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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

Good idea: move in to a beautiful new flat as smug couple.
Bad idea: decide to build, with own hands, furniture from smug Swedish furniture group.

Honestly, forget the fallacy that first year you live together is the challenge that makes or breaks a relationship. Completely fail to consider that it might be the sharing of bills, or lack of personal space. The biggest challenge is certainly not the lack of own room in which to store teddy bears, hair bleaching cream and posters of comedians/singers/assorted menfolk over which to dribble. Nope, the one thing you must wholly take into account before even beginning to contemplate moving in with the person closest to your heart would be this: are you prepared to make sweet, sweet furniture with them whenever the situation arises?

Walking with grim determination through Ikea on New Years Eve was barely the start of it. Most people seemed to have forgotten that it was open, and so I could trick He Who Only… into a false sense of security that this would be as bad as it gets. We did a crazed dash through the show floor, with me gazing longingly at each and every stick of furniture and in my minds eye working out where each and every stick of furniture would look best in our wonderful new Nest O’Love. He Who Only… was determined to keep his eye on the prize and completely and steadfastly (and quite rightly) refused to stop until we had reached the bedroom department (please note this is not, in this case, a euphemism). At said bedroom department, we considered two bedframes and picked the bigger of them. I pointed at bedside tables, and he looked a bit frightened when I asked him to express an opinion. I leaned on a book case, and he nodded. I started to look at chests of drawers, and he immediately grabbed my hand and dragged me bodily away from the show room moving directly with heads down through the children’s department (avoiding the shiny things that would distract) and ran for the happily entitled ‘market place’, otherwise known as The Best Place On Earth In Which To Needlessly Impulse Buy.

He Who Only… kept the momentum going, as I grasped wildly around trying to get coffee plungers, tea pots, saucepan holders, oven gloves, bath mats, tiny lamps, green plastic chairs and champagne flutes (all totally unnecessary) into our trolley. We reached the flat packed area with a mere £40 worth of faff in the trolley, which he viewed as a moral victory and I viewed as a great disappointment, quite frankly.

The bedframe we wanted was nowhere in sight, and so I left He Who Only… skidding up and down one aisle riding the furniture trolley like a skateboard, and went to find a man wearing a bright yellow jumper, who wore the expression of a person kept calm only by heavy sedative use. He explained something about slats and orders and numbers and frames, and I nodded and stopped listening when I realised he meant that my shiny new bed wasn’t anywhere nearby. I dashed back to He Who Only… and explained our two choices to him: we could wait up to two weeks for said bedframe to come back into stock, at which point we’d have to do all of this again, or we could take slightly too large frame home, and allow mattress to be slightly swamped by said frame, and we could pretend we didn’t notice. We, of course, went for Option Two: The Impractical Frame.

We picked up box one, noticed two boxes were needed for this frame, picked up box two, went to another aisle at the other end of the store to pick up the two sets of slats needed to complete the bed, congratulated ourselves on a job well done, paid for our many, many items, left the heavy stuff to be delivered the following day, and celebrated with hot dogs (him), diet cola (me) and chips (the both of us) from the Ikea kitchen.

The worst was over.

Or so we thought.



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