Stay Together With Ikea

My Dad and I don’t work well together.  When I say “work”, I do actually mean work and not that we don’t get on generally – we do.

However, when it comes to work, things just get tense.  From my side, I get exasperated by helpful advice such as “don’t bang the door with the ladder” and “don’t get the black paint you’re painting the windows with on the white wall”.  All things I would never have thought of myself.

Such helpful advice annoys me to the extent that I become more prone to give sarcastic replies (yes, me, really!) which means that useful advice and assistance is then not forthcoming.

I read an interesting article last year from Quartz about why Ikea furniture is a good test of whether two people will work well together.

The article shows all the ways that arguments that will arise between entering the shop and having a shelf on the wall at home.

Flat pack was always something I was quite proud I could build, but this drawer front just ain’t gonna work, is it?

A photo posted by Michael Herbert (@83unsungheroes) on

Instore, the demonstrations are idealised and could prompt disagreements.  For example:

“That container to hold the cleaning stuff looks useful.”

“How would you know? You never clean!”

(Let’s stay away from bedroom examples for now!)

Then there’s the unboxing, and I’m not talking about the internet phenomenon – flatpack isn’t as interesting as Shopkins.  Unboxing flatpack isn’t a common thing in most households, and therefore each person is vying for a role.  It’s a power struggle.

Then there’s the instructions.  Look easy, don’t they? So when the job isn’t as easy as it looks, you can get stressed with yourself and take that out on your partner.

At the time of actual construction, there may be a tendency to blame and point fingers when something doesn’t quite go as expected.

I like building flatpack.  I do genuinely enjoy it.  At home, I’m usually left to do it myself but helping a friend build shelves, a bed and put up a pole dancing pole one night a year or so ago was far more fun for me than it should have been. And there were precisely no arguments!

It was an interesting article that you should read, and had interesting if not obvious conclusions about what to do to avoid issues – don’t apportion blame and leave it alone if things start to go downhill.

Or maybe there’s a reason they call if “do it yourself”!

There’s no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart
Our dreams,
And they are made out of real things
Like a shoebox of photographs
With sepia-toned loving

Love is the answer.
At least for most of the questions in my heart.
Like: “Why are we here?”, “And where do we go?”,
“And how come it’s so hard?”.
It’s not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing:
It’s always better when we’re together

Mmm, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, we’ll look at them stars when we’re together
Well, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together

And all of these moments
Just might find their way into my dreams tonight
But I know that they’ll be gone
When the morning light sings and brings new things
For tomorrow night you see that they’ll be gone too
Too many things I have to do

But if all of these dreams
Might find their way into my day-to-day scene
I’d be under the impression
I was somewhere in between
With only two
Just me and you
Not so many things we got to do
Or places we got to be
We’ll sit beneath the mango tree now

Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together
Mmm, we’re somewhere in between together
Well, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together

Mmm, mmm, mmm

I believe in memories
They look so, so pretty when I sleep
Hey now, and when I wake up,
You look so pretty sleeping next to me
But there is not enough time,
And there is no, no song I could sing
And there is no combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing
We’re better together.

Better Together by Jack Johnson

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