In a moment of utter madness, this weekend, I decided to go to Ikea. For those of you that are unaware, or have yet to experience the seething torture that is any kind of Ikea experience, let me explain. Ikea, on a good day, is suburban mass consumerism hell on earth, on a bank holiday, however, it makes 3 years hard labour in a North Korean prison camp look like a weekend at Butlin’s.
So, as was my ill-considered want, I went yesterday afternoon. I went with a male friend who needed some cut to size blinds and whilst perusing the gardening furniture section I brought up the subject of my loathing for Ikea and all that reside within her. His response? … “that is why you’ll never be marriage material.”
I pondered his statement and considered the implication that one’s opinion of a Swedish super store might bode so heavily on one’s likelihood of marital bliss. I also considered the fact that he thought me, unquestionably, single for the foreseeable future.
Now, one would think that a comment such as this might offend, that somebody suggesting you aren’t fit for purpose in cohabiting with another would imply your personality, nay, your way of life and expectations from it, to be a little off kilter.
I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, if someone told me that a life of singledom would mean I would never have to step foot in Ikea again I would gladly take it.
For there are two types of women in this world. Women who like Ikea, and, women who don’t.
Or, more simply put, those who enjoy shopping in Ikea and those who would rather be in the pub on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Very little saddens me more, in fact, than the thought of spending time buying tea lights, cheap sofa beds and kitchen spatulas when I could be nicely pissed in a pub garden somewhere with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in my hand. Yes, I appreciate there are calls for such functional additions in one’s life or to one’s kitchen, but items such as this should be bought hastily and under duress.
To witness couples, not just shopping for such items but actually enjoying it, nay making a day of it … 90p hotdogs at the checkout and all, is beyond measure. If you ever feel sad at your single status spend an hour in a furniture superstore (Homebase/ World of leather/Next … all equally as sufficient) and you will soon be rejoicing at your ability to spend your time deliciously drunk and living off take aways. No, spatula required.
The second conclusion I came to regarding the Ikea/wife relationship is that the principle attribute required for both is patience. What could possibly be considered more intolerable, cuing for what feels like your entire life at a check out with 3 pot plants and a flat pack bed or lying on a flat pack bed for what feels like your entire life with a pot plant, sorry …. I mean your husband. Being good at one, naturally makes you good at the other. Being totally shit at one and wanting to bang your head against a concrete wall and run down the North circular screaming naturally makes you either sectioned (thankfully, a welcome rest bite amongst the sea of grinning homemakers.) or totally shit at the other. Patient plant buyers make good wives.
So in brief, there are certain things I am good at … drinking Sauvignon Blanc in the sun, putting off ALL but absolutely essential domestic tasks until the very last minute, improvising with a pair of tights because I don’t have a strainer, and spontaneous acts of oral sex. And there are certain things I am not, shopping in Ikea, smiling sweetly while my husband insists on couriering home a flat pack kitchen in the back of a Renault Megane on a bank holiday Monday and, it would seem, generally being a wife.
oh well, you can’t win em’ all.