IKEA can certainly be a relationship killer but if you can survive a trip through its cavernous maze of reasonably-priced Swedish furnishings, home goods, and surprisingly-edible meatballs without a major blow-up, then truthfully, she might be the one. Extra marriage points will accrue for assembling any purchased furniture with limited verbal conflict (even though that Billy bookcase is being a total son-of-a-bitch). Listen, you’re young, you’re in love, and you need affordable furniture to share. You’re building something here and it’s not just another set of Hemnes drawers. Think of it this way, the next time you put down an Allen wrench (not in anger) there’s a good chance you’ll be engaged to the woman you love.
By John Mihaly, Illustrations By Adam Stafford
3 on a scale of 1 (Easy) to 10 (Expert) but 5 if you count the actual furniture assembly.
Your homebase, with plenty of space for furniture assembly
You’ve been dropping hints for weeks that you guys (remember this is a team thing) need a new desk, a kitchen island, a Songesand, whatever. It’s a piece of furniture that needs to be assembled. And yes, we know IKEA has teamed with TaskRabbit to offer in-home assembly. Squash that idea right away and assure her, “We’ve got this!”
Presuming that your trip to the store went off without any major altercation (this might be the hardest part) it’s time to drag whatever particle-board-based beast you’ve caught back home with you. Take your time here, make sure you’ve made enough room for this project and that you’ve got all the tools you need. While you’re going to grab those tools you’re also going to grab a small, brown cardboard box that you’ve set aside. That’s where you’re going to hide the ring.
Work through every step of the not-as-confusing-as-everyone-thinks instructions and talk about how much easier this when you both work together. Joke about what other projects in the future you might build together. Keep the talk centered around the two of you. When you’ve gotten to the end and your furniture masterpiece is standing level on four legs, start leafing back and forth through the directions. Tell her, “Honey, I don’t think we’re done there’s this extra box of parts and it doesn’t say what to do with them.” Feign some confusion and then remark, “Actually, I know exactly what to do with it.” All that’s left to do is bend the knee and ask those four words. Don’t forget to keep that Allen wrench as a small memento.
Arguing in IKEA
Frustration with furniture assembly.
Actual missing parts.
Not only do you have a new fiance but you’ve also added a new piece furniture that requires a keyboard that we don’t have in order to spell its name.