Some Assembly Required

Melinda June mentioned something about going to IKEA and I commented that I could never find my way out of the damned place.

When I was talking to Tanya today, we spoke of her love and my fear of the place. She loves their sensible pricing and functional everyday pieces (I have no idea if that's what she said because I just kept cracking jokes).

For a place run by dwarf Swedes (evidence - tiny pencils everywhere), it's pretty damned big. They do have some nice things in there but I resent the fact that even the cardboard display items in their living rooms are nicer than the real versions of some of that stuff at my place.

It's sweet of them to put a trail of paint splotches on the floor to help me stick to the path but I still manage to get confused and wander into the lampshade department every damned time . All I'm really here for is those free paper measuring tapes anyway. I mean, who'd ever get tired of measuring it, adding 2 inches and then moving on with their lives?

So just how do you get out of here? Sure, you could follow the smell of the 10 cent meatballs and glug but I prefer to walk through the shower curtains, into the metal container filled with the weird Swedish kooshball looking things and past the do it yourself farfenhoogen demonstration.

Before I leave and for my efforts at getting in and back out, I always feel I should buy something. More often than not, it turns out to be the big bag of tea lights, a tremendous value.

After that, it's a simple half day's journey across the larger than my subdivision parking lot and I'm back on my way.

I once thought of getting work there so I could understand it all better but I'm not the handiest guy in the world and I knew something like this would happen:


Fearless said...

I always find that when I am assembling something from Ikea there's always one or 2 steps missing from the instructions and so the "fun" of Ikea is trying to find out what exactly is missing.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Ikea? It's all about the meatballs, what do they put in them anyway, crack? The lingonononon berry jam ain't half bad either.

Now, as for the poor excuse for the tools that come with the furniture? They would've vexed Da Vinci himself and they're only good for sticking in the wall, where they inevitibly wind up chucked into, after four or more hours of frustration.

BeckEye said...

I'm always waiting to inadvertantly stumble upon Munchkinland while trying to stay on the yellow splotched road.

Chancelucky said...

About half the furniture in our living room comes from Ikea, but yes i've gotten lost there too. Do all the stores have the same layout? I have this picture in my head of the store itself arriving from Sweden in a big cardboard box and you put the walls together with an allen wrench and a phillips head screwdriver.

My wife refuses to go into the store now for some reason. I think it's because her family was Norwegian and they're afraid of being invaded again by tanks made out of particle board with pre-drilled holes.

Having grown up around cinder block bookshelves, etc. I'm kind of glad for Ikea

The Freelance Cynic said...

I love Ikea, but mostly for the Cafe. Love the swedish Dwarf Idea! I will look out for them next time.

What Ikea is it you go to

Allison said...

I was thinking about the tealights as I started reading this post. Come on, you know at some point in your life you will need all a thousand tealights and then you'll thank the labyrinth that is IKEA and twirl the paper measuring tape with joy. No, just me? Okay.

Tanya Espanya said...

HAHAHAHAHH!!!! I love this post!

Well, I went to Ikea today to buy a poster for the dining room.

I saw all the previous commentators there...wandering around, lingononononberry jam on their meatballs, being chased by dwarfs...

I just like how Ikea has improved the quality of a lot of their items. Now my bookshelf has a little crown moulding on the top. Now my dresser drawers are on rails and I'm not scared of starting a fire from all the rubbing of wood and cardboard.

For lunch I treated myself and the tapeworm to 2 hot dogs and a Pepsi for $1.50 from their snack bar right by the cashiers. I managed to stay clear of the cookies and other treaty items.

And Chancelucky, that's hilarious about the tanks!

X. Dell said...

I've never stepped foot inside an IKEA, although they are pretty popular nowadays.

Yet, I am pondering your discovery that everything leads to lampshades.

lulu said...

My mother, a hardcore Swede, has given up making her own meatballs in favor of the frozen ones from Ikea. The gravy is made completely out of chemicals, but the meatballs themselves are actually made out of meat. She just throws the gravy out.

I saw a Swedish Mafia teeshirt once, yellow, with bright blue writing that said "Swedish Mafia: Clean, Efficient, Deadly" I really should have bought one for my mother as it describes her perfectly

Flannery Alden said...

You crack me up. I can just picture you moving to the lampshades like a moth to a flame.

I've never been in an Ikea before. Now I'd only want to go in one with you, Dale.

Tanya Espanya said...

How do people NOT go to an Ikea? You know, they live right beside one and still the manage to resist the pull of the blue and yellow. They are much stronger than I am. I go in once a week just to replenish my stock of tiny golf pencils and stupid paper tape measures. Once, I even stole one of their shopping bags! Haha Ikea! Take that! Yes, I'll be back, buying up tea lights...you can't stop me...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I used to haunt IKEA a lot when it was way at the other end of town. That was right about when they always asked you your postal code at the checkout, so I think they must have put 2 and 2 together (and made 5) and figured that if they moved the story closer to that X3X 3X3 lady, they would make a pile more money. So they moved the store to a much bigger one 10 minutes from my place, to which I went twice, got trapped in the little fake kitchens while trying to find the exit, and have not returned.

Besides I already have about 140 allen wrenches in my collection from past assemblies, so I'm good for a while.

Tenacious S said...

IKEA tealights have lit our house during several power outtages. Personally, since everything is a contest, I love the thrill of building the most complicated pieces they sell. I built my husband's entire office and our TV room. Really. Oh, and they have rockin' Swedish cheese too!

Berry said...

Main Man once shared his "getting lost in the Burlington Ikea" horror stories with me, and then when he asked me to go in with him one day, I screamed "NO YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!" and bolted in tears. I was sure he was just trying to lose me.

Beth said...

Drawf Swedes and their tiny pencils will now populate my nightmares.

Anonymous said...

Bag O Tea lights?? They can't be cheaper than the Christmas Tree shops ,I'll give you a free bag or two for nothing Dale and Tanya!

I have yet to go to IKEA. I'm afraid.

chelene said...

What I want to know is why no matter what you buy it always comes out of the storeroom in a flat 3x6 box.

Tanya Espanya said...

Bluez, it's true what Chelene says...the tealights do come in the 3x6 box.

And they're cheap! ($2.99 USD/$3.69 CAD for 100 tealights!)

Dale, maybe you can organize an Ikea party...we can all meet at that one outside of Chicago, I've heard that's the biggest one in the US.

Dale said...

And don't they often have weird perspective diagrams instead of actual words Fearless? They're a menace!

Crackenberry jam, not a bad idea WritePro! I do enjoy working with those allen key/wrenches though. Now I know what to do with them all, I'll build a wall!

You know they're there Beckeye, hiding behind the Swedish bric-a-brac.

Brilliant Chancelucky, now that you've said it, I know that's how the stores come. I worry about the particle board tanks too!

I've always been afraid of the Cafe Freelance Cynic. There are a few stores in the Toronto area so you can take your pick.

It's not just you Allison, it's all of us looking pretty by the glow of the little lights.

The poster seems like an exceedingly bad idea to me Tanya. Just put in a hot dog stand. Funny about the fire.

Perhaps it's my need to be a clown that takes me to the lampshades even in the face of terrible shyness X. Dell.

She sounds pretty hardcore Lulu! I didn't realize you were Swedish. Now I'm even more scared of you!

I'll only let you come with me Flannery if we can duet on I Only Want To Be With You!

That's hardcore Tanya.

We're living the same life Barbara, at least the part about getting trapped in their fake kitchens. I hate the postal code asking thing, a lot of stores do that now.

Aha! I knew someone out there would find the building rewarding. Good going Tenacious S. I like putting the stuff together although I stick to the medium difficulty pieces.

He's quite shifty from what I can tell Berry. You were smart not to fall for the ruse.

It's not the size of the pencil that matters Beth is it?

But then I wouldn't have a reason to go to IKEA and complain Bluez!

The boxes are all the same Chelene, only the goofy names have been changed to protect the contents.

Not a bad idea Tanya, then we could meet all the excellent Chicago bloggers there. First Chicago and then, the world.

Flannery Alden said...

You're on!

Johnny Yen said...

My wife requires little excuse to go to IKEA. Let's not give her any ideas.

Dale said...

Why thank you Flannery, yes I am. Oh, I get it. Let's go.

I'm being vewy vewy quiet Johnny.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"I do enjoy working with those allen key/wrenches though. Now I know what to do with them all, I'll build a wall!"

You Dale, should go Calder with them.

Bubs said...

hahahaha...every time Miz Bubs heads to IKEA I ask her to bring back a bag of tea lights, "in case we're running out"

You must come and visit our northwest suburban version of IKEA.

Dale said...

Interesting idea and link Write Procrastinator. I'm not sure I'm as motivated for all that now that I think about it. I'm just going to slowly misplace them all.

I may have to do that sometime Bubs, Tanya says it's a behemoth.

Tumuli said...

An Ikea opened its first location in the region last June. Massive traffic there did not let up through the fall...

I actually did get lost in the labyrinthine aisles. But the assembling of various pieces purchased was more taxing than expected... Probably won't be returning anytime soon.

Dale said...

There's lots of help here to choose from in the comments Tumuli, I can help, Tenacious S and several others by the sound of it. Maybe they should sell a compass you build as you navigate the store.

Coaster Punchman said...

Oh wow, I have so many comments regarding Ikea. First, the meatballs are made of regular food and no preservatives or anything rude. If you buy them frozen, it's just a bag of meatballs - there is no gravy to throw out as Lulu mentions. (If you're lame they sell a powdered gravy mix but that would be pretty fucking stupid.) Next, Mindy was lacking a tape measure in her house so I took one of the free ones from Ikea for her. Finally, those koosh ball pits are full of germs.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"I'm just going to slowly misplace them all."

Oh, you'll find them, all right...in the first blackout that happens...the hard way.

Step lightly, Dale.

Jill said...

Men and the orientation sense!!! Get a GPS!!
Does this mean you cannot put together your furniture??Come on!! I did put up together the last 3 library that came into this house!!

Dale said...

Invaluable advice as always CP. It's not bound to change my opinion of the place much but I am glad you cleared up the great gravy misconception of '07 sparked by Lulu.

I sleep with construction boots on just in case now WP.

It's no trouble putting together the furniture, it's just finding it to begin with and finding out where to pay for it Jill.