September 30, 2009

Hollering At Ikea

With sincere apologies to those it offends, I'd like to share a family story.

Both my parents and my grandparents attended Michigan State and are proud Michigan State Spartan Fans.  For at least 40 years, my mom and dad have held season tickets to Michigan State home football games, and have - with pain and humility - watched the Spartans repeatedly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Each big ten team has its own 'hierarchy of hatred'.  For example: Ohio State hates Michigan and Michigan hates Michigan State. But we ALL UNITE in hating Notre Dame.  Many years ago, my parents and a friend of theirs managed to score coveted and rare tickets to that season's Notre Game vs. Michigan State game.  It was an away game, so off they drove from Grand Rapids to South Bend.

As they approached South Bend, the traffic slowed to a crawl, gold and blue Notre Dame paraphernalia flew, the sidewalks crowded with game attendees and the game anticipation became palpable. Suddenly, from the quiet front seat, my parents' friend scared the shit out of everyone by yelling, "JESUS CHRIST THE TENSION IS MOUNTING!!"

Ever since, this phrase has been hollered (you must holler it) by my family on Christmas eves, during plane take-offs and landings, before ultrasound results, and any other antsy excited situation. Any of you still with me?   Good.  Let me tell you what all this blaspheming has to do with my Holyoke Home.   I last hollered this phrase at the New Haven exit sign on Route 91 South, because Ikea was moments away. The meatballs!  The mind numbing number of boxes!  The opportunity to impulse buy white ceramic things you don't need!  JESUS CHRIST THE TENSION IS MOUNTING!

We went to Ikea to furnish our row house kitchen.  Before going, we measured every nook and cranny of our kitchen space, wrote a very specific list of what we needed, created a budget, and negotiated a general idea of the colors and look we wanted.  I HIGHLY recommend doing all this before you visit Ikea to avoid saying things to your significant other like, "We've been here five hours and all we've decided on is the DRAWER PULLS?!" or, "YOU PICK THE KICK PLATE COLOR!  I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT KICK PLATE IS!  I'M GOING TO THE FOOD COURT!" or, perhaps worst of all: "I don't know where I left your heavy duty measuring tape."

I also suggest bringing a snack so that you don't. Um. Start to cry when your blood sugar gets really low because you ate lunch (MEATBALLS!) five hours ago and now someone's asking you to choose the color and finish of your counter top, but your brain isn't working (true story.)

The layout of our row house kitchen is a pain in the ass.  The room includes FOUR doorways, TWO windows, and a weird 'there might have been a fireplace here' type bump-out on one wall.  Around all these, we had to find space for a stove, fridge, sink and dishwasher, prep area and (limited) storage.

Here's a visual:

In the next post, I'll show you the layout we designed as well as the stuff we bought at Ikea.  Which only includes two white ceramic things I don't need.


  1. Barb YankoskiJuly 05, 2011

    "Jesus Christ, the tension is mounting!" just made me laugh so hard I thought I would wake up that cute guy I married as it is 7:00 a.m. here. Our family yells out all kinds of things, all the time. Any "familyism" is fair game. The Griswolds rock, Did you say dinner?, Gee, that is swell. etc. I am going to add, if you don't mind, "Jesus Christ, the tension is mounting!" to our list. Thanks so much for starting my day with a good, hearty belly laugh. Cheers from the west coast of Canada. /barby

  2. Hi Barb and Thank you SO MUCH for your kind comment! Nice to know someone else understands!

  3. I think I'd like your family.

    Here in Grand Rapids, my kids have been initiated into the rivalry. They'll come home pledging their allegiance to State or whomever their current teacher likes, and I or Greg (artists both) will ask, So what do you know about them? A favorite player? Stutters all around.

  4. Oh! Thank you so much for being so human in your postings! Any person that has ever tried to tackle home improvement with a partner of whatever sort is laughing really hard right now at your Ikea story and family-ism. The "hierarchy of hatred" is classic!!


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