In the He Says/She Says series, we discuss financial-ish topics where we agree to disagree. And Joanna’s usually right (shhh!).
Johnny and I argued a lot the first year of our marriage. Always about little things. It would start off with “Wait, you don’t think that [insert opinion here]?” And then 9 times out of 10 it’d turn into a full-blown argument. Why? Well, I’d tend to get huffy and puffy almost immediately, and in response Johnny would get more annoyingly calm and pragmatic. And then we’d get more mad at the other person for acting that way. Ah, newlywed bliss.
One such example manifested itself at IKEA our second week of marriage. We had a one-bedroom apartment, zero furniture, and zero money, so IKEA was our interior-decorating drug of choice. I had assumed that all the furniture-buying decisions would be up to moi since I was the wife and CEO of decorating our home. But apparently Johnny didn’t get that memo, and he mistakenly assumed he should have a say as well. Luckily, IKEA is just big and neverending enough that even my heated whisperings and Johnny’s silent treatment couldn’t last a whole trip there, so we didn’t go home angry at each other.
IKEA furnished apartment from our college days, circa 2009
But now we have a different disagreement regarding IKEA and its furniture (but not its Swedish meatballs, horsemeat and all…kidding). Our apartments over the years have been an IKEA faux-wood furniture heaven. In college, such furniture only made sense. And when we moved to NYC and Boston, we kept with that trend since nothing stays nice being lugged up three or four sets of stairs to a tiny old apartment. But now I’m ready to put an end to the IKEA faux-wood fest. And I wouldn’t mind buying a couch or table that was put together before arriving in our home. I get that it’s cheap and it saves money. And I know I’m always the “spender” in our He Says/She Says series, while Johnny’s always the cheaper one. Guilty as charged. The truth is I am quite thrifty, but not in any areas where Johnny disagrees. Booo.
Now that we have Baby Girl and our house is becoming a home, I want to fill it with meaningful pieces that will last a long time. And that might mean spending extra $$$ or having to buy a nice piece of furniture for cheap that requires a bunch of DIY handiness. Gimme a paintbrush and sandpaper. I’m ready. In my mind, if we buy nice furniture once, we won’t have to buy it again, at least not for a very long time. Johnny wants to stick with IKEA for a few reasons: It’s practical. He likes the simple style. And, get this — he actually enjoys putting the furniture together. To quote him, “It’s like LEGOs for grown ups!” No nooo noooooooo.
And so we continue to be at odds with the giant blue store. Johnny has started making a few concessions. Our current coffee table, though from IKEA, is solid wood. I can get down with IKEA’s higher end stuff. I’m just done with cheap IKEA once and for all. I’m hoping to go all Inception on his brain and change his mind.
So where do you stand on buying furniture? Do you like to keep things cheap and simple, or are you ready to do whatever it takes to have some quality pieces in your home? So in other words, are you right (with me) or wrong (with Johnny)?
(Original photo by IKEA)