Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Don't call me, I'll call you

Dear Ikea,

It’s not you, it’s me. I’m sorry, but I think we’ve finally come to a place in our lives where we just can’t make this work anymore. It’s been fun, and I attribute a lot to my relationship with you. As in, a lot of the furniture and a large chunk of the accessories in my house.

It’s not one thing in particular; it’s a culmination of a lot of things. I just don’t feel I can trust you anymore, because while some your furniture is oh so aesthetically pleasing, not to mention downright cheap, lately a lot of it isn’t worth its weight in 86% recycled pressboard.

That dresser for Tristan that we had to upgrade three times to finally get a drawer that didn’t seize when you pulled on it with only one hand (because a mother opening her kids’ drawers never has two free hands) was a tough one to get through, but we survived.

And I’ve just barely gotten over coveting those pretty sheets of hanging Christmas star lights that you sold out of in October of 2004 – October, mind you – thus denying me the one thing I most wanted to complete our annual Christmas decorating extravaganza.

It was harder to forgive you for the pine buffet in the kitchen that had 900 pieces and took us fourteen hours to assemble, and nearly cost us our marriage – but we soldiered on. Might I recommend that pictograms are not the most efficient way to communicate with a large portion of the instruction-reading population? What you'd spend in translation costs you would surely safe in defending lawsuits filed by spouses with leftover dowels shoved in unmentionable places.

I have to admit I was a little hurt when you didn’t send me a catalogue this year, but it’s probably for the best, seeing as how I’m not being tempted into the store to queue up at the register with the other sixty-three thousand people who stopped by to acquire the entire contents of their first-ever away-from-home apartment or college dorm room.

But the final straw, the tasty swedish meatball that finally toppled my mountain, was the picture frames I bought last month. When I bought them, some minor niggling voice in the depth of my consciousness tried to complain about the uniqueness of the 8 ¼ x 10 ½ frame size, but I wasn’t taking calls from my subconscious in my race to the checkout queue. And it was probably my fault that the frames languished in their original shopping bag for another three weeks while I waited for six minutes in a row that I could dedicate to mounting my precious photos.

You can imagine, then, my dismay at realizing that while a standard letter at 8 ½ x 11 would fit rather nicely in the mat with a perfectly even overlapping border, the standard photo I was trying to frame was in fact a mere 8 x 10. And don’t try to pull any of that Sweedish metric crap on me either. We Canadians wrote that song.

Who the heck would want a photo frame whose mat is ½ to ¼ inch too large on all four sides? I even googled it to be sure, but I didn’t find anything about irregular Scandanavian photo sizes. And because my six minutes were almost up and I knew it would be at least three more months before I actually managed to return these ones to procure new, normal-sized frames, I simply mounted the photos on a sheet of construction paper from my kids' dollar-store craft kit.

I’m sorry, Ikea. It’s the end of the road for us. At least until you get around to sending me my 2007 catalogue, anyway.

With fondness and regret,