the story behind our new ikea dresser.

hemnes--drawer-dresser__0152649_PE311002_S4It was a typical Saturday evening at IKEA.

Crowded, minor chaos, the smell of Swedish meatballs permeating the air. We were on a mission: new bedroom furniture or bust.

I’ve had my eye on the Hemnes dresser ever since it popped up in my Pinterest feed for the 87th time. People are IKEA-hacking the crap out of that thing, but I’m a simple girl—I like it plain just fine.

Also worth mentioning: we’re redecorating our bedroom for the first time in seven years so it’s kind of a big deal. I wore my good maternity shorts and we took a picture and everything.

We toured the entire store, naturally, oohing and aahing over potential purchases for our new house. Corner desk, toddler bed for Ev, bookcases, oh my! I made mental notes of everything I liked and snapped a few photos on my phone to reference later.

Finally we made our way down to the aisle and bin abyss, just in time for Everett to start getting squirmish. I ran out of snacks somewhere around the picture frame department so it was time to get down to business, although I quickly realized that I had forgotten to write down the aisle and bin numbers for the dresser. Rookie mistake.

We ventured over to a computer to look up the product, where we learned there were only three dressers left in the entire store. Not one to waste time, ever, I steered Everett over to the correct aisle while Brett grabbed a big cart.

Ev and I turned into aisle 23, along with another young couple trailing right behind us. All four of us walked up to the correct bin together. I quickly spied the dresser, in white, and realized there was only one left. I had no cart, and each box weighed more than I could lift, so naturally I did what anyone else would do.

I sat on the ground and put my hand on the box.

(Wait, that’s not what you would do?!)

I’ll admit—I panicked. I wanted the dresser, and felt the need to stake my claim on it, but wasn’t exactly sure how to do that. What do animals do to mark their territory? Pee on things? I actually did have to pee (I am pregnant after all), but obviously wasn’t willing to make a scene.

So there I sat, on the ground, with my hands on the dresser, wide eyed like an anxious cat.

The other couple, semi-oblivious, grabbed three boxes of the dresser in the other color, while I sighed a silent sigh of relief. They had just loaded the boxes onto their cart when I heard the girl say, “Wait! This isn’t the white dresser. We want the white one.”

They were standing right next to me, assessing the situation, while I (politely) pretended not to hear them, keeping my hands diligently locked on the boxes.

I heard her husband say, “Ooooh. It looks like there’s only one left.”

Enter: Brett, stage right.

He walked up just in time to hear the poor couple lamenting over the last white dresser, and noticed they already had their boxes on the cart. He whispered, “Babe….I think this couple wants the white dresser.”

A look of betrayal fell over my face.


Brett whispered again, “So? So we should let them have it. They already loaded the other one.”


For the first time, Brett noticed my hands tightly clenched around all three boxes. He gave me another look and asked, “Are you sure you were here first?”

“OF COURSE I AM SURE. How else would my hands have gotten on the box?”

He sighed, and gave the other couple a sympathetic look. They muttered something about hating IKEA and walked away.

Sweet victory was mine.


When people ask me about Brett, I tell them that we love each other very much, but we are wired differently. Brett is patient, and kind, and selfless, and generous, and considerate, all of the time.

Me? I am a go-getter—in life, in my tiny self-made career, and apparently, in IKEA.

Sometimes Brett wins and we are really nice to people, and sometimes I win and we walk out of IKEA with a new dresser.

The bottom line: don’t mess with me. I take my bedroom furniture very seriously.

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18 Responses to the story behind our new ikea dresser.

  1. Whitney says:

    Haha! You crack me up.
    You had your hands on the box first, though. Totally legit.
    Whitney´s last blog post ..Library of Congress

  2. Becca says:

    I love everything about this… from the good maternity shorts to the thought of peeing on a dresser in IKEA. Love it, girl!
    Becca´s last blog post ..ALL MORNING OUTDOOR FUN TIME

  3. Jess says:

    I wish I had those guts. Sometimes I am way too timid and quiet and don’t speak up for things (like white dressers) and wish I was more of a go-getter!
    Jess´s last blog post ..Made by me: painted Mason jars

  4. San says:

    I WANT THAT DRESSER!! I wanted it for a long time! So I totally understand that you staked tie claim on it! Good for you!!! <3
    San´s last blog post ..Photo of the week: McKinley Pond

  5. Jessica N says:

    Ok, awesome story. Brett and you are so the same as me and my hubby. I totally would have fought for that dresser too! Don’t mess with a pregnant woman!
    Jessica N´s last blog post ..Nursery Tour: Beau’s Beachy Abode

  6. Stephanie says:

    I could have written this, ha! I remember carrying an ottoman all around Target while seven months pregnant because it was the LAST one and I was too excited to get a cart. My husband has made the same type of comments to me before…I totally understand feeling betrayed lol!!
    Stephanie´s last blog post ..Newborn Essentials

  7. Margarita says:

    Oh my goodness, that’s hilarious!! I also love the Hemnes line, especially the desk with the mirror, it’s gorgeous!
    Margarita´s last blog post ..Train Wreck Hike & Alexander Falls in Whistler

  8. Anne says:

    haha this is so funny! and so like me and my husband! he probably would have loaded the white one for the other people just to be nice
    Anne´s last blog post ..Home Sweet Home

  9. Susannah says:

    Hahaha. This is exactly how it would go down with Nate and me.
    Susannah´s last blog post ..This One’s Really Late

  10. Holly says:

    I laughed out loud when I read this 🙂 My husband HATES Ikea so on the rare occasion that I can convince him to go, I totally make it worthwhile. Last time we actually had to pay them to deliver the items to our house because we couldn’t fit it all in our car 😀 We’ve been married for 6 years and have never really decorated our bedroom. It’s the place where everything that doesn’t have a home ends up and it drives me NUTS! With two kids, I need an oasis 🙂
    Holly´s last blog post ..Family Friendly Recipes

  11. Susan M says:

    Oh, this is so funny. You have quiet the knack for writing there girl! I have the exact dresser and it is super spacious and actually pretty easy to assemble.
    Susan M´s last blog post ..Sweet & Buttery New England Rock Crabs

  12. Gina says:

    Awesome story! I would have done the same thing if I was you.
    Gina´s last blog post ..{Currently} June

  13. Suz says:

    I love this story- even the second time around. HILARIOUS!

  14. michelle says:

    IKEA is cutthroat! Way to stand your ground girl – I would’ve done the same and pretty sure my husband would have responded EXACTLY like Brett, haha!

  15. Love this 🙂 We have that dresser too! Love it!
    kelsey williams´s last blog post ..strawberry picking

  16. Mitzie says:

    You totally made me laugh, Ashlee! I remember when your car was broken into at Davis and you were most upset that someone stole your NOTES! You said that no matter how big the guy was, if you saw him you would take him down! I believe it!!

  17. Molly says:

    For the record, if I were Couple #2, I would have considered a box that was in the clutches of the pregnant stranger NOT a part of the IKEA inventory. Duh, right? Also, if I was part of Couple #1, I probably would’ve gone Brett’s way, not because I think he was right, but because I have an incessant need to be liked, even by total strangers. Except when I was pregnant. Pregnancy gave me license to do pretty much anything I wanted and I would’ve dared anybody to cross me. So all in all, great move Ashlee!

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