Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dan vs. Besta Jagra

Let's start with the triumph.

What you see above is our newly reorganized bookcase. We grouped the books by color. Wish I could say we came up with this idea, but it's enough that it looks awesome in our apartment (pictures don't really do it justice).

And now, the tough stuff. I spent the better part of Sunday afternoon -- and evening -- grappling with Besta Jagra, our new Ikea entertainment center. (Can I just say I love the name Besta Jagra? It's a good Star Wars name. Say it out loud. Am I wrong?)

Now, let me set this up by saying my grandfather is a master carpenter. My dad's not quite at that level, but he knows his way around a table saw. Meanwhile, I struggle with pre-fab Ikea furniture. This is what they call progress.

I'm sure that a 4-foot long TV stand with two drawers isn't supposed to take four hours to construct, although in my defense, at least one of the pictures in the instructions was inaccurate. And a lot of them took major deciphering (is the little wheely thing pointed up, or down?) which was sometimes unsuccessful anyway, requiring unscrewing and rescrewing. (I realize that Ikea's picture-only approach to instructions is meant to be some sorta latter-day Esperanto, understood by everyone around the world and uniting us in our peaceful comprehension of universal pictograms, but seriously...why not provide a written version online at least? Where somebody could read a phrase like, "Make sure the little wheely thing is pointed down." That's what would've kept the peace in our house on Sunday.)

Step 1. So far, so good...(not really)

When I was somewhere around step #15 out of 28 (and Yvonne was safely in the next room, knowing what was coming), I freaked out a little. I became the dad from The Christmas Story when he's fixing the furnace.

"Ohhh, DAMMIT! This whole thing is UPSIDE DOWN. You can't have the rough side on one side and....yep, the smooth side on the other. I knew it. HOW CAN THIS EVEN HAPPEN??? I followed all the directions, those idiotic directions WITHOUT WORDS. There are no words! Who would write directions like that??? Of course I couldn't follow them. And the thing is, I can't even fix this! This particle board crap isn't made to screw and unscrew and then rescrew. It'll never hold. THIS THING WILL FALL APART. I promise you.

"What a disaster.






"Nevermind. I had it right."

Thirteen or so steps later (not counting a couple more re-dos), this, too, ended in triumph, but only after blood, sweat and almost tears were shed. Besta Jagra, you were a formidable foe, but we all knew how this was going to end.


Jacey said...

I have been trying to get Dan to let me organize our bookcase by color for 3 years. He refuses and must group the books by genre - HIS idea of genre, of course. He'll tell you you're gay for doing your books this way, but I think it looks fantastic!!

Yvonne said...

I know enough about Dan and Ikea furniture to stay in the other room in these situations. I think Dan fails to mention is that throughout the ENTIRE four hour process of putting this thing together I could hear him talking to himself muttering obscenities, saying out loud that he was doing something wrong and repeating over and over again "I am SO CONFUSED" So when he had his big freak out as he writes about, you can understand why I didn't bother to go out and see what went wrong. (The boy who cried wolf?) But when I heard him say "Oh wait, never mind" after all that, it was seriously the funniest moment ever. I am the worst wife ever. I laugh at my husband's pain.

Yvonne said...

The book shelf does look great though. (And the TV stand too!)

kunka. said...

"I GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!!!" -- other classic Squeen freak outs.

I don't mind the color thing actually... just like I don't mind when Squeen wears a bowtie. It's just not for everyone.

David said...

What other Squeen freakouts are out there?

I've been where you were on the construction projects. The devolution will not be televised, nor will it sit comfortably on a Besta Jagra.

Peter said...

I remember helping you guys put something together back in the day. Was it closets? I think it took us all day! I hate those directions they give as well. To this day I dread when Jen buys something that requires assembly. You would think with all the years experience I have, that it would come easier? Not!

Ara said...

Love the books, Ikea direction are simple. You hammer in the wooden things and then you screw in the metal things and then you pop in the turny things in the holes and screw em in. Done.

What other freak outs? Uh the time. . . there was a stressful situation of any kind, or a quick decision to be made.

The time his car was broken into, the time his car was towed, the time his car did something bad. Mostly car issues.

Any time there's not Squeen caliber music on the radio.

The time he lost his flip flop at the concert.

Etc, etc.