September 9, 2012 by benmblackman
It’s the phrase all men dread more than any other. ‘Let’s go to Ikea.’
There’s no use arguing, if it’s got to this stage of the planning process in her mind then it’s too late already. You have 3 choices:
1) Surrender to the inevitable, forgo the usual argument and just agree to go.
2) Argue your case, argue (and then surrender to the inevitable and agree to go).
3) Leave her. Don’t look back, she’ll only make you go.
Like a good counsellor I can’t tell you what to do, you need to decide, it’s your life. But 3 is the correct option.
I have been married for 6 years despite the fact that during those years we have visited Ikea at least 9.5 times (the point 5 ended in a terrible argument I cannot relay in a public forum for legal reasons).
On the plus side, I now have enough allan keys to successfully tender for the demolition of all Olympic 2012 venues (I will beat competitors on price because I don’t need the tools, I have thousands in my garage).
With experience comes knowledge so, my gift to you is a 15 point plan for how to undertake the perfect Ikea trip:
1. Empty the car of all non essential items (including back seats) prior to setting off. Ideally hire a van (or two).
2. Have a plan. Of course it is impossible to narrow down exactly what it is ‘you’ are going for before leaving but, do your best to ensure a maximum budget has been negotiated (expect to exceed this by at least £250) and an agreement of key items ‘we definitely don’t need’ has been committed. Cushions should always be on this list, they go mad for them in there.
3. Take a tape measure. You cannot rely on those supplied in store (printed on material so thin they couldn’t even be used successfuly as a cigarette paper). Don’t be fooled by the old ‘we’re not buying anything that will need measuring,’ line. You will be.
3(a) NB. It’s probably best to measure every window and room in your house (you will be held liable for anything purchased that doesn’t fit and ladies do not seem to grasp the concept that items in an 80,000 metre square warehouse look smaller to the eye than they will actually be in your 10 metre square living room).
4. Park as close to the ‘loading area’ as possible. It was easier to get on Shindler’s List than it is to get a trolley out of that place.
5. Keep your wits about you and ensure you have GMT on your watch before you enter the maze. The Swedes have applied the same disorientation methods employed in casinos (and SAS interrogation) with no daylight to be found anywhere. The 53 types of clock available to buy will all be set to 10.10am giving you false promise you haven’t wasted a whole day of your life in there. Stay focused, stay hydrated. Get out alive.
6. Fuel up at the café preceding any trip. It might not be Michelin starred but you’re eating for sustenance. Go high energy (Dime Bar cake and as much of the syrup based soda drinks as you can stomach). Avoid ‘meat balls’ at all costs. They’re not big and they’re not clever. Almost certainly, they’re not made from meat either.
7. Try to avoid the urge to dismantle the toilet facilities with one of your allan keys. Yes this is entirely possible (I’ve planned such a practical joke several times) but you’ll have enough dismantling to do when you get home (after you’ve assembled everything the wrong way round). Save your energy.
8. Follow the arrows painted on the floor at all times. You will be tempted to stray from the path but, like the Krypton Factor assault course, unless it can be proven that you have travelled the distance of each department you will be asked to start again until you get it right.
9. Nod your head and agree to whatever the lady says. You know if she wants a new Tofteryd coffee table then you’re going to get it in the end. It takes a bigger man to walk away from the argument than it does to be one of the couples crying in the depths of isle 54, shelf 4.
10. If (sorry, when) you require lighbulbs then buy every single type available. Even if you have faithfully written down the specification you need and check the box diligently in store, it won’t fit. Save yourself the heartache of a return trip by stocking up on them all now. If she has her way (and she will – see point 9) you’ll probably have bought several new Basisk floor lamps along with a pair of Gavik table lamps to complete your Swedish version of Blackpool Illuminations anyway.
11. Avoid areas selling soft furnishings which could be used as ‘throws’ for the sofa or the end of the bed. Women cannot be trusted in such areas.
12. Do not sleep in the mocked up bedrooms. They don’t like this.
13. Write down every purchase location. Never believe the statement ‘I know where they are, come on, hurry up.’ She hasn’t got a clue, she’s high on retail and cannot be held responsible for her lies.
14. Do not use the self-service checkouts however much the dominatrix customer service ‘helper’ tries to persuade you to. They will make you show them the receipt and check every item against it for the next 15 minutes anyway.
15. Try not to argue on the way home (most likely regarding the fact your companion is squashed in the fetal position, right cheek pushed up against the boot window, due to the insane quantity of items purchased). You will need your energy for the more intense DIY based arguments back at home.