Konie and I hit up the quintessential young adult furniture store last week: Ikea. If you’ve never been 20-something, cheap, and in need of furnishing a one-bedroom apartment, you’ve never been to Ikea. For the other 95% of us who’ve learned to work, sleep, and play on pulp-recycled wood, Ikea is a godsend.
It is not every year a young couple goes to Ikea. Most of the time, unsoft, non-cushiony shit can be picked up from your friendly Craigslist neighbor. But for mattresses, couches, and chairs (basically anything you’d put part of your body on), how could you trust that the last owner wiped his ass clean and remembered to wash the sheets every month? You can’t.
Last Sunday, we rented out a Toyota Tacoma ZipCar for 24-hours and drove the 40 minutes to Ikea Stoughton. Stoughton is a furniture town in every sense of the word. It’s as if a cottage industry sprung up around Ikea so that whenever a shopper couldn’t find a piece in white, black, or dark brown, she’d just try again in one of the other dozen furniture stores.
At Ikea, we wandered up the down the aisles, lying on every mattress, opening every drawer, feeling the texture of every fabric before taking our long list of pencil-etched aisle/bin pairs down to the ground floor … where the hard work of loading up factory-packed cardboard boxes began.
Ikea is genius in that way. The 2nd and 3rd floors are purely aspirational. “Weww, you think that media center would go well with our bookcase?” Once you’re done touring and are ready to go, they lead you to the ground floor, which is as close to hell as you’d ever get in a furniture store. “Goddd, the media center comes in 4 large boxes … and we still have to put it together!”
At the end of our struggle picking up 10+ boxes filled with the appendages of a desk, a queen-sized bed, coffee tables, a money tree, and dozens of “necessities”, we realized even a pickup truck was not enough to carry all this plus a mattress and a sofa-bed. We’d have to make another trip.
We drove home, unloaded the ridiculously heavy boxes, argued about where to put them, drank some water, then drove back to Stoughton. At this point, both of us were exhausted and cranky.
It was 45 minutes before closing time when we got the mattress and started waiting on the sofa bed in the furniture pickup area. (reserved for special items) For the next hour, we sat there among screaming toddlers and impatient college kids and feasted on 50-cent hot dogs (how??), medium-sized soda, and pizza that tasted like it came out of an elementary school cafeteria. At the end of the hour, I was bewildered by how the employees could force us to wait so long for something that would’ve taken them 10 minutes to fetch.
When we finally got the piece, it came in 4 gigantic boxes piled up so high Yao Ming couldn’t see his way over the cart. I cried in despair.
Just then, the pickup area girl said that if I didn’t want to bring it home myself, delivery was only $59. I was like … are you screwing with me or do you just feel sorry for me? Neither. It turns out Ikea delivery is a flat $59 for unlimited items anywhere in the Boston metro area.
I felt as if a vengeful deity had been laughing at me all these years. For my last 3 apartments, I’ve rented trucks and UHauled all this shit by hand. Now they were telling me I could’ve paid less than the rental to have stronger men do it for me? Sigh … lesson learned.
Once I recover from the trauma of putting together all this furniture and getting my new place in shape, I’ll post some pictures.