For weeks I’ve wanted to convert the spare room into a study. Like most social media savvy teens, I took to Pinterest for ideas. The one that jumped out was taking a countertop from IKEA and marrying it to shelves from Target. It was as if my two favorite stars were hooking up and creating a Super Child that would cure cancer and win The Voice.Along came Friday night. With the weekend ahead of me, this would be the perfect time to create my new office, which would help me launch my writing career. First stop: IKEA. Or is it Ikea? Let’s go with IKEA as I feel the all caps adds an excitement factor. If you had asked me to list off the reasons I moved back to the PNW, IKEA was on my top 15 list. It’s heaven for people like me – poor, ambitious and blind to our own (in)abilities. Upon arriving at IKEA, I circled the 10,000 acre parking lot only to see that I’d be relegated to the farthest parking stalls. The closest available spots were for family parking. While I am my family, this totally pissed me off. But I followed the rules and sent a snarky tweet. #singlelife.
I strolled to counters, past the couple making out on the couches, past the people going the wrong way, and through the families in heated discussions. “Focus!!!” I reminded myself. I snapped pictures of the items I needed and headed toward the “Self Help” area. They really should have a mental health professional there to help you through this. I walked back and forth between shelving units to assure they’d all be the same height once complete. They would be. I grabbed a leg post just to be safe. $242 later I was on my Merry Fucking Way. I was thoroughly impressed with myself and ready for a fantastic Friday night of building shit. And that’s when my plan (as usual) went down in flames.
I do this to myself every time. Every project. I am magnificent at planning. Execution and I have no business being together. A precursory glance through the pages of my furniture history SHOULD serve as a lesson book. However, I am thick with faith and even thicker in my head.
When I got home, none of the box moving carts were available. This mean schlepping the boxes up (four total) one at a time. From parking spot to my door it’s a 10th of a mile. “I got this!” In came the first box: a lovely 27.5” shelf thing. It went together beautifully. Out went the empty boxes and up came a cabinet – also 27.5”. PERFECT. It turned out beautifully. I placed the two pieces in the precise location and hauled up the 59” countertop. It was now just before 10 p.m. I’m respectful of my neighbors. And even though I hated going to bed with it incomplete, I could tell it wasn’t going to work. My heart knew. The countertop’s width was too much. My worry about height distracted me from considering width.
I was up with the sun, and when the clock crossed into the 9 a.m. hour, I started screwing the counter to the two supporting pieces. My gut said “It’s not going to work.” My mind retorted, “Shut your pie hole!” My powerful drill was too much or my screws were too shitty. It didn’t work. It just looked crooked and awful. I resigned myself to what I already knew – that getting creative with tools isn’t my thing. Creativity with words is.
When the doors opened at IKEA, I was back – buying four decorative legs. Before noon the configuration was configured. I was pleased, but deflated. Now I had a cabinet and shelves to fiddle with. As I type away, I look over my shoulder at the duo – perfectly beautiful and put together, but a waste of $150.
This is where I came to understand why IKEA encourages family parking. Single people, we have no place in IKEA. You should never go in alone. Never, under any circumstance, go with anyone less talented and logical than you. When you get your stuff home, you need help – even Wonder(Single) Woman needs an extra set of hands for it all.
So, IKEA, this is where I surrender to you. You are grander and more ambitious than my practical skills can allow. While my checkbook loves you, my heart is remorseful. On the upside, I do have a beautiful new office – and am looking forward to writing my masterpiece right here. Hopefully you’ll come along for the ride.