This is Life, Based on a True Story  

Lessons learned on Ikea trip

Relationships are funny – in a “ha-ha” way.

I don’t think there’s anything in life that will bring us as much joy while simultaneously stressing us out. Watching others as they engage with their partners in every-day, mundane tasks, makes you realize your own couple weirdness isn’t actually weird.

I write this on the heels of a road trip my partner and I took to Ikea. I was quite entertained throughout the day – not only by my partner, but by our interactions with other couples.

Although we were both looking forward to the quick road trip, the day started out on a wobbly foot between us. Knowing we were making the four-hour drive just to go to Ikea, then coming home again, I was anxious to get on the highway.

So I was instantly irritated when I was told we’re going to make a stop at the recycling centre to drop off stuff he’s had kicking around his garage for months ...

Like now? We need to drop this off right now – there’s no other possible time in the world to do this?

As it turned out, we weren’t able to drop the stuff off anyway. So after getting road coffee, we were on our merry way.

We were both irritable that day. You could just feel it in the air. And after an hour of driving, the conversation turned to that fact. It was at that point that things turned around and for the remainder of the way, we laughed and talked in the way that couples do.

At the store, we were able to buzz through the departments quickly getting what we came for. It was while we were browsing in the bedding department that we came upon this exchange between another couple.

Her: (holding up a duvet cover) “What do you think of this one?”

Him: (not looking up from his phone) “What does it matter what I think … you’ll think it’s too masculine-looking anyway. I already told you what I liked.”

Her: “the one you picked was too masculine looking.”

Him: (grunts)

At this point, my other half told the guy that he totally gets it. Then, they high-fived or fist bumped or something – something about “bro-code.”

I, on the other hand, agreed with the other woman … I liked the duvet she chose. We didn’t have to exchange words. The looks we exchanged showed each other we knew.

We were on the road back home shortly after. We were both feeling good after our day together, and outside of him talking while I was trying to nap, the trip back was comfortable and easy.

So what’s the point of this whole column? Well nothing more than entertainment really. I’m not going for newsworthy with this one.

But on the other hand, it’s also good to air out these moments every so often. Not that comparing your relationship to another is healthy, but as stated already – it reminds you that you and yours are perfectly normal – in that weird, “coupley” way.

What I’ve realized from my own situation is how important communication is in your couple-ship. Whether your feeling irritable just because or disagreeing over bedding, what it comes down to is your still communicating these feelings to your other half.

You don’t have to like or agree with what the other is saying, but you do have an obligation to listen. You’d expect the same. It's just simple respect for one another.

I always feel like I’m nagging – and honestly, I often am. But my partner has told me time and again, he’d rather me nag him so he knows, than me be silent and he hasn’t a clue. And then out of nowhere, I’m mad at him.

This is something I’m working on. I tend to hold my thoughts in for long periods before bursting and freaking out. But all that accomplishes is literally nothing. He’s confused, I’m upset and we both pout.

Overall, our mini road trip was a success – not only for getting what we went for, but also just to catch up with each other and talk about things outside of “how was your day…”  

The best part though?  He offered to assemble the Ikea furniture I’d bought …

Thanks for reading.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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