The one-word writers-laxative exercise: perplexed/IKEA

Another day off, another trip to IKEA.

Its like theres a siren call bouncing around those stacks of pine. We went for a coffee table. We came back with two extra shelves, some drinking vessels, a plant pot, funnels, a headache, tea lights and a picture frame.

Im glad we got the picture frame. And the shelves. But thats about all. The rest frankly confused me. I couldnt work out the age at which I started being able to stand around and discuss the relative merits of occasional furniture, or realised my hidden desire to increase my stock of attractive storage solutions.

I couldnt remember when lists started appearing in my Moleskine saying

Milk, dishwasher salt, shelves, frame, makeup mirror, seeds, words thing

It leaves me confused. I certainly dont feel old enough to hold a coherent position on matters of household sensibleness – so why in gods name do I sound like I am?

But anyway. Ive had a poster for a while, a poster that needed a frame, and so picture frames it had to be. No more evil blu-tac or nasty pins, but proper, grown up hooks, and frames. How mimsy. How me, it seems.

Yet all the picture frames Ive bought recently have been plastic sheeting on the front rather than glass.

Yes, they were cheap.

Yes, they were from that Swedish den of pissedoffcrity.

And yes, Ive been glad they werent glass when theyve suddenly fallen off the wall and continued life cheerfully, comprehensively uncracked, but still something in me feels cheated, and cheap.

And unecological.

Or something.

Theyre big, though. Huge expanses of wobbly clarity that seem to come in a remarkable number of sizes and shapes.

I have started thinking about alternative uses for this thin plastic glass substitute thing, whatever its called. Perplex, I think.

You see, I have a thin skin.

Things make me cry and hit me far out of proportion. Like spammers, for example. (Why do they spam me? Why? Because they hate me? Why do they hate me?).

Or people who comment on perfectly well-written blogs being viciously offensive to the writer because of sheer jealousy – not this site, obviously, and not me. We dont inspire jealousy so much around here, but other sites I am very familiar with – why do people feel fine about doing that to another person? Why is that ok? Why is it alright to elbow someone in the ribs to ensure your place on the bus over theirs? Why is it ok to kick someone because you know theyre better at what you want to do than you are?

These kinds of stupid, ridiculous things, especially when I am feeling wobbly otherwise, lead me to weeping. I need a thicker skin. So perhaps I will be able to commission an IKEA one. An IKEA one made out of perplex.

It will be like an armour against mean spirited fools, and twunts and spammers, my perplex skin. It will make me strong, and confident and not scared anymore.

It will show them all. I will be thoroughly perplexed, head to toe. It is a fantastic idea.


Oh hang on, its called perspex.


(With thanks to The other other karen and The fool for their inspiration)