This weekend I’ve learned something rather ugly about myself, courtesy of Ikea: I do not deal well with unfulfilled expectations.
We awoke this morning without an alarm, a nice change from the work week’s customary 7:30. Ikea didn’t open ’til 10:00, so we could afford to sleep in to the luxurious hour of 8:30, wan Berlin light seeping in through the slight crack in the Jalousien before I was awake enough to track its arrival. I hopped out of bed, strapped on my trusty ankle brace and skittered across the apartment’s chilly rooms to the bathroom to shower, giddily anticipatory of a day of furniture acquisition that would promise a long-awaited embargo on endless open boxes bloated with sweaters and messy, apathetic suitcases dangling twisted pantlegs like denim innards. Niels was making coffee when I emerged from the bathroom.
“You know, we should check again on the Ikea website how long it takes to deliver,” he noted, measuring ground beans into the press.
“I’m on it!” I replied, childishly hopeful that by dint of some Swedish meatball studded enchantment we’d be supplied with chairs and a medicine cabinet before the day was out. After having surfed the Ikea website for only about 20 seconds, it hit: disaster.
“Oh no!” despaired Niels from where he hovered over my shoulder, “They only open at 1:00!”
I had failed to note this crucial piece of information, assuming that Sunday opening hours were identical to Saturday’s (we had planned on our caravan to Ikea happening yesterday, but my ankle went suddenly, painfully wonky and I didn’t have the stamina to go).
“NO!” I cried, “How can this be? No! What will we do for three hours?” I was surprised to note I was seriously distraught.
Thanks goodness I’m not dramatic.
“Well, we could cuddle?” Niels offered, thoughtfully curbing his laughter at my sudden, violent reaction, “And I can make eggs!”
With that, my ever resourceful and plucky boyfriend shuffled off to the kitchen to get breakfast underway whilst I sat at our kitchen table in our only chair and sulked, visions of Ingo Chairs that I’d stain in pretty, antiqued colors dancing in my disappointed head.
Perhaps it’s an affliction particularly devastating to the imaginative–much akin to the problem of being all to well equipped to conjure monsters into the closet, calamitous airline disasters into fiery being and anything at all, supernatural or otherwise, into the dark? The capacity to flesh out a round, lively impression of the near future, of just how a moment will go, of inhabiting that future and filling it with the appropriate emotions–excitement, anticipation, fear or dread–is in some ways a boon. It makes one, for example, a respectable writer and pretty good at empathy. It’s also, however, a serious emotional liability. Damn it, I could TASTE those Spekuloos cookies at 8:30 this morning! I was already perched upon my new kitchen chairs! I don’t deal well with disappointment and changes of plan imposed from the outside that may deprive me of seeing my fervent imaginings dashed upon the rocks of unexpected opening hours hurt.
I think this is all just a fancy way of avoiding admitting that I’m a brat.
But luckily, I have Niels to save the day. Just as I was getting a grip on my furniture-deprivation-doldrums, he materialized from the kitchen bearing steaming crocks of eggs mixed with roasted red peppers, black olives and feta, not to mention the ever crucial coffee. We breakfasted together on his bright blue exercise mat, munching and gazing at our fat, happy little Christmas tree. My bleak mood slowly drained away as I chewed, expertly constructed scramble quelling the beast inside.
We’ve spent the morning lazing around the house, internetting, and enjoying our first Sunday in the new apartment. I’ve learned that the bells of Gethsemane Church clang at 10:30 on Sundays, and that fluffy goosedown pillows (purchased yesterday at Dänisches Bettenlager, where a string of star-lights, some trivets, a kitchen clock and new pillowcases were also acquired) are almost impossible to squarely wrangle into cases. Niels also fixed that for me.
Here’s what Sunday has looked like so far.
And this also happened yesterday. We found a tiny truck on the way to Dänisches Bettenlager. Being a person who never learned to ride a bike and also perpetually cold since having moved to Germany, I think this tiny 3-wheeled truck might be an ideal next ride for me.
Anyhow, it’s T-1 hour until we depart for Ikea, and I am so ready. Those cookies and those chairs will be mine, even if I have to bust the door in with my racecrutches.
Reports on the experience that is a weekend at Ikea to follow. Bis gleich and happy Sunday, kiddlies.
*Hopping owl might be a decent early-people moniker for me, considering my spirit animal and my continued inability to walk without crutches.