Why buy it when you can make it! #31: I went for some Swedish meatballs, and walked out with a bonus chuckle

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Blog entry by paxorion posted 01-19-2015 03:46 PM 1892 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 30: Doll House [Part 3] - Half a house from Once Upon An Alphabet Part 31 of Why buy it when you can make it! series Part 32: Ribba must be short for Ribbaff »

My 3 year old daughter associates the letter I with 3 things: her name, ice cream, and IKEA. This past weekend, I took her to IKEA to get ice cream, and to cause chaos running around the showroom. Armed with a bag (which was quickly forgotten) she got to work, wrecking a few hours of havoc in the store (and my psyche).

About 2 hours in, we got to the dresser section. While I was there, a husband and wife couple were “cordially” debating over the stained or laminate veneered Hemnes (their finger-jointed pine furniture). I couldn’t resist eaves dropping to overhear that the wife prefered the white laminate veneered version because she didn’t want scratches to appear on the dresser. That was the last draw and I felt compelled to intervene, explaining that a stained one would be far more repairable because it was solid wood as opposed to particleboard glory. The husband and I had a nod of “thanks for backing me up” acknowledgement. The wife silently ignored me, but I heard her message loud and clear. “Mind your own [insert words of your choice] business you [insert more words of your choice].” Thankfully, my daughter called me at that moment and we moved on. My only thoughts were “enjoy reaping what you sow”.

So where was the bonus chuckle? Well to my utter shame as a woodworker, the second reason I was at IKEA was to pick up a white-wash stained Hemnes dresser. I promised to make a dresser for my son before he was born. He’s now 1 year old and I haven’t started. My wife is patient but not that patient. When she asked that I just get “something”, I pointed to the the chips in our veneered Crate and Barrel furniture to point to, and told her she had 3 choices: the natural, white-wash or black-brown stained dresser. When I got home, I told my wife the story and she chuckled.

PS: The ice cream was a hit for my daughter, and my son’s new Hemnes dresser reeked of pine resin. Go #2 common pine and all it’s glory.

-- paxorion

3 comments so far

View leafherder's profile


1636 posts in 2190 days

#1 posted 01-19-2015 04:23 PM

Great story. I worked in retail for 10 years, rule #1 – never contradict the wife in front of the husband. Although I am sure that at the first scratch she will be telling him “See that man in the store told YOU not to buy the white one.” Of course one scratch will also mean that it is utterly ruined and she will have to get a new one which won’t match the rug, and the new rug won’t match the paint, and the new paint won’t match the other furniture, and the new furniture won’t fit into the room properly so a new house will be in order, which will mean all new paint, carpet, furniture, and by this point probably new husband.

Thanks for the chuckle – now I am craving those Swedish meatballs.

-- Leafherder

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2723 days

#2 posted 01-19-2015 10:17 PM

No problem with IKEA furniture for a kid. They’re going to trash anything you put in front of them, so you might as well go cheap. Once they’re old enough, then build them something nice.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Mean_Dean's profile


6915 posts in 3385 days

#3 posted 01-20-2015 01:19 AM

Great story! I especially liked the part about the wife! I know it’s tempting to intervene like that—I’ve been there myself—but you must resist that temptation. Let them sort it out themselves—you knowing that a few months down the line, you’ll be completely vindicated!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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