I have some bad news friends.
I’m going to have to kill myself before Saturday. Okay maybe kill myself is a bit strong but I’m talking totally believable suicidal gestures. You know the kind, I’ll eat a bottle of Flintstone vitamins and post a suicide note here, or I’ll cut my wrists with a dull butter knife (but it’ll totally hurt) while listening to whatever Goth song is currently number one on iTunes or I’ll …
Okay never mind I’m not going to kill myself before Saturday but at some point this Saturday I’ll wish I had.
The first hint that I was about to be forced into doing something I consider equal to a colonoscopy on the ‘scale of fun’ came yesterday morning when Dagmar noted she hated the curtains in the guest bedroom.
We’ve been married a while. I knew what this meant. It didn’t mean she’d go find new ones more on her lunch
break. It didn’t mean she’d surf the web looking for the type and color she wanted. No it meant something more ominous, something darker. It meant I was going, with her, to Ikea.
I did the math in my head and quickly guessed that there was five percent chance that I could get out of going with her and a 95% chance I would be craving the sweet sweet kiss of death at about one p.m. this Saturday afternoon.
I did the smart thing, I kept my mouth shut and simply muttered something like “I like them but if you want new ones okay.”
It was ‘May Day’ a holiday for labors across the world (except for us non-commie ‘Mericans) and spring has sprung here in Europe. Point is what should have been a quick (no traffic) and pleasant drive on a fine spring morning was ruined.
My mind raced with thought about how to get out of the dreadful Ikea experience.
As I said Spring has sprung here in Deutchland. The sun is out, there are bee’s in the flowers we planted last weekend and Dagmar has that insane’ let’s rip the house apart in a maniacal desire to remove the dirt’ look in her eye.
I get spring cleaning, I do. It makes sense and while I’m not a fan of it (check my Facebook ‘likes’ I’m not) I understand it and don’t enjoy living in filth anymore than anyone does. I’ll participate, if given detailed instructions I might even do the chore slightly better than ‘halfassed’. I’m a man though I’m best turned loose in the garage with ‘clean this crap up’ as guidance.
But this, this Ikea trip, I did not see coming. We’ve been in this house a few years, Ikea trips are what you do when you move in … this one was out of the left field.
I had to see Dagmar right before a meeting I had yesterday afternoon. That’s when she dropped the bomb officially while we were discussing what we were going to do that weekend. “We’re”. Crap she used the word we’re (death sentence right at the sentence’s start. “We’re going to Ikea.”
I now calculated my chances of getting out of this at less than one percent. Newt Gingrich’s moon colony and presidential nomination are more likely.
I did what any other trapped animal does in this situation, I panicked. I think I even started to gnaw off my own legs.
“I was going to hang that picture in the living room like you wanted,” I volunteered before realizing that would take about 15 minutes if I took a smoke break in the middle. I needed something of substance. I seriously considered ordering a hot tub from my iPhone (which how cool is that, we can do that today) with a hopeful Saturday delivery date. I considered enrolling in one more college courses right that minute so that you know, “the weekends are when I study honey”.
I had nothing, in fact I had added to my misery. I was going to clean the garage I said which was met with, you ARE going to clean the garage but you’re still going to Ikea.
I know, I screwed that up royally.
If you’re a guy reading this you know exactly what I mean. If you’re a girl reading this you’re saying what is the big deal it’s just a trip to a store.
I’m going to break it down for you ladies …
We’ve seen this movie a thousand times before. It’s a good movie to be sure and when we first watched it we loved it, but now we know that it’s the same movie. The purchases change but the lead up the purchase is exactly the same, every time.
Every man, ever, eventually turns over these kinds of purchases to his wife, significant other, long time girlfriend whatever. We do and we do it because you’re right and we have long ago conceded that. When we turned those decisions over to you ladies, our input, in our minds at least, became irrelevant. It’s not that we don’t care about the curtains in the guest bedroom it’s that we’ve learned from long and hard experience that you’re smarter about what shade of, insert trendy color here, goes with, other trendy color here, better than we do.
Thus we don’t care anymore. If our opinion is generally, and I admit it is, wrong we stop caring about giving it.
We’re just there as a cheer leader toward whatever side you seem to be leaning toward during the decision regarding what kind of throw pillow you should buy. Mentally we’re going “well she seems to like that one at the moment, encourage that one.” It becomes all about hurrying the process along so we can leave the goddamn aisle and maybe someday, before we’re old and senile, check out, go home and drink beer.
I’m pretty sure you can trace all this back to evolution or at least the study of primitive hunter-gather societies. Studies have shown the gathers, typically woman, worked a whole lot harder than the men’s hunter role. While women were out debating which berry was yummy and which berry would turn you into a dead person men were at the village wondering if they could ferment rocks to make booze and drawing crude stick figure porn in nearby caves.
But when word came that the elk, buffalo, whatever herd was near the hunters of the tribe “saddled up and rode” bitches! Meaning I can go to Ikea alongside Dagmar (and yes this is basically the same as the vacuum analogy) but I’m going to dart in, find the curtain that comes closest to the one you described to me and then get out.
You women though are going there to gather. “Oh that shiny thing would be great in the hallway” and “Oh that would be fun to put in the bathroom” and “My cousin (twice removed and never met in person) would love this,” will be uttered countless times and the dreadful question, “what do you think” will be asked. I’ll try to process the question but the “you’re not right, she is” gene will kick in and I’ll again boil it down to I don’t care at all.
Ikea is the worst of all the shopping trips. The store is designed like one of those rat and cheese mazes making the possibility that even after we finally move forward three feet after an agonizing 30 minutes of looking at a
picture frame we’ll stop again to see which vanity set for the bathroom would look ‘cute’. The Ikea here even has a small restaurant/bar thingy in the middle of it (I think for asshole husbands like me) but I can’t even work up enthusiasm for it because there’s BEER at the goddamned house.
I even asked for suggestions on how to get out of this on facebook but honestly that compounded my misery is all as Adrian Schulte reminded me that Saturday Ikea trips were worse than ALL OTHER Ikea trips. Cameron Christianson alluded to the mythical shortcut through the store but this kind of exploration isn’t authorized during our trips and Jerry O’Hara suggests a badly timed “gas” incident that just might work but in the end I resigned myself.
I’m going to Ikea.