An excerpt from one of my unserious but totally correct newsletters:

The cost of not following IKEA directions, in general, is that your furniture will come to life and abuse you for your lack of craftsmanship, and when you try to fall asleep it will moan in pain and break. It betrays you. So when the instructions do not include how to build two six-drawer stacks of the mod possibilities—when the instructions, in short, expect you to wing it—you are left sputtering in a room that is mostly yawning, rebellious cabinetry. One of the drawer bottoms breaks, but subtly. I have told my wife this has happened, but not specifically. She doesn’t know what was damaged, and if IKEA is kind to me, she never will.

“What I feel during the longest stretch of my IKEA sentence—my hours gently twisting a screw-driver, carefully hooking in drawer inserts, fiendishly tap-tapping plastic fasteners—is that someone, somewhere, and most likely in Sweden, believes I am an infant. Every smiling IKEA cartoon is a pat on the head. Every failure on my part to understand which disembodied hand is pointing to which part of the diagram is like missing the tee-ball. The build went fine, to be clear. By the end, I was absolutely sailing along. I am, let the record show, a very capable toddler.