consistency of liquid touches it and I have a $180 physio bill to claim due to knots in my shoulders. I still will return to Ikea for the meatballs though, my love for Swedish food will never falter.