embarrassed-by-ikea-furnitureYou know that feeling you get when you walk into an employed person’s home and realize furniture comes in other colors besides birch and doesn’t require being pieced together with stripped pegs and allen wrenches? It’s called envy, and the unemployed dream of a day when their belongings aren’t just a bunch of random IKEA pieces with broken hinges, scuffs and really embarrassing bumper stickers and when they can tell admiring friends, “Oh thank you, I specifically chose this to match the curtains which match this obscure and totally useless vase.”

Looking back, there was always a place and time in our lives when IKEA furniture just made sense. It’s functional, the price is usually right and there’s just something so satisfying about graduating from plastic bins that display our underwear to the world to real furniture. Going to IKEA for hours at a time to find the perfect EKTORP was just as exciting as finding a ditched MALM on the street or perusing Craigslist to find a cheap LEKSVIK. It didn’t matter what each item’s true purpose was for because we were so excited to have furniture that we would hoard it and find a way to use it.

Unfortunately, IKEA furniture always seems like a better idea than it really is. After factoring in shipping costs and troublesome assembly time, we’re left realizing we could have bought a piece of adult furniture for the same price. And there is a difference between real furniture and adult furniture. It’s something the unemployed know all too well as they sit on a dangerously unstable ÄPPLARÖ that rocks not because it was designed to, but because there are so many missing pieces from improper assembly and because it’s just so old. Adult furniture is meant to last a while and is to be properly cared for so it can stay in the family unlike IKEA furniture that is all too often pawned off to friends during a move or otherwise disposed of in the street for some (un)fortunate soul to take in.

Nice furniture is something the unemployed always hoped they would graduate to next before they ended up losing their jobs. Before and after getting laid off they would be that creep at Crate and Barrel lounging in the bed that reads “Please do not sit on display bed” just wishing they could afford even one item in the store. Anything to make it look like they weren’t still in college. Embarrassed by their furniture they tell friends, ”If you don’t mind the risk of flipping over in that broken papasan chair, you’re more than welcome to come over.” Some day their dream will be realized. Until then, don’t be surprised to find the jobless sitting on the floor where there’s less chance for getting splinters.

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14 Responses to “#152 Being Embarrassed About Their IKEA Furniture”

  1. Employed Schadenfreude says:

    I’m employed and my house is still furnished solely with IKEA furniture. Don’t feel bad.

  2. Miriam says:

    Dude, I went with walmart.com, because items ship idividually – so I don’t have to choose a truckload at a time. Also great cause you don’t have to drive there. It’s like the old Sears catalog – they have everything in unbelievable variety! The prices are about the same, if you go with the mid and budget type styles – they have furniture from modern to traditional and the styles are varied. I got tall bookcases for twenty five dollars each – made a whole wall of them. Walmart.com is unbeatable for anything you need in an apartment!

  3. Rob says:

    I actually got a good deal on the RÄMDAT and it made
    everything match when paired with my FARD.

  4. Rob says:

    So-called “Grownup Furniture” is supposed to go in those
    McMansions that are no longer in vogue. Don’t worry, IKEA’s coming
    back; you can’t fit adult furniture in the “downsized” houses that
    are going to be next on the trend cycle. Grownup furniture is also
    a giant pain to move because, let’s face it, people are renting now
    that houses are impossible to sell, and who wants to lug (or pay
    per pound) a 500 pound solid walnut desk around the
    country?

  5. Anthony Rivera says:

    One of the worst barriers for employement: Unrealistic Job
    Requirements. Apparently, you have be fluent in Spanish, have PHD,
    and have gazillions of years of experience. Employers are asking
    for people who do not exist.

    • My Perspective says:

      Anthony, I just fell in love with you.

      That statement is so true! Yes, the requirements are completely unrealistic.

      I live in a city where Spanish is a MUST if you want to be employed. Or you can work at some cruddy job surrounded by really obnoxious and/or trashy people.

      I wish it could be like the movies where good jobs just fall into people’s laps.

      I also know people who are incredibly lucky in real life. One lady has been a dental hygienist for 30 years. She receives excellent pay, benefits, and paid vacations.

      I think it was probably a lot easier for people to be hired on the spot many years ago. Jobs were easier to come by, generally speaking. Now the market is extremely tough and demanding.

      You not only need the requirements of fluent Spanish, PhD, and experience…you need to be a brilliant mathematician who can balance spreadsheets and multi-task and “network” with people.

      I would start my own business if I had the means and the money.

  6. PJ says:

    LOL. I still love my Poang though. I don’t care what anyone
    says. I just sit in it, in the basement, in the dark, rocking.
    Whoever thought of the papasan though, they need to be slapped. I
    can’t believe I once owned one of those and made my family (attempt
    to) sit on/in it.

  7. Alice says:

    Why don’t people just go to secondhand stores and get real
    furniture for half the price that they’ll have forever? I’m
    unemployed and spent less on my home furniture than I ever would
    have at Ikea, and it’ll last me the rest of my life.

  8. Gerri says:

    I don’t know why anyone would feel embarrassed about Ikea Furniture
    I’ts quite stylish and sturdy.

  9. anon says:

    What the F is wrong with Ikea furniture? It’s not that cheap either. Serious fail on this post.

  10. mike says:

    I own a business and I still have ikea furniture. Then again, I am saving my money and investing it. Anyways, I was on food stamps for a while too. Maybe it’s just the Portland in me but I try to approach everyone with equality as much as I can.

  11. John says:

    I hate all furniture. Whether I can afford the most expensive or the least expensive, i like spartan things only waht need. lavish is rubbish.

    I like the ideas of your site but the posts are cliche, hackneyed, useless, and redundant (unfortunately). no offense.

    The fact that so many people are a)unemployed and b)embarassed about furniture is disturbing (b is ludicrously idiotic concern). People that obsessed with furniture have such warped beliefs they deserve to be unemployed. But all people who are unemployed do not deserve that.

  12. Ashley says:

    Grown-up furniture? What’s that? :)

    I don’t like to have a lot of furniture (one of the consequences of living in a tiny apartment) but what I have is simple and cheap and I like it that way.

  13. James says:

    Nothin wrong with IKEA funiture!

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