It’s been four months since my last trip to IKEA. I needed something to reorganize my closet and my shoes. I subscribe to the idea that one shouldn’t have to move more than one thing to get to another and my current living situation made things a little ridiculous. Its two hours up and two hours back (at least) to go to IKEA from here so I decided – wrongly – that going to any furniture outlet that would give me some organization for less than one-hundred dollars would do. Going to IKEA in Cincinnati also means going to Jungle Jim’s and becomes an all day event, leaving me needing another day to put the furniture together and reorganize my corner of the world. Buying locally would give me four hours less driving and would avoid a superfluous grocery trip.
If I had a nickel for every time I was wrong I’d have my down payment saved for my own house already.
I picked something from Bed, Bath, and Beyond completely by chance. I was at BB&B picking up a tie organizer that has worked well – but I have too many ties for one and needed another. While I was in that part of the fifth ring of Hell I noticed the shelving I ended up with, a customizable nine-section shelf that would work and fit in the closet in my bedroom. I realized that I hadn’t brought a coupon and felt that it might not be the best approach but decided that the small amount I’d save wouldn’t be worth driving home and back for a coupon. Had I driven home I’d have started on my book review of the The Martian instead of engaging in this fool’s errand.
I was pretty excited when I got home. I did everything before building that you ought to do. I read the instructions. I checked to make sure I had the correct tools and all of the pieces. I cleared an area to build. I was confident, over-confident, and that’s when I should have stopped and just lit a pile of money on fire in the garage. I had checked all the pieces but I hadn’t organized them into when I’d use them assembling the shelves and immediately screwed up. The first pieces I put together I put together incorrectly. To add insult to injury I took a step I normally skip: gluing the anchors in. I used the small anchors instead of the larger anchors, and since I glued them in I couldn’t get them out.
Dad tried to help me by drilling out the anchors but that only made the particleboard disintegrate, which also didn’t stop up from trying on the other piece I screwed up on. I looked at my watch and realized that this is my only day to do this so I went back to Bed, Bath, and Beyond – this time with a coupon – and bought another shelving unit. I realize that there was a more rational approach to this but I am in the self-destruct mode of my depression and spending more money seemed like the best way to go. I have a top-shelf education and am successful in my line of work so surely I can conquer this shelving unit.
Oh, it eventually went together and the Lord’s name wasn’t used in vain but it wasn’t easy or fun.
I think the only words I said during my second attempt at this shelving unit was, “You aren’t Daniel, idiot.” I re-read the instructions, my first article of faith is that I can do anything because I can read, and I can tell you this: these instructions are incomplete. I had a resolution in 2011 that I would view every adversity in my life as a result of my own poor choices because if I was the one who was the problem I was also the solution. I would like to take you back to 2010 and blame the person who wrote the instructions. If pieces could go in an the shelving unit a number of ways ostensibly hold together but still be ‘wrong’ then one ought to include that information in the instructions.
My number two goal for 2015 and beyond is to make enough money to never again have to assemble my own furniture. I am not Daniel; I am an idiot.
God sends us this furniture to keep us humble. That guy created the universe and everything in it and we think we can put together simple shelves to arrange our graven images because we have tools, education, and reason. We also have ‘fire’ and this is what I should have done with the pieces that constituted the shelves.
The instructions called for me to make an enormous hash symbol. This was God laughing at me. I think your use of the hash symbol, or tag, is overdone and you should seek help for your problems. When I saw that it was the fifth sign it should stop. I then had to attach sides and then top and bottom to the hash symbol. This was the most backwards approach I’ve taken to furniture. I also should have realized that I needed to turn the hash symbol one rotation so the holes drilled in the interior would hold secondary shelves (which I had bought because customizable furniture wasn’t a red flag in the first place).
I realized at that point I could just detach the hash symbol from the sides, top, and bottom and simply turn it once and reattach everything. When I thought the word, “simply,” it was the sixth sign. I hadn’t glued the pieces of the hash symbol together – relying on the anchors because they’ll hold it all together once I Allen-wrenched in the top and bottom. Two pieces broke off whilst turning the hash tag and then while I fixing that I broke a third. If I had gone to IKEA I would have been snacking on a post-game frozen yogurt at that moment in time. Luckily, I’m an idiot who had two shelving units in pieces so another half-hour later and I had cobbled together shelving.
My seventh article of faith is that a meal shouldn’t take longer to clean up than it takes to cook, a project shouldn’t take longer to clean up than it does to accomplish. The sixth, if you’re wondering, is that you have to stop what you’re doing and listen to “Don’t Stop Believing” whenever it comes on and not change the station nor hit skip on Pandora which is why I totally lost my train of thought. It had something to do with, “cleaning the mess up took longer than assembling the shelves and I still don’t have enough room to put away all my shoes.”
I could feel Vicki and Enzo looking down from their photograph, Harry Potter style, with disapproving looks. Vicki and I love IKEA. I have been to IKEA more times that I have been to a Walmart. This is all well documented. Vicki’s hometown has two IKEAs just to ensure she is served properly. I should have stuck with what I knew. I felt as if this could be my karma for all the times we embarrassed Enzo in IKEA and if it was then I surely deserve it. We should fear, love, and trust in Enzo and not shame him in IKEA. If this was indeed my karma for my crimes then my slate is clean and I can do it again.
Bulk trash pick up is on Tuesday. I’m tempted to tape the remnants of the other shelving unit together with the instructions in a zip-lock and watch to see who takes it but I don’t need that karma. I sincerely hope that I like this new organization system because it can never, never be moved. It’s the Ark of the Covenant or Jimmy Hoffa, the shelves are staying where they are and we aren’t going to talk about it.