Biting Off More Than You Can Chew. Subtitle: Crying in the IKEA Parking Lot.

Yes, it’s true, I cried in the driver’s seat of my rental car last night in the IKEA parking lot. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Come along on my journey.

Listen, internet. I’m 29 and I live alone. Some days I get swept away with Brilliant Ideas, and yesterday’s was that I needed a new couch and I needed it immediately. Some cursory research and a zipcar later, and I was standing at the Furniture Pickup area of IKEA looking at all the couples buying new MALMs and SVALGADs and one of them watching the cart while the other went to get ice cream cones while a nice IKEA employee loaded a box larger than my body onto my cart. Followed by 4 more boxes, 2 of them incredibly substantial.


But I was going to do this, dammit…and plus I’d already paid for the stupid things! I’d rented a car (a pickup! because despite the fact that I grew up in suburban Long Island and went to a preppy northeastern college and have killed every plant I’ve ever owned [and some that I have not] and have never sown a row of any crop in my life and currently live in the tech hipster capital of the world, i still believe that I am at heart “a pickup truck kind of girl.” right.) and I make enough income to buy a couch on a whim (ish) and I work out so obviously I can tackle any physical feat. I’m a stubborn type, especially in the face of things I should ask for help on, but don’t want to. I hate to admit when I’m overwhelmed. So, I loaded up the truck and after a brief silent sob I decided it was a silly thing to be upset about and hit the road.

Aaaand got lost in Oakland on my way back, secretly thinking getting car-jacked wouldn’t be terrible because 1) what a story! and 2) no facing up to somehow getting/not getting these boxes up to my apartment!

After finding my way back to my apartment, I discovered that if I, to quote Ice Cube, put my “back into it,” I could roll the hugest box end over end to the bottom of the stairs. Then I rolled it up until the first 90° turn, where I spent the next 25 minutes struggling to twist it so it could be rolled up the rest of the stairs. 25 minutes. No exaggeration. I’m not sure if my neighbors saw me, but it might’ve looked something like a small girl trying to mount an incredibly boxy whale. I kicked and pushed and heaved and climbed and sweat through my shirt and then lo! I found out that if I climbed outside the railing of the stairs, jammed my foot under the box, leaned back and kicked with all my might, it unstuck and I was able to keep pressure with my knee while crawling under the box to flip it end over end up the rest of the stairs. Triumph!

Then, it rained. For the first time in 6 months. Because I left my box on my deck while I returned my rental car. Ha ha, universe. Ha, ha.

Like I said, internet, I’m 29 and I live alone. So I ordered 4 people’s worth of Indian food (delivery minimum, sigh), cracked open a beer, and got to work. And wouldn’t you know it! What else I discovered was that since the box was taller than me, if I climbed on top of it I could finally install that last lighting fixture I’d been trying to install in my ceiling! So you see? I didn’t even have to rent a ladder, though I must say the box was not exactly “stable.” Again, my neighbors looking in might’ve thought I was doing some sort of core balancing workout on top of…well, a very tall cardboard box. But I installed that light and then I spent the next 2 hours building my couch. Which I did! Successfully!

The lesson here is that there are going to be times you are over your head, literally, in boxes. And you’d like to sit in an IKEA parking lot and cry and think to yourself, how is it that I don’t have someone to help me with my IKEA boxes? But that’s the wrong way to look at it. You are ok, you are alive, you have a beer in the fridge, and you can crack it open, roll your sleeves up, and get to work unpacking your own shit. 

Oh also, since this is a baking blog, here is some apple sauce I made from a bag of 99 cent apples that were almost bad but not so bad that they couldn’t be sauced!


No-sugar Applesauce

6 or 7 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
a cinnamon stick
a squirt of lemon juice

Seriously just cook the apples down with the cinnamon stick and squirt in some lemon juice. You’re welcome.



Author: katboda

Hey, cram it.

2 thoughts on “Biting Off More Than You Can Chew. Subtitle: Crying in the IKEA Parking Lot.”

  1. Very impressed Katrina! This definitely confirms you are a chip off the Nordic block! Be proud, be very proud. Anyone who can tackle any kind of Ikea stuff on their own and put the pieces together in away that produces something as useful as a couch deserves a medal like “I tackled numerous Ikea bits and pieces all on my own to create this little/large beauty :-)))”. I’ll be a life member of your fan club for sure! Virva (your one and only and thus by default your favorite aunt from Brussels).

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