Sunday, July 26, 2009

Made in Sweden

Some time next week, Don’s mom, his Granny, his sister, her husband and their twins will become coming to visit for a few days. Naturally, the first question I had is, where the hell is everyone going to sleep?

We have a spare room furnished with a double bed which will help but is nowhere near enough sleeping gear.

We had a blowup mattress until a few months back when our cat peed on it. That animal has no idea how close he is to becoming a lovely side order of Chicken Chow Meow. I tried to salvage it, I really did, because at the time my sister Serena and my Mom were coming for a visit, and I needed the extra bed. So I scrubbed the bejesus out of the air mattress; I even let it sit in cleaner for a couple of days before blowing the sucker up again, and it seemed to be fine. I set it up for my sister in our home office, dressed the bed and fluffed the pillows, I even laid a mint on the turned down bed sheets. Serena was snug as a bug on a rug when I said good-night to her. She woke up around 2 am on the floor, the air mattress a flaccid pancake beneath her . Cat must have done more than pee on the mattress.

Which brings us back today’s problem: sleeping arrangements.

I spent the better part of yesterday going from furniture store to furniture store looking at futons- too big for this room, sofa beds- too expensive and some new fangled doohickeys called Klick Klacks.

You see when a mommy futon and a daddy sofa bed have strong loving feelings towards each other, they get married and have a Klick Klack. It is an ugly child, most often sporting “Baby Ka-ka Beige” coloured micro-suede and it makes a funny clicking sound when you move it.

But there was one place left for me to look for something different: Ikea.

My sister-in-law Sherri and I got up this morning and made the trek out to Vaughan and had a look at what the Swedes had to offer. Honestly, they export more that just good hockey players. That warehouse off the side of the 407 is a veritable hockey arena of goods. However it is the oddest shopping experience I have ever had. Like rats in a lab maze looking for cheese, you thread your way around the showrooms, write down the items you want: then go to the warehouse at the end of the maze and pick up your cheese…er..boxed items.

I always looked at the Ikea catalogue when visiting Sherri. I marveled at the time how nice things looked and how reasonably priced things seemed. Now that I am no longer an Ikea virgin, I understand those prices.

You do all the work.

From shearing the lamb for the textiles and sanding down the 2X4 for the sofa then schelping the items off the aisles and into your van- it’s all you baby.

You, an Allen Key, and stick men diagrams.

It was those stick men diagrams that really got to me. No written direction whatsoever. They are kind enough to show you little detailed line drawings of all the items in the box, but they are a little vague on all the piecing them all together details. Each page of the 10 pages of "instructions” shows two men completing one step of the process. Step 1 seemed clear enough, until Don and I completed step 1, and realized it was backwards. Steps 2 through 4 were somewhat clear and we managed to get through them will minimal blood shed. I lost a toe, but I have spares.

Steps 5 onward have a place reserved for them in Dante’s Inferno.

Seriously, we could not figure out what in the name of holy hell the stick men were doing. There are all kinds of arrows that zoom out to close ups of the screws, but no indication of what to do when and what part these screws really belong to. Worse still, in step 5 I can’t tell if Stickman 1 is trying to align Stickman 2’s back or if this is a picture of said stickman at the local Rub and Tug. They do look noticeably happier and loose in step 7.

Anyhow, 2 ½ hours and a call to the divorce lawyer later, the Lycksele sofabed thingie is complete. I am happy it is done, I think it will serve us well, but this rat won’t be going back into the Ikea maze again any time soon. I have had my fill of stickmen.


Nuclear Mom said...

I love it!!

I love going to Ikea - but Hans despises it. Invariably I am going to come home with something that needs to be assembled with a tiny hex key and no instructions. Oh and apparently in Sweden the wall studs are not the standard 18" apart like in the US - it would be best for my marriage that I never buy anything that has to be mounted in studs from there ever ever ever again. ;-)

nadinebc said...

I am feeling better now that I see it finished in our office. But I had reached quite the level of frustration trying to get the thing together on Sunday. So I am with Hans on this....great store but I am going to avoid it at all costs in the future.

Though I did see this really awesome shelving unit....

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