Friday, June 3, 2011

Can Bunk Beds Really Destroy A Marriage?

There are moments which test every marriage.  For instance one of ours is the annual Christmas tree placement in the family room.  No matter how many years we've been together, we will never purchase the appropriate size tree, cut enough off the trunk so it doesn't scrape the ceiling, or place it in the stand the right way, on the first, second, or Heaven forbid, third attempt.  One year, it came crashing down on me during a telephone conversation with my mother.  We lost quite a few glass ornaments and worse, several strands of lights.  This, like a crooked picture, drives me loonier than I am.  I moaned and groaned until Eric obligingly worked several hours to find and repair the broken lights.  This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year.  The time when Eric and I look at each other with love, devotion, and thankfulness.  Hmmm, yeeees...well.  We begin this devotional stuff after Eric's knit picking has died away and my anal retentive, "Oh my gosh, there's a single yellow light dead on the top left branch" has settled down.  It does happen eventually (usually by the time the boys go to bed and Nat King Cole starts playing on the stereo) but it certainly tests the strength and steel of our marriage. 

Another test of our marriage, and I see this looming for many of my unsuspecting Colorado friends, is the purchasing and building of IKEA furniture.  Not everyone is familiar with the IKEA experience.  California folks are.  My friends in this state will soon be exposed to the mega store Grand Opening in a few months.  I wanted to give you a serious head's up and prepare your marriages for what could possibly be greatest test of your relationships.  For my blog followers and friends overseas, if you don't have IKEA stores, you may one day.  Please take this information to heart and tuck it safely away.  I care for you all deeply. 

IKEA furniture and store offerings are extremely cool.  If they weren't, the place wouldn't be as popular as it is.  I'm planning on shopping there once our Colorado mega store opens and the novelty wears off in let's say...ten years.  Perhaps by then, there will be three more down the highway and I won't have to fight over a box of Danish cookies or a pack of 500 tea lights for $5.00. 

When Eric and I were getting ready to add to our family by means of adoption, we didn't have a lot of money but we needed cute, sporty kids' bedroom furniture in a hurry.  IKEA was it.  Inexpensive, in stock, build-it yourself, fun furniture.  We were all set to be Bob the Builder and his trusty side kick, Breezy.

Off we went.  How exciting!  We purchased a pine bunk bed, a matching dresser, and toy box.  Then the new parents to be bought a nifty truck rug, a dropping three-tiered mirror, a big, funny clock, two mattresses, comforters, duvet covers and matching sheets.  It was an awesome boys' room and it cost next to nothing.  Woohoo!!  Loved IT!!  We went to ask for a delivery date.  "No folks.  You have to load the boxes yourselves and take them home today."  Oookaaay...

My little Ford Taurus could barely hold it.  Twine, rope, the top of the car, we used every means possible, yet our spirits remained high and we accomplished the task.  By the way, pine is really, really heavy.  The bunk bed set alone came in five separate, long boxes.  I couldn't see out of the rear view mirror.  I took side streets home and used my hazard lights, but we did it.  We were a team.

Then the assembly.  There are no written instructions; however, things may have changed.  There may have been a general outcry from the public since our dark days of building the bedroom furniture, but I can't be certain.  What I do know is when Eric and I opened the first of five boxes for the bunk bed, we were assaulted with bags of screws of different shapes and sizes, pine boards of every imaginable width with various holes on either sides, and a very large booklet with picture instructions.  My heart sank because I knew I was sitting with a man who not only had little patience with instructions but also lacked attention to detail. 

Find a board with three holes on the left side, two on the inner right edge, and one on the rough side (backside, I guess).  This board slides into the board diagonally with four holes on the right inner edge.  Oh, and we have to use the 4 inch phillip screws on those boards.  What? It's not ok that you used those screws on something else, Eric...SHIT!

Trusty side kick, Breezy was ready to fulfill her name and side-kick the crap out of Bob the "I Don't Have the Patience To Follow The Swedish Picture Instructions" Builder and good ole Bobby was ready to fling his handy dandy screwdriver at his anal retentive helper bee.

We passed the test...barely.  D-.  Ten years later, pieces of the furniture can still be found in Austy's room -- even the bunk bed, though we did disassemble half of it when we discovered Austynn was trying to take it apart himself.  Now when Eric and I drive past the almost ready IKEA store, we've promised to refrain from purchasing "furniture" per se and keep our marriage safely where it belongs...with the boxes of Danish cookies and packs of $5.00 tea lights.  My friends, you have been warned.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I'm going to venture in just for the restaurant. :) You have convinced me to stay away from buying any put it together furniture and my marriage thanks you.