I don't have time to get into the other 316 life lessons, but I'll tell you the one I learned today. Make ABSOLUTELY sure to bring a tape measure and your room measurements to IKEA before you buy furniture. While this may seem like an obvious statement, even the most intelligent of humans have fallen prey to this error (ahem).
Two months ago I purchased a new armoire for my tiny apartment. Armoire is another word for "wardrobe," which Rob did not know and he has even been to France. I felt very classy whilst discussing this with him. My apartment was getting renovated in a few weeks at the time of said purchase, so I thought, what better then a nice new fancy armoire! I would have to wait to construct it (as you have to do with most IKEA furniture), but I am BRIMMING with patience (that is a big lie. I have no patience at all, but I didn't really have a choice). The one I was purchasing was PERFECT--not only was there a space to hang clothes, but also a separate set of shelves--the things I could put in there! Towels! Pants! Extra toiletries! My rubber duck collection! The possibilities were endless! I envisioned my nice new bedroom with my beautiful armoire, all neatly organized. Now, you should know for the purposes of this story that my apartment is pretty small, which doesn't bother me in the least bit (I actually have grown to prefer it given all the minimalist blogs I've been reading), but the thought of extra storage was very exciting because for the past two years half my clothes have been stored in my living room due to lack of storage space. And yes, I realize the irony that as a sort-of-minimalist I would even need more storage, but still. Even better was the fact that this armoire was only $50, and the model name was "Dumbas." Those Swedes have such a sense of humor. I had to have it.
The model name turned out to be great foreshadowing to what was to come. My friend and I stood there looking at the armoire, so beautifully displayed with its faux cherry wood laminate. Eyeballing the armoire, I thought it would fit perfectly in my apartment, or at least the apartment in my memory. "Don't you think it would fit?!" I asked her. "Totally!" she said. Barbara Ehrenreich, a sociologist, wrote a book called "Bright Sided" that talks about how Americans are overly optimistic in situations they needn't be. She is correct--optimism does not have a place in every life situation, and in this case pessimism would have been my best ally. We hauled the huge Dumbas armoire home. That beast was HEAVY. But totally worth it!!! I told myself.
Fast forward to today. I walked into my apartment to take a look at the renovation process. My bedroom was all painted and new carpet was laid! It was beautiful! It was almost perfect--it just needed the armoire! So I went to work. A few hours later, I called my friend Rachel to help me push the frame that was laying down on the ground into the upright position. So, remember how I told you my apartment is really small? As we went to move the Dumbas to its designated location in the room, I realized it was too big. Well, too big it I ever wanted to enter the bedroom from the living room (it blocks the door from opening all the way), or if I wasn't concerned about dying in a fire because I can't leave through the door that connects to the hallway (there's always the window). There's just enough space for it to fit by the bed if I never want to open the doors...so it is useful if I just want to put things in the armoire but never take them out. If World War III begins and I need to bunker down and keep everyone else out, I'm good. AND I can store food in the huge-ass Dumbas armoire!!! But I am practical. This will never do. Rachel and I pivoted the armoire all over the room, in a vein attempt that it might fit in some sort of way we hadn't thought of yet. Feng Shui perhaps? Nay. So after four hours of constructing the Dumbas armoire, it is standing in my room completely useless. Additionally, the thing with IKEA furniture is that, whence constructed, is it is very difficult to disassemble. While some may see this as a highlight (it's "sturdy," blah blah blah), it is definitely a con in this situation as I cannot simply take it apart and store it until I get a bigger space. On the other hand, a part of me wants to keep it assembled, because I'll be damned if I worked for four hours and have nothing to show for it.
My life is a comedy of errors.
This moment vaguely reminded me of THIS Friends episode (my favorite). I did in fact reference this episode as Rachel screamed "PIVOT!" at one point. It also parallels the fact that Ross's couch was way too big to move up the stairs. Oh my gosh. And I was with a Rachel--like Rachel Green!!! Well that just made things seem a little bit sunnier.
It also reminds me of when Joey built his entertainment unit that was way too big and covers Chandler's door:
That "Friends." Even so many years later I'm still laughin' away. Always a classic.