Anyone who’s anyone goes to IKEA on a Friday night. Alone.
And before you throw me a pity party, just know that I got a $1.00 ice cream cone at their concession stand and later a margarita from a drive-thru, so it turned out just fine.
I was on a hunt for a new TV console for my living room and quite unlike my sofa experience, I had done practically no research and consequently had no night terrors over this piece of furniture. So its good to know I’m not as insane as I once thought I was.
I had this idea of what I wanted in my head - an all white lacquered console with frosted glass doors and it had to be long enough to balance out the 60” television that I had recently acquired from my Texans-football-player-neighbor. (It pays to be friendly, guys!)
But of course IKEA had no such thing. So I worked with what they had, because once you make the trek through IKEA, there is no turning back. Plus, its great to brag about something that you built yourself - unless it turns out badly. Then you lie and say you got it for a steal as an “as is” piece at a Pottery Barn outlet or something.
So I sat there on a $150 recliner and checked out my options for a while:
But you see, IKEA is kind of a jerk and tells you EXACTLY how much each box will weigh - almost like they want to rub it in your face when you try to go pick it yourself from the warehouse. So I’m looking at the weight of the combined seven boxes, trying to mentally prepare myself to fit these into my Jetta and thinking, “I can do this! I mean, I work out! I don’t go to pure barre for nothing!”
So I’m hyping myself up, finishing up the maze that is IKEA, and finally make it into the warehouse of doom. I find my aisle for my boxes and realize that the heaviest one, weighing in at a solid sixty-seven pounds, is on the second shelf - that happens to be above my head. And strangely, none of the warehouse employees are jumping up and down to help me five minutes to closing time on a Friday night.
I do my best on my tip toes, putting those ballet feet into good use, and slowly inch the box forward until I’m able to tip it downward and hopefully slide it onto my unruly cart. Of course, this is me we’re talking about, so it didn’t happen that way. Instead, the box came crashing down with a loud thud. So loud that I made the newlywed couple two aisles over momentarily stop bickering about cabinet knobs.
Then magically an IKEA worker appears, and I get my hopes up that he’ll help me lift the box back onto my cart, but no such luck. Instead I get a, “hope you didn’t break it….” has he slowly saunters off, taking his back support belt, ready to clock out for the night. Clearly IKEA employs some really considerate people.
But in true Tim Gunn fashion, I make it work and get the cart all the way to my Jetta, zig-zagging through the parking lot as I went. Have you ever had to push a nearly one hundred pound cart by yourself in an IKEA parking lot? No? Well have you ever seen a 5’2 girl in paint-stained Nike shorts and unwashed hair try to do it? I bet it borders on amusing and just downright sad. Like, “oh, where is that homeless girl going with all that furniture?”
I had planned to load the boxes into my car with the backseats folded down - and honestly, that was the only way in the world that they were going to fit. Of course, the lever to fold my backseats down was stuck and I stood there in the parking lot for an additional twenty minutes just trying to release it. I pushed and pulled that thing until my car started rocking (at least I know now that if I ever run out of gas, I can push my car pretty easily, right? Trying to see the glass half full here…) I got a few pity looks from some other IKEA patrons as they drove by me in their pickup trucks and SUV’s but no one offered to help. They probably didn’t want to accidentally be an accomplice to the homeless girl trying to steal an IKEA television console. I get it.
However, I guess my pure barre muscles finally worked and I un-sticked the stuck lever and loaded my boxes into my Jetta and drove off into the sunset…. and then bought a margarita at a drive-thru restaurant as a reward for my sad and pitiful efforts.
Have you ever tried to build a piece of furniture with a slight tequila buzz? Its interesting. But miraculously, I built this:
And then when you add the white glass top and stainless steel legs, you get this:
And then when you put the finishing touches, you get this. And then take a break and watch Mythbusters.
But somehow, I ended up with a lot of leftover screws. I hope IKEA is just proactive and gives you extra materials, you know, just in case. But if you make it to my house one day and see my TV console, better not lean on it… just to be safe.