Tag Archives: breakups

Colorful Altercation

I plopped on the orange couch, shocked that I had experienced heartbreak in Ikea, of all places. It started with a conversation about possible plates for our apartment and escalated into something much bigger. We couldn’t decide on a sofa, either. Or an ottoman. In the years we’d spent together it was always like this; we couldn’t agree on anything. A movie. A television show. Which park to hike in. I guess I should have seen it coming.

She exploded. She’d had enough. I wanted the white plate with the gray circle. She wanted the white one with the orange line. And now I find myself on an orange couch with no ride home to an apartment that was ours, but will probably just end up hers.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this were the first Ikea breakup over color choices or if this was a common occurrence. It probably happens a lot, considering the strong colors they tend to prefer. Maybe they come onto a loudspeaker and say something like “We have heartbreak over color choices in the Living Room section,” and someone brings the broken person a complimentary plate of Swedish Meatballs.

An Ikea worker in his blue and yellow outfit approaches me, but his hands are meatball-less and he continues right by and into the shortcut to the children’s section.

Photograph by the talented Kate Hiscock. Click the image for her Flickr.


A Cathartic Conversation

or Sometimes You Just Need to Vent

“Did you ever notice you never finish anything you start?”

She looks over her shoulder at a dusty, half-finished dress and returns her gaze to me.


“Besides that dress.  Not what I was talking about.  But that too.  It makes the dining room look messy.”

“You know I’ve been down lately.”

“Yeah, I know.  You hate your job.  I know.  So look for a new one?”

She flops over onto her back, resting her head on the arm of the couch and stares at the ceiling.  A bad sign.

“I look almost every day.”

“And nothing?” I ask.  I feel more like a parent than a lover, a huge turnoff.


She sits up again.  Here comes the subject change.

“I need a car.  My new goal is to save up for a car.”

Oh lord.

“Um, you barely make your half of the rent now and it’s always late.  Where will you get money for a car?  Or insurance?”

“I’ll work more.  Get more hours or something.”

“And school?  Last week you said you wanted to go back to school.  We’re already getting attacked by annoying reps from schools, not to mention the mailers.”

“I’ll have to put that off for a while.”

“Like the dress.  And your blog.  And becoming a vegetarian, remember that one?  You brought home steak the second night.  And everything else you start.”

She flops back down onto her back.  Ceiling again.

“What kind of car should I get?”

I want to scream.

“Are you happy?”

She actually turns and looks at me.

“I dunno.”

“What do you mean?  What makes you happy?  What makes you get up in the morning?”


I can’t take this.

“What else?”

She thinks about it.

“I dunno.”

“Well I think you need to make yourself happy.  And stop depending on me for all your happiness.  I can’t take it.”

“Well it’s not like I have lots of friends here to go out with.  I just moved here.”

A year ago.

“A year ago.  A whole year.  Do you even try?”

She folded her arms like a child and frowned.  I can’t take it anymore.

“We need to talk.”