Ikea is a Four Letter Word
I have a new four letter dirty word: Ikea. I’ve never been one prone to swearing. In fact I pride myself in never swearing in front of my daughter. But last weekend she counted me saying the F word 7 times in 12 minutes. While I was sobbing over Ikea in the hallway, she was keeping a record of my obscenities.
For the first week, Ikea had simply let me down. They didn’t deliver all our new furniture for our unfurnished apartment. The second week they promised they would, but still didn’t. The 3rd week it arrived with forklift holes in my bed head and missing slats for my daughter’s bed. After 4 weeks of sleeping on the carpet and eating with plastic spoons ‘borrowed’ from Starbucks, I broke. It was hardly a glorious start to our arrival in a new country.
Yes, I rang senior management. Yes they apologized. Yes I even got compensation and refunds. No, my daughter still does not have a complete bed. But we have recently upgraded to steel cutlery, glass cups and ceramic plates … and we have a new replacement word for my much shameful obscenity outburst: Ikea.
Now when anything really riles me, I simply shout Ikea! I use it as a verb ie. They really ‘Ikead up! Or ‘Ikea that!’ I can even conjugate it: He ikead up, she ikead up, they ikead up . The beauty of this new obscenity is that no one knows that I’m being rude. The downside is that people think I am singing the praises of the Swedish superstore when I stub my toe; ‘Oh, Ikea!”
It has truly been a trying time moving into an unfurnished apartment on the other side of the world. It’s felt like I have just moved out of home at the age of 21. But at 21, I had no one else for whom I was responsible. Now as a single mother, I have my daughter to consider.
It was a huge, brave move on her behalf to travel with me to England from Australia, to attend a new school and start a new life. I wanted to make the move into our new home as easily and quickly as possible so that she could enjoy her time here. Ikea ensured that the ‘quick and easy’ part was removed. But ironically what it brought with it was the upside of life.
Apart from a new swear word, it brought wonderful, warm, thoughtful new friends into our lives. Our various neighbours lent us blankets, sheets, a TV, even a dining table and chair along with bottle openers, vases (with sunflowers!), tea towels and thankfully, a fold- out bed for my daughter. The experience bonded us with new friendships that were worth far more than any piece of new furniture. In a very roundabout way, Ikea had gifted us through their Ikea ups.
My daughter may have learned some new obscenities, but it has also reinforced to us both the value of friendship and the incredible worth of having good people in our lives. And whilst we may have lost time, sleep and furniture parts, we have filled our home with the most important things; love, warmth and friendship. We feel safe and cared for here and that is all that truly matters.