Friday, 19 May 2006

Freecycle

There comes a time in every relationship when you find yourself at the steps of a serene, tall building with a long isle you have to walk down, at the end of which your social status and life situation will be forever changed. And there will be a sit-down meal included, surrounded by screaming kids and weird relatives.

Yes, I am of course talking about IKEA.
I apologise for my lack of cyrillic-reading proficiency, but apparently the Russians think IKEA is either sexually arousing or some kind of punishment of women...
Personally, I have always loved IKEA.

I grew up about a 10 min car ride from one, and although I can vaguely remember it opening up, I can't really remember any pre-IKEA days.

My parents own a Poang chair. I had a Billy bookcase in my room. I have built countless pieces of Robin bedroom furniture.

Although of course J and I have been to IKEA many times before together to furnish our respective apartments. But this was our first visit together, to furnish our shared home.

We bought an antique stained bed (antique stained from IKEA, yes, the irony is not lost on J's Gf), a mattress, a (Robin) dresser for J, a wardrobe for me, another large bookcase, a sieve, a smokey blue glass crockery set... and of course meatballs.

And as we were sitting in Brent Cross, with a beautiful view of highly pregnant Sikh women and Carribean rastafaris and hijab'ed Muslim women and Polish plummers rushing towards the building from the parking lot like ants towards a sugar-coated ant-hill, suddenly I felt very uncomfortable.

Suddenly I looked at all the SUVs outside and felt sick to my stomach, as if I was willingly worshipping at the golden calf of consumerism, which I usually try to avoid.

I went quiet. J asked me if something was wrong. I said no. He told me his new therapist isn't necessarily right for him, but that he's getting along really well with his GP.

I nodded. And felt a little ill.

Because not only was I consuming like crazy, and cheap, polluting ply-wood material furniture it was too (because proper pine is too expensive, even in IKEA), but I was consuming to store other things I have been consuming.

I have too many clothes so I need two wardrobes (!!). We have too many books and CDs, so we needed another shelf. And every day I read about AIDS orphans in Russia and raped women in Afghanistan and I do nothing.

On top of all this I was gripped by an unprecedented attack of commitment anxiety. When you buy a bed with someone and have a water meter installed (see, I am green and saving the planet in some ways), that's really It. You either stick it out or face an incredibly painful 'sharing our stuff' session at a future date in a Big Yellow Storage place of your choice.

I need to channel this anxiety and aggression into something useful.

I urge you all to join your nearest Freecycle network unless you already have. It's a contact network for people getting rid of unwanted stuff and people needing it. J and I are getting a hideous but completely useable dining table from someone there.

There, I did something good for humanity.

As for the aggression, well, the furniture is getting delivered on Monday. Give me a Philips screwdriver, a huge hammer and bring it on.

And the anxiety? I am hoping a good shag later can take care of that...

3 comments:

  1. hello there. thanks for visiting my blog. Btw regarding to ur q. I am an expat in Norway. But soon will be Norwegianised hehehehehe . I so love here and I even thought that I was probably a Norwegian in my previous life since the language came to me naturally as well. Spoke it fluently in less than 9 months.

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  2. Brent Cross? My god, you were 10 minutes from me and you didn't pop in for coffee. Mind you, do you think it will ever be pssible to see me and J IN THE SAME ROOM??? (ROFL)

    I love Ikea, but hate going. it's something of a conundrum. Have a lovely weekend, and dont spend too much money on worthless chattels x

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Thanks for not just lurking..

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