I hate Ikea. It isn't the merchandise, which is actually often amazingly cool and remarkably functional. It isn't the prices, which are stunningly competitive. It isn't even the ridiculous store layouts, which force the consumer into the kid's bedroom department before hopefully and mercifully stumbling upon office furniture. Nope! I hate Ikea because I have an innate inability to fit bolt A into slot B. I cannot for the life of me put their furniture together no matter how hard I try nor how many different projects I undertake. I have yet to master the art of the Allen key, and I have yet to comprehend the funky diagrams with odd-sounding Nordic names like Manstad or Solsta. For all I know these could be Swedish culinary delicacies instead of sofa beds. Instead, I thank God for giving me a man who views Ikea as Hillary did Everest. I honestly think that his testosterone level surges when he opens those cardboard cartons and counts out the hardware. There are beads of masculine sweat that dot his upper lip as he prepares his toolkit and gets down to work. And then, inevitably the shit hits the fan.
Ever since Older Son finalized his move from our house last year, we have been lackadaisical in doing something with his room. If he would have done me the service of leaving the bed behind, I would have simply repainted the walls and kept it as a guest room. But because he decided that sleeping on a mattress and box spring was preferable to a sleeping bag and the floor, we were left with an empty space and a redecorating project that neither of us was truly ready to undertake. After some discussion, The Husband and I decided to convert the room into a music office where I could store all of my instruments, guitar paraphernalia, sheet music and books, and some relevant Judaic CDs. The desktop computer with my full catalogue of Jewish music would find a permanent home in the room, and in order to allow Older Son a sleeping location when he visits, we would purchase a futon that could doubly function as a sofa. It sounded so simple I knew that it was doomed from the start.
While I spent some of last winter at the Southern home, The Husband took it upon himself to choose colours for the walls and trim, and he set to work painting the room as a surprise for my return. He called to tell me about the project.
The Husband: I am painting Older Son's room.
Me: Great. Are you happy with the colour?
The Husband: I am, but I think it looks far better on the walls then it does on the floor.
Me: You painted the floor? You do know that the floor is carpeted???
In spite of the false start and the difficult mess, the room actually came out looking fantastic. The next step in the process was mine. I was to source the appropriate futon. I scoured the GTA searching for just the right piece, the right price and the right fit. The search lasted almost 6 months until the fall Ikea catalogue arrived on our doorstep. There it was. Reasonably priced and the perfect length. The only problem was that it was from Ikea-the bane of my redecorating existence. I knew that it would all work out, though. The Husband is an Ikea-slayer!!
The futon arrived late yesterday afternoon in three cartons. The Husband, all swaggering and macho, grabbed his tools and started in on the puzzle. He was clicking on all cylinders. He had it configured within an hour and just needed a couple of extra hands to help with the mattress and cover. It took 2 university graduates and a university junior almost 45 minutes to figure out how to place the mattress and pad on the frame. 45 MINUTES!!!! We felt like absolute morons. There was no logic to the diagram and nothing seemed to fit. Squeezing the mattress into the cover was like attempting to put toothpaste back into a tube. Finally, Younger Son had a brainstorm and showed his idiot parents how the f@#*ing thing fit together. Thank God for the next generation. We were cleaning up the last remnants, when I decided to try it out. I sat down on my brand spanking new futon/couch and promptly went right through the slats with my ass on the floor. (I am not that heavy! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!) The Husband looked crestfallen. It was like I challenged his manhood. After some quick observation, it became obvious that he had put the slats into the frame upside down. (See!! I told you that I wasn't that heavy.) He repaired the damage this morning and all is again right within his world.
The room is almost complete. I now have a comfortable space in which I can work and Older Son no longer has to crash on the basement couch when he stays over. (He was starting to feel like old storage material that we shove down there so that guests can't see our mess!) This is all solely due to The Husband and his mastery of Swedish diagrams, and Younger Son and his ability to recognize his parents as the idiots they most certainly are. I-I K-(k)need E-everything A-Assembled!!