My dresser is an IKEA kit and was something of a bear to assemble. The second drawer down has recently developed the annoying habit of not closing on the first go, and I feel a strange obligation to fix it but I’m not sure how. It’d be nice if the stuff would come with more instructions for maintenance.

So this gets me thinking: IKEA furniture is Lego for grown-ups. You go to the store, look at the cool pictures, and pick up a box of parts to make the model you want. When you get it home and open the box, sometimes the picture inside doesn’t look like what you saw in the store, but you think, “Oh, what the hell, I’ll make it anyway, maybe I’ll figure out how to make the other thing later.” So you count up all the little pieces and lay them out and once in a while there’s some stuff missing but you always have extras around because every other set you have included the same interchangeable parts and didn’t need them all. When you start assembling it, you’re just about guaranteed to miss a step or do something out of order and have a tough time getting the pieces apart to put them back together right. And when you’re done, part of the enjoyment of having the finished product around is looking at it and thinking, “Hey, look what I made!”

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