Tag Archives: Saturday

Relationship Status: Survived a Trip to IKEA

My wife and I recently celebrated 12 years of marriage.  I know to some that is a long time and to others we are still relatively new at this.  Here is the thing though, I think 12 calendar years is probably equivalent to at least 20-25 IKEA years.  What I mean  is that this 12 year accomplishment  deserves your applause because during that time we probably made at least 20 trips to IKEA.  IKEA is like the Swedish Wal-Mart where healthy loving relationships go to die.

Tools? We don't need no stinking tools!

Tools? We don’t need no stinking tools!

I guess one of the good things about IKEA is that the golf pencil and little paper tape measure are free, especially since the marriage counseling is going to be so expensive. I mean, if they would let you take a plate of those delicious horse meat meatballs into the showroom I would go there by myself on a Saturday just to watch couples melt down in public.  I am pretty sure that any husband can agree that the 4 words that can strike fear into even the bravest of souls when spoken in an IKEA are “what do you think?’  WHAT DO I THINK?? EJECT, EJECT, SAVE YOURSELVES I’M DEAD ALREADY.  What I think is that after 20 seconds in that place we are all drunk on sleek design and functionality and that intoxication will soon wear off when we realize no number of multi-tool organizational shelving units will make the inside of our house look like the showroom there.  Of course that isn’t what I said.  What I said was, I think it is great, I think everything in here is great.  I think if we get this dining room desk /storage unit with hidden drawers and special built-in lights that take light bulbs that cannot be purchased anywhere else on the planet it will probably solve most of our problems.  Que meltdown.

At IKEA this is like finding Super Mario's secret warp zone to world 8-1.

At IKEA this is like finding Super Mario’s secret warp zone to world 8-1.

Those Swedes think of everything though, because it is hard to look all pissed when you are storming off pushing a cart with 4 swivel wheels and you have to Tokyo drift around the corner to avoid knocking over a display of 4000 glass tea light holders.  The also know that any little argument can easily fade away when you turn the corner and both marvel at the 200 square foot living space.  Suddenly you want to trade your big house in the suburbs for a broom closet because how cool is all of this stuff?

I need to be honest though, while it is possible that IKEA can present some unique relationship challenges, they do have some cool stuff; no Viking helmets but cool stuff none the less.  We have some of their cool stuff in our house and most of the time the joy of new furniture is enough to quell the in store disputes and bring everyone back to a happy place before the put together meltdown occurs.

I think we all know about the put together meltdown.  I am a pretty handy guy I fix stuff and know my way around a tool box but that really doesn’t matter when it comes to Swedish engineering.  There is no piece of IKEA furniture in our house that wasn’t halfway assembled then taken apart and reassembled because I had something upside down or backwards or inside out. You would think that the only  problem with that would be the increased amount of time to complete the build and the addition of a few 4 letter words to your kid’s vocabulary but the real problem is this:

Once she learned the new curse words it was time to let her take over.

Once she learned the new curse words it was time to let her take over.

Furniture from IKEA is not designed to be taken apart and put back together.  With the re-screwing or allen wrenching or whatever you call it of each bolt with that multi-tool the structural integrity is compromised.  So basically after a 6 pack of beer, 2 cut knuckles, a kid wondering what that word meant and a bucket of tears (mine not there’s) you wind up with a bedside table that is capable of holding an alarm clock and a pencil and anything heavier than that causes the legs to wobble.

They say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I think that this can be applied to relationships for sure.  Arguing in IKEA can be pretty weak but getting home and lounging on your new futon/file cabinet/spice rack is totally sweet.

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Saturday Morning

Sweet

Kid Style 

I’m not sure if it happened all of the time or only a few times but the memories of it were etched deep enough that they are easy to recall.  When I was a kid we would sometimes go to the Dairy Queen on Canton Road on Friday night.  We would sit on the patio with these round fiberglass tables with red and yellow fiberglass umbrellas that were angled just enough to keep the sun away and look like they were tipping their hat to the cars driving by.  Dad always called it getting a Brazier burger and I didn’t even know that was named after the cooking apparatus until I Googled it just now.  I would get a chili dog and there the four of us would sit like some John Cougar Mellencamp song.

When we finished dinner the sun was down and dad would buy everyone a milkshake to have on the ride home.  Usually chocolate for me, in a bright yellow paper cup.  Thick and delicious in a way that made the pain between your eyes as you tried to suck through the straw totally worth it.  We would get home and it would be time for bed.  Half eaten milkshakes were put in the freezer for safe keeping.

Until I hit the teenage sloth years, I was often the first one up on Saturday morning.  I would walk into the kitchen and get my now frozen solid milkshake and a fork.  I would turn on the TV and relish in controlling its destiny.  I would watch Super Friends and Pee Wee’s Playhouse and scrape the frozen bits of milkshake off with a fork until it melted enough to pull the straw free.

At the time I thought I was getting away with the most diabolical act of breakfast treason ever and smiled in the assurance that my unknowing parents were fast asleep right down the hall.  As the roles have changed, I now know better than thinking that they were ignorant to my scheming tucked away in blissful slumber.  They were awake, maybe groggy, but letting a little boy savor his first tastes of independence.  I will never forget that frozen leftover milkshake with Saturday morning cartoons.  Totally sweet.

 

Weak

Parent Style 

After a long week, the fatigue can often culminate on Friday night.  Yet, still determined to have some kind of life, it is inevitable that we will stay up later than usual even if it is just to have a beer or two and watch an old episode of Friday Night Lights on Netflix while folding laundry.  We are wild and crazy like that, I think the kids these days call it thug life.

We stay up later because we still live under the guise that just because we won’t be rushing off to work the next morning, that there will be time for rest and relaxation.  The reality of that is parenthood does not come with a snooze button.  Saturday mornings never arrive late, and often seem to smack me right in the face before the sun is even up or my eyes have had the chance to peal open.  Dropped toilet seats by the oldest begat cries from the toddler begat the realization that we have to be at some dumb kid’s birthday party in two hours and there is more to do than time to do it in.  It is funny how the cherry on top of that Saturday morning scramble is always writing something in said dumb kid’s card, even though a card is merely the gallbladder of a 6 year old birthday party.

Saturday mornings have a different feel now but if my oldest follows in my footsteps as an early riser, as long as she is quiet, she can eat whatever she can reach and clean up.  It would also be in her best interest to hide the evidence if she ops for ice cream sandwiches and fruit roll ups.  I can wax poetic about letting her spread her wings and have a touch of freedom but the reality is, pop should have probably passed on that last Amstel Light and just needs a few more dad gum minutes to sleep.  She has almost completed the complicated TV remote training so I think the time is drawing near.  Until then, we will remember the days of yore and hope those memories ease the pain of our new Saturday mornings that are totally weak.

 

 


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