Everything we need,” said Rose Jackson, “we can buy at Ikea.”
Andrew laid his newspaper on the table and pondered his wife’s statement for a moment.
“I suppose you’re right,” he said, “but you are ignoring the terrible negative consequence of following such a plan.”
“Am I?” said Rose. “What terrible negative consequence would there be?”
“We would,” said Andrew, “be forced to GO TO IKEA!”
“Ah yes.” Rose took a sip of her coffee. “But one man’s terrible negative consequence is his wife’s totally fun shopping trip.”
“We could just hire a cabinetmaker,” said Andrew. “Get him to draw up a design for a complete new kitchen and then have him come and build it when we’re in Hawaii. No hassle, no fuss.”
“We could, I suppose,” said Rose. “However, it might be difficult to get a cabinetmaker to sign up if the only date we can give him is “whenever we win the lottery.”
Andrew scowled. “I have to admit, you have a point,” he said. “But I AM planning to win the lottery next week.”
“Of course you are,” said Rose, “but we all know how your plans generally turn out.” She took another sip of coffee. “My plans, on the other hand…,” she continued.
“You have a plan?” said Andrew.
“I do,” said Rose.
“You do realize that if your plan includes me going to Ikea,” said Andrew, “then your plan is doomed to fail.”
“Honey,” said Rose, “if I made a plan for you to go to Ikea, then you would go to Ikea. But I’m not a monster. And also I don’t need you at Ikea. I know how to use a measuring tape and I’m not colour blind.”
“I’m not colour blind either,” said Andrew, “and I could probably learn how to use a measuring tape if I put my mind to it.”
“I’m sure you could,” said Rose, “but I’d rather you didn’t.”
“Right,” said Andrew. “So let’s hear your plan.”
“My plan,” said Rose, “is for us to go to the city, on Saturday, April 4. We will take Randy and Jackie with us. Jennifer will be around so she can babysit Allison and Andy. You and Randy can drop me and Jackie off at Ikea and then you two can go watch the Jets play the Canucks at the arena. When the game is over you can come back to Ikea and join Jackie and me for a delicious meal of Swedish meatballs and fake mashed potatoes and then you and Randy can load up the 800 pounds of shelving, cabinets, and assorted kitchen decorating supplies that Jackie and I have picked out, and then we can head back home. What do you think?”
Andrew didn’t hesitate. “You had me at “watch the Jets play the Canucks,” he said. “Bribery and corruption get me every time.”
“I know,” said Rose. “I count on that.”
“How am I going to get tickets to the Jets game?” said Andrew. “Aren’t they all sold out till the year 3000 or something?”
“Already got ’em,” said Rose. “Happy birthday to you.”
Andrew sat in silence for a minute. “That’s why I married you,” he said. “Because you are a cunning and devious woman.”
“When a woman wants a better kitchen,” said Rose, “nothing will stand in her way.”
There was another pause.
“I hate to bring this up,” said Andrew. “I mean, your plan is virtually flawless. Everybody gets to have fun and Swedish meatballs and everything, but there is one tiny drawback that occurs to me.”
“There is?” said Rose.
“There is,” said Andrew. “Ikea cabinets require assembly. That requires an assembler. No such person exists in this household.”
“I’ve hired Brady for that,” said Rose. “He loves doing that stuff.”
“That’s true, he does,” said Andrew. “And he’s really good with a ball peen hammer.”
“I don’t think you’d use a ball peen hammer to assemble Ikea cabinets,” said Rose.
“Oh, I definitely would,” said Andrew. “And a sledge hammer, probably.”
“And that’s why Brady will do it,” said Rose.
“OK, seriously,” said Andrew. “You actually planned this whole thing without consulting me?”
“It’s your birthday present,” said Rose. “I couldn’t very well consult you, could I?”
“True enough,” said Andrew. He paused. “And you know what you’re looking for at Ikea? And I don’t even want to ask, but you have an idea how much it’s all going to cost?”
“Fifteen hundred at the very most,” said Rose.
Andrew shook his head. “You are the only woman I know,” he said, “who could plan a great birthday surprise for her husband and come out of it with a remodelled kitchen.”
Rose grinned. “You don’t mind, do you?” she said.
“Seriously?” said Andrew. “That IS why I married you.”