I am a pretty handy guy. Other than rebuilding the transmission of my 1980 Ford F-250 pick-up truck, or performing open heart surgery I can eventually figure out how to build or fix just about anything. Yes, that all sounds like a little bit of a stretch but with enough beer and duct tape I up for just about any challenge.
When my baby moved to Colorado we furnished her entire apartment with Ikea furniture, and I do mean everything. Over the course of three days we accumulated a massive assortment of those lovely, little Ikea L-wrenches and picture instruction books, pictures, no words.
I will be the first to admit that Ikea has some well-built, over engineered “stuff”. But assembling their stuff is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle and let me tell you, I hate jigsaw puzzles. Despise jigsaw puzzles! Thinking of getting me a birthday gift, try drill bits, or a six-pack of Duck Rabbit Stout, but please no jigsaw puzzles not even the Sports Illustrated swim suit addition.
If you have never had the Ikea experience, you walk around their massive showrooms, filling out your wish list then go to the basement and start pulling boxes off the shelf’s. Lots of boxes. Big boxes and little boxes, heavy boxes and light boxes. And heaven forbid you forget to buy a box you need while you have the jigsaw puzzle scattered across the floor of your house or apartment.
After the experience of three days in Ikea hell I promised myself it would be a cold dead in hell before I ever stepped into another Ikea or assembled another one of their jigsaw puzzles again. Well, hell froze over yesterday.
My oldest wanted an Ikea closet system for her birthday and she wanted her Daddy to come down and assemble it for her. What am I going to tell my baby, my 27-year-old baby, no? Right. Both my daughters, much to my wifes displeasure at times, have me wrapped around their fingers. But I did tell her I wouldn’t go to Ikea with her, that would have to be her Mothers contribution to the experience. But if she had batted her eyes at me I would have gone and she knows that. I am a push over.
As soon as I saw all of the Ikea boxes on the floor my PTSD kicked in, and there he was the happy little Ikea guy smiling at me in the Ikea coloring book which doubles as the instruction manual. Three hours later, which included an hour of just catching my breath, thinking and biting my tongue with my “helpers”, I got most of it assembled. And as I expected the girls needed to make a run to Ikea to take a box back and pick-up two more. I passed on that little excursion.
I am happy my kids like quality stuff. I will always agree with buying good stuff that will last rather than cheap stuff that will end up in a landfill in a couple of years. I understand the appeal of Ikea, I understand the feel good marketing that they employ and I understand the audience they are targeting, but for us old guys, I would love a few words here or there in their coloring book. Not that I would read them, what man with testosterone and craft beer rushing through his veins reads instructions?