Thursday, July 26, 2007

then I get to try to put it back together

One of the problems with living your life somewhat backwards, which is, in a sense, what I am in the process of doing, is that those proclamations of never again, b*tches! come back to haunt you. For example, when I moved to San Francisco, I concluded, nay, I solemnly swore, "I am never buying sh*t from IKEA again."

Yeah. So much for that. In my defense, IKEA does seem to be your best bet if you are trying to be relatively frugal, if you have space issues, and if you have no regard for the quality/longevity of your purchases (which, in this case, were bookshelves and a lamp). I know a lot of people adore IKEA- they find it funky and cute and all that superfurry rainbows-and-unicorns talk. Fine. Enjoy it. I, for one, am feeling a bit defeated that I had to stoop to IKEA land today.

Perhaps some of my trauma to do with IKEA has to do with my introduction to the cult, which was in that most exotic of locales, Newark friggin' New Jersey. I was young, and, for that matter, IKEA was also young. I did not really know what I was getting myself into. I looked around and marvelled, "Ooh! Modestly priced furniture! Kind of modern and sleek!" This was all well and good, until I was dealt the harsh blows of reality- namely, that one has to go to the self-service area, lift unwieldy, heavy boxes, somehow jam them into one's car, only to have to assemble it all at home with directions in occasionally incoherent hieroglyphics.

Honestly, I didn't mind the self-assembly. It was the self-service part that was the problem. Those boxes were heavy, yo. And not in that "hee hee, I'm a girl, can you help me?" way, but rather in a "I could very well kill myself trying to carry this sh*t around" manner. Now- since I was in Newark friggin' New Jersey, not only were there no friendly faces working at IKEA to assist me, but also I had no resolve to actually seek out such aid. So, I recall, all those years ago, being humiliated by the sheer task of trying to get these awful boxes from one point to another.

Today was a completely different situation. First of all, there was no dilly-dallying, no browsing. I've become unusually focused this week. The first sign of major change was when I went into Target, and emerged with less than a $100 bill, and no randomly purchased items. At IKEA, I stomped right over to the bookshelves, surveyed their width options, jotted down information in my dorky notebook, took a deep breath, and braved the self-service area.

I approached the bookshelves. I was kind of a wimp when I was young, so I tried to lift the box. Still just as heavy as I remembered. Still annoyingly flat and long, such that there is no good place to get a solid grip. After a minute or two of teetering around with the box, trying to wrestle it into my cart, I calmly put it back against the other boxes. You see, this is when the old Lethal Weapon adage, "I'm getting too old for this sh*t" comes in handy. One or two hopeful glances and, screw it, I marched over to one of the IKEA minions and asked him to help me. And you know what? He did. And you know what else? Ain't no shame in my game.

It's funny, because, for a girl, I have an awfully unusual quantity of machismo. I despise admitting I can't do something on my own, I hate stopping for directions, and I always have an urge to control the remote. But what's funny is that age has been the balancing factor- I tend to use it as an excuse. This is silly, I know, because anyone who is 5'3" and not on steroids would need assistance lifting these idiotic IKEA boxes (plus I did manage to get the box into the car and into my apartment afterwards without any help). But somehow being older, with my warped logic, lets me off the hook.

Whatever the reason, it made my trip to IKEA much less depressing. And when I got home and put the damn thing together, I felt triumphant. I know that is truly absurd, because any 13-year old can probably do it. It's just one of those weird things that is difficult to explain. Some people have an aptitude for tools and construction, but unfortunately, I don't fall into their lot. Maybe it's because of my lack of aptitude that I tend to consider these (albeit small) victories. When I was younger, I had to suppress thoughts at such moments, these thought filled with weariness that can basically be summed up as: I wish I didn't have to do everything myself. What's strange is that the thought never even occurs to me now, leaving nothing to suppress. With all the whining that goes on in this blog, it's a minor miracle that there are some things I've actually stopped whinging on about.

See, I told you all this moving crap made for a boring read.

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