It 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.”
I shout-whispered back, “NO BABE. I WAS HERE FIRST. LOOK. I PUT MY HANDS ON THE BOX.”
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.