Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pass The Duct Tape Please

You know how when you were in college, you slept on a mattress on the floor and most of your furniture came from IKEA and had to be assembled with those crazy hex wrenches? Well, we haven’t moved on from that phase yet. A lot of my furniture is from IKEA. I actually really like the whole Swedish minimalist aesthetic, but in reality, the stuff looks pretty good and is cheap enough that you don’t get too upset when the moving guys (who visit us military spouse types every 2-3 years) bang it up, sweat all over it, break the legs off, etc. Or at least you’re supposed to not get too upset. But, dammit, I’m upset.

If you’ve ever put together IKEA furniture, you know that it revolves around “locking cams” and bolts, right? And if you decide to, say, take this furniture apart because you are a government-hired moving person getting minimum wage to manhandle the beloved goods and household belongings of a family that includes at least one person who puts his or her ass on the line to protect your freedom, you might want to make careful note of where those all-important locking cams and bolts end up! Like, you might want to, say, put them all in a baggy and make sure that they get attached to the actual piece of furniture that they belong to. Maybe. Just a thought.

But not everyone can come up with ideas as brillant and original as that one that I just shared with you.

It seems that OUR particular government moving people have not ever experienced the frustration of having all the pieces of their furniture laid out in front of them, with NO WAY to put them together to form a useable object. Like, say, a CRIB. Or my damned BED. Or the GUEST BED on which I have actual guests planning to sleep this weekend!! Currently, the guest bed is fully assembled, reliant totally on the small wooden dowels that go between the parts to hold them in place politely while those big bolts and cams do all the dirty work of making sure things actually STAY put together securely. I even put the boxframe and mattress on the bed, and dressed it up in all it’s pretty sheets and pillows. The Major came in surprised, “oh! you found the hardware!” When I told him no, he looked at me quite skeptically. I explained that I thought that if our friends laid in the bed carefully, the distribution of their weight over the surface area of the mattress would prevent any one tenuous joint from having to bear too much of a load, thereby ensuring that they did not actually find the bed collapsing on top of them. Or under them, to be specific. Do you think it is rude to ask your houseguests to please refrain from performing any variety of the horizontal limbo in your guestbed to ensure their own safety?

Don’t worry. I’m going to come up with a solution before they arrive.

The solution for the lack of hardware for the crib was to buy a whole new friggin crib at Walmart. I was the most angry crib-buying mommy they’ve probably ever had in that Walmart baby department. “Give me the cheapest crib you’ve got!” When the pimply adolescent Walmart employee pulled the giant box out of the shelf for me, looking somewhat frightened, I eyed it skeptically and then proceeded to pick it up and drag it BY MYSELF up to the register, abandoning my shopping cart and ordering my 4 year old to WALK. NOW. I can’t believe I had to buy a whole new crib. But Lunchbox doesn’t deserve to sleep in a pack and play for the rest of his babyhood when there’s a bunch of perfectly good crib pieces leaning against the wall in his room, right?

The last piece of the no-hardware puzzle that needs solving is my bed. I loved that bed. It had a built in bookshelf in the headboard. Which is totally obsolete now that I read everything on my iPad, but it’s still a nice idea.

And do NOT suggest that I go to the hardware store to pick up replacements. I tried that. These are special secret-squirrel IKEA-specific Swedish metric system parts that are not available in your neighborhood Lowe’s. IKEA is only helpful if the parts weren’t included in your original purchase. I haven’t yet tried duct tape. Maybe that will work.

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