Stacey and I have now lived together for three years. Technically, it’s three years and one day today since we moved to Edinburgh together, in a little flat about 300 meters from where we live now, and it’s two years since we moved into this flat, which we love dearly. Whilst we do adore our little home, renting has it’s disadvantages – the main one being that we can’t decorate, or even do so much as put up pictures. It was because of this take it took us three whole years to do that super-gay thing of taking a lesbian trip to Ikea.
I remember being dragged to Ikea at 18 to buy things for my room in halls at uni; I hated the place. I hated the super-perfect fake rooms, the one way system round the shop floor, that my mum wouldn’t let us eat any of the exotic Swedish food in the cafe. I don’t know what it is about your twenties, but these days, going to Ikea is kinda like a grown-up version of a themepark, only with flat-pack furniture in the place of log flumes, and the fights revolve around how much crap you can get in the car, as opposed to which ride to go on next. I couldn’t believe it when Stace told me she’d never been to Ikea – I swear it was a staple of my childhood, when my mum used to take us to buy folding beds and kitchen utensils and vases – but it meant that I felt like we absolutely had to go through the lesbian right-of-passage; an Ikea date.
We’ve needed a bookcase pretty much since we moved in together; I have lots of novels, and poetry books, and we both have hung on to books from school and uni. Up until now, these books have been stashed under beds and in wardrobes and on desks, but it has made me sad that some of my most loved copies have been hidden away. Despite having a Kindle (and being lost without it) I still adore hard copies of the stories I love, and my poetry collection grows at an alarming rate, so a bookcase has been on both of our wishlists for a while. We eventually decided on a tall, black mid-priced bookshelf – which we needed to get delivered as it wouldn’t have fit in the car – and then the real fun began.
I swear, putting a flat-packed item of furniture together, using a guide with no words and nothing more than a screwdriver and an allen key is a task which all couples – gay or straight – should have to prove they can complete without killing one another before they get married. It took us a good few hours one Saturday morning – accompanied with buckets of tea, some calming music and stacks of waiting books. I’m not going to lie – it was hard going for a while (we both think we’re the best person when it comes to using a screwdriver, although eventually I relented and let Stacey do the bits that required tools) but there was only one occasion of second-guessing, and no raised voices, at all. And by lunchtime, we had a wonderful bookcase which (as of yet, three weeks later) has not fallen apart, and is now the home to all of our books. Yup – we have amalgamated our book collection – that means it must be true love, right?!
All joking aside, I’m sure this bookcase will be the first of many pieces of furniture we grit our teeth and purposely don’t fight over – and hopefully when we eventually move out of this flat into the first home we buy together, we’ll be able to take it apart and put it back together – all without any cross words!
The Ikea trip was a success in another way too – we also bought an second coffee table so we don’t have to share in the evenings when we’re blogging / watching TV, and it forced me to have a massive late spring-clean out of all of my old documents, and old summer outfits which I never wear anymore, and rubbish from Uni I really don’t need. I’m planning on selling some of my old dresses from the balls and formals at St Andrews online – there are a few places which offer ‘sell clothes for cash deals’, and it’s better on the environment than chucking them away, too!Carley