Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Yes, You Can Tell Your Daughter She's Adopted!

A while before Ava came into our lives, I remember sitting in one of our adoption training classes and thinking something lovingly along the lines of “You Dumb Ass,” when a man behind me answered “at birth” in response to the question: “When is it appropriate to tell your child about being adopted?” He was first-grader, hand-shooting-and-waving-high-in-the-air emphatic about his answer. It was hard to believe he hadn’t just solved a quadratic equation. 

Regardless of his enthusiasm, it wasn’t particularly fair or kind of me to have this thought. First, I didn’t have a clue how to answer the question, and in most ways, I was scared shitless at the prospect of becoming anybody’s parent. Second, like my husband and I, this man was doing his best to jump through the necessary hoops and attempt to wrap his skull around what might be in store for he and his wife should they follow through with adopting a child. 

I’m still not sure there’s a correct answer to this question, other than I don’t believe in hiding the truth regarding adoption from your child at any age. I’m personally thankful that in the majority of cases, we’ve closed the door to closed adoptions. I think it’s a basic human need to know where you came from, even if that story doesn't come close to fitting into Leave It to Beaver or Diff'rent Strokes. 

(Too bad you can’t tell your sons or daughters they came from unicorns and rainbows, eh?)

Ava loves unicorns and rainbows. With that said, I decided year number four would be the year we’d start the dialogue with her, and as difficult or strange as it might be, the dialogue would include nothing about mystical horses with horns or magical arches of colors in the sky. Again, I’ve never hidden the fact she’s adopted from Ava. We’ve read children’s books about it, and we’ve discussed her adoption with family and friends with her right beside us and/or in earshot. We hadn’t, however, really sat down and had “the talk.” 

So on November 2nd, the day Ava’s adoption was official (over a year after she’d already been ours, but that’s another post), we decided to recognize the occasion by going out to dinner and telling her a little something of her adoption. My thought was that we didn’t need to delve into a ton of detail at first, we’d let her guide the discussion, but there is no guaranteed winning playbook for this conversation. Welcome to parenting, right? Still, for most of the parents we know, this isn’t a talk they’ll have to face having with their kids.  

To the best of my now 43-year-old memory, here’s the gist of how it went: 

Me: Do you know what today is?

Ava: A school day?

Me: Yes, it’s a school day, but it’s also something else. 

Ava: Your birthday?

Me: No, my birthday is October 30th, but I guess today is close to that date, isn’t it? Do you know what else though? 

Ava: Pizza day? 

(Aside: We were out for pizza.)

Me: Well, yes. 

Ava: Cheesy breadstick day?

(Aside: Ava doesn’t like pizza that much, which [besides being crazy] borders on unpatriotic and might be grounds for Donald Trump boycotting her. She prefers cheesy breadsticks with parmesan and dill dip at a well-known pizza establishment in Kalamazoo. They used to have a location in East Lansing [Go Green!], but alas, it has been closed there for quite some time. It may or may not have had something to do with the waitstaff lacking the general appetite for waiting on customers.)

Me: Yes, we ordered your breadsticks, so you’re right. But today is also a very special day because it’s the day your adoption was final. 

Ava: Blank stare.

Me: You know you’re adopted, right?

Ava: Sigh. Slight look of annoyance mixed with sadness. 

Me: Racing thoughts of panic mixed with thoughts like where is the damn waitress with my beer mixed with thoughts like stay the course, you are her mother and you must appear calm, nurturing and resilient. Your cheeks should be cheerfully flushed. (Think: After School Special.)  

Me: You remember us reading this book? (Holding up Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, a children’s book about adoption by Jamie Lee Curtis.) How the little girl in the story was adopted? Her mother couldn’t grow a baby in her tummy, but another woman grew her who was too young to take care of her? This other woman loved the little girl so much she found another mommy and daddy to raise her and be her parents. 

Al: That’s kind of like you, me and Mommy. 

Me: Mommy couldn’t grow a baby in her tummy, so we adopted you. We are so lucky and we love you so much. 

Me: Pulling Ava closer in the booth to squeeze and possibly embarrass her. (Can a 4-year-old be embarrassed by her parents already?)

Al: We love you so much. 

Ava: Love you, too. Can I look at your phone? 

Me: Not right now, Ava. We’re talking about something pretty important. 

Ava: Stop talking, Mommy. I want to look at your phone. Please. Please. Plllleeeeassse.  

Me: Not right now, Ava.

Ava: Ahhh. Can you just grow me another baby then?

Me: No, remember, Mommy can’t grow babies. 

Ava: Can Daddy?

Me: No, boys can’t grow babies. Only girls can grow babies. (Huh, the more you say “grow babies,” the stranger it sounds. Like something out of Soylent Green. Plus, grown women should be the only ones growing babies. Unless you're a petri dish or a seahorse or an extraterrestrial. Then by all means, please grow away.) 

Al: You mean you’d like a baby sister or brother? 

Ava: Baby sister. 

Al: No, honey, we’re not going to have a baby sister or brother. We have you and that’s all we ever want or need. 

Ava: Slight look of annoyance mixed with sadness.

Me: Thoughts like awww that’s so sweet mixed with I think babies are so much more adorable since I’ve had a child mixed with there is a -15.94 chance I’m having another baby at 43. 

Me: How about a cat instead?

Al: Look of laser-beam death in my general direction. 

Ava: Breadsticks! 

Me: (Hallelujah, the breadsticks arrived!) 

Stay tuned ... 

We're still working out the kinks on that quadratic equation, but I’ve always sucked at algebra. Wait. Is that even algebra? Thank God Al is decent at math because I hear Kindergartners are practically doing calculus these days. And as it turns out, doing calc, which I think is the mathematical study of change, isn’t all that different from telling your 4-year-old she's adopted. 

Only with less breadsticks. 

I call this one "Ava's Blue Period" and/or "Our 4-year-old already solving a quadratic equation."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Every Tattoo Tells a Story

Prologue: If you’re a fan of Rod Stewart or his music, you might as well skip this post. While I have nothing against Rod Stewart, believe me when I tell you the following words are not meant as any kind of homage or tribute. 

The first one, a monogram on my lower back. AHA. Not a declaration of surprise or a Norwegian band you might recall from the 80s, but the initials my husband and I share. It looks decent after thirteen or fourteen or fifteen years. The timing is blurry, yet the pain is clear. The persistence of the needle. The strain from bending. Anybody who tells you they don’t hurt is lying. Sort of like childbirth, only who am I kidding, I've no idea what that feels like. The pain, however, doesn’t stop you. You succumb and learn to accept it. Acceptance. The first step toward recovery? The pain soon becomes a labor of love or at least of free, glorious expression. Anybody who tells you it’s a strange, satisfying rush is telling you the truth. 

Numero dos, a handy reminder of all things summer in Michigan, the sun of a sought-after craft beer brewed in my hometown. Yeah, I said beer. What of it? There are many I know who’ve said they’d never get one because they wouldn’t have a clue what to get, and they’re afraid they’d regret having, say, an aardvark wearing a Hawaiian shirt on their shin in forty-two years. To each her own. Instead of playing it safe, I guess I’d rather roll the dice, not unlike hurling a first draft of a story out there for all to love or hate, or if I’m lucky, both. I’ve played it safe plenty elsewhere in my life anyway, and if I’m blessed to make it another forty-two years, who cares about that aardvark wearing a Hawaiian shirt on my shin? By then it will have taken on the visage of a beautiful black rose, or the creature from the black lagoon, depending on skin elasticity or lack thereof. #Whatever 

Although some might feel it’s meant to be wry, number three is considered a classic. I prefer the term vintage, but this particular heart does represent loss for me, and maybe that’s why I recall it searing the most, not only because the artist put some serious elbow grease into his work. Because I had recently lost my father, a swift and sickening punch to the gut, and I feared losing my mother, too. I also wasn’t sure I’d ever be one, so I suppose there’s a snippet of snark hidden within the letters M-O-M. 

Four can be found on another beer label, but it also resembles the inner workings of a compass. (Who couldn’t use a little help with direction?) Four brings back a trip we took to Ireland for our fifth wedding anniversary less than six months after 9/11. The terror alert had been raised a color again. Was it orange? Magenta? Whatever color it was didn’t dissuade us from the journey ahead, though I didn’t sleep a single minute of that overnight flight hovering above the ocean. After we landed and ate lunch at the kind of tiny, dank pub you’d imagine finding in Ireland, I couldn’t escape the irresistible arms of sleep. Despite my husband driving like an American tourist on the opposite side of the road (we did do our country proud by pruning the shrubs), my head bobbed the entire way to the bed and breakfast. Our B&B could have been plucked from the 1950s; we laid our weary heads in a back room of the actual home of a modest Irish family. I remember the clanking of the steam radiators and the sweet concern of the lady of the house. She took one look at us and demanded we get some rest. She’d even taken care to layer the bed with hot-water bottles, which we laughed at between the sheets. I drifted off watching some Irish game show on a TV with two or three channels. 

Five is my latest, born from the hand of an artist named Earl and christened with tallboys among great friends. This one is about family, because I’ve since had the good fortunate of adding to mine. My daughter is almost four now. We are a family of three. A family of As. I couldn’t and wouldn’t dream of asking God or the universe for more. The wound is still fresh. She’s a bit of a scabby mess, but pretty, too, not unlike motherhood. No matter the mistakes and the successes, the joys and the heartaches, the worries and the welcome peace of mind, I can’t wait to see what happens next. 

Epilogue: For Rod Stewart fans: You’re welcome.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hair Today and Not Gone Tomorrow

A heartbeat away from dreadlocks. 

This isn’t exactly what was said the first time we had our three-year-old daughter’s hair braided, but this was the gist, and this is my blog. Creative nonfiction offers liberties, folks.  

I don’t have an aversion to dreadlocks, by the way, but I also don’t believe this was true in the case of my daughter. Yes, I am white, and yes, the woman who braided my daughter’s hair is black. Yes, she knows more about black hair than I do. But honestly, she caught Ava on a bad day—aka the day post-bath, after she didn’t have the patience to sit for one more millisecond of hair combing. Ava has been our daughter since she was two-days-old, and somehow, two white parents have managed to not have to shave her hair off due to dreadlocks, Big League Chew or hidden squirrels. (People say their kids have a lot of hair. Sorry, but to them, I reply with a hearty guffaw.) 

Have I mentioned Ava’s hair is magnificent? If I could just have one-tenth of its beauty and abundance. If you ask me, she most certainly has “good” hair. 

I’ve discovered this is a legitimate question. Chris Rock even produced a documentary on the subject, and while some criticized him for it, it did shed some light on the $9 billion black hair industry. That’s right, I said nine billion. Rock decided to make the movie after his toddler asked him why she didn’t have “good” hair. Her hair is curly and wiry, the typical hair of many people of African descent. At three, Rock’s daughter had already taken on the perception among some blacks that curly hair wasn’t “good.” 

Before this becomes a post about race, racism and the politics of black hair, let me stop. First, that’s not my intention, second, I’m miles from a scholar on the subject, and third, last I checked, I am white and have standard “Caucasian” or “European” hair. (Note: White women do plenty to “fix” their hair, too. E.g., in my youth, I’m pretty sure I sat through more perms than Richard Simmons.) 

This is merely an attempt to point out that black hair is different. Yes, it’s okay to use the word different. These differences are wonderful, but they don’t come free of challenges, especially when you’re the white parents of a black daughter. Take braiding, for example. We’ve had somebody braid Ava’s hair twice and the results were great. Not having to detangle, comb and fuss with Ava’s hair in the mornings for around six weeks was great. How she looked was great. How she sounded was great. The sound of her beads is a sound like no other, like a clickety-clackety homing device connected to my heart. 

“Forcing” your toddler to sit for what seemed just shy of an eternity for hair styling. Um, not so great. Wiping away her tears from enduring said hair styling. Worse. 

I was torn. Braiding protects black hair from breakage. It’s an artform that’s also a cultural rite of passage. But I am also pretty damn certain that braiding hurts. No parent (at least the ones I prefer to know about) takes pleasure in causing their child pain. 

This being admitted, we’ll probably have it braided in the future. More than once. Rinse and repeat. Because as I mentioned, it protects the health of her hair and it gives her a link to her culture and race. Plus, Ava likes how it looks. 

Before this becomes a post about the pros and cons of hair braiding, let me stop. Again. First, I have subzero skills when it comes to hair styling, I give myself a thumbs up for washing and air drying my hair on most days, second, I had to look up traction alopecia on Wikipedia, and third, I’m white, in case you don’t know me or haven’t yet gleaned that fact. 

Remember, this is merely an attempt to point out that black hair is different. Yes, it’s okay to use the word different. It’s also an attempt to celebrate those differences, and celebrate that two white parents haven’t caused their black daughter to go bald. Yet. 

Trust me when I say that both my husband and I still have a boatload to learn when it comes to Ava’s hair (and, well, a hell of a lot more than her hair), but maybe we’re more capable than at first we appear. Even if my hair is always in some version of a jacked-up pony and my husband’s hasn’t been cut since the mid-seventies. 

Ava’s hair is doing fine. I promise I won’t hold it against you, but please keep this in mind the next time you consider offering helpful tips or comments of concern. In ninety-seven percent of the cases, I know you mean well. I really do. But the next time I hear, “Ooo, don't those braids hurt her head?” or “You should try X excotic coconut oil or wash with X miracle detangler" or “Have you ever considered cornrows?” I might just pull my hair out.

Or Donald Trumps’, if he has any. (Because pulling yours out would be mean.)  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Some Not-So-Furtive Thoughts On Furrys And/Or Furries

If you looked at my recent website history, your brow might furryow (I mean, furrow). Once you scroll by Food That Looks Like Celebrities, things take a sharp detour into The New Furry’s Dictionary, Furry Name Generator, Furry Fandom: The Ultimate Guide, and my favorite, Dr. Phil Found His Furries.

I do love animals, and yes, I’m one of those people who thinks it’s acceptable to talk to dogs, but no, I promise you, I am not a “furry.” At least not yet. I did, however, become interested in the group after I watched Mika Brzezinski laugh and flee the stage following discussion of a news story about a furry convention gone awry. 

Her reaction, sans the off-stage fleeing, looked a lot like mine. 

As a grown adult, who parades around wearing a fur costume with other people parading around wearing fur costumes? Wait, it goes beyond that. As a grown adult, who celebrates and shares their admiration for make-believe animal characters that walk and talk like humans? 

Well, fans of furries do, that’s who. Members of the furry fandom are those who “appreciate, promote, and produce stories and art about anthropomorphic animals, as well as explore, interpret and examine humanity and human values through anthropomorphic expression. This includes animated cartoons, comic books and strips, stories, artwork, costumes, and stuffed animals.”

See: not creepy at all. Nothing out of the ordinary. No red flags. 

One of the cable networks has the slogan “Characters Welcome,” which might as well be my personal jingle when it comes to writing. I write for the sake of developing characters, often much to the detriment of plot. Who cares what X is doing to reclaim the great love of X’s life when X is a Bigfoot chaser with an IQ above 130 who is in the process of having a tribal tramp stamp removed because it reminds X too much of the death of X’s mother?

I don’t know. I’m shy and an introvert (yes, those are different qualities). I have a hard time milling with the masses, so maybe inventing fictional people is my way of attempting to better understand my fellow human beings. Or feel a little more comfortable chitchatting with them. Maybe that just sounds like lame psychoanalysis. 

Whatever it sounds like, writing about characters a tad outside the grid of normalcy is something I strive to do. A lot. That’s why when I heard about a chlorine gas leak at a furry convention, I couldn’t resist. This lack of resistance led to:  


  1. Albert Einstein said, “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Discover what makes a furry tick. Go beyond the stereotypes or Googling anthropomorphism. What are the hopes and dreams of the average furry? Do they vote in off-year elections or enjoy off-roading? What brand of toothpaste do they prefer? If asked to choose one: Bugs Bunny or Tom and Jerry? 
  2. Pick the right outfit. Keep in mind: fursuits run in the thousands. If you’re on a budget, a tail or a decent set of ears will do. 
  3. What’s in a name? Everything, actually. Focus groups are a.) too expensive and b.) too time-consuming. If you’re all thumbs with adjectives, visit a furry name generator website.
  4. Nab a cab. After all, you might want a cocktail (or three). Wearing a fox head behind the wheel is also not recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  5. Grease the doorman. Sure, a nice bottle of sparkling wine or a crisp hundo could work, but creativity and craftsmanship with this group count (e.g., a signed copy of Watership Down, a handmade plushie, a Moleskine sketchbook).
  6. Never fear begging, crying, faking credentials or the occasional white lie. Should all else fail, evoke the Explosive Diarrhea Clause.
  7. Don’t be a lone wolf. Once you’re in, look for somebody affable (e.g., kittens, squirrels, bunnies) and introduce yourself. Open with a compliment and proceed with smalltalk. Avoid politics, religion, Mika Brzezinski, your recurring nail fungus, yiffing, the media, that dream you had last Thursday, that one CSI episode, the health benefits of kale, or the fastest, most direct route to __________.
  8. Mind your manners. You’re human, so behave like a human. Running around barking like a dog or flapping your wings and screeching like an eagle sizing up its prey will not score you free tickets to Anthrocon.
  9. Flattery will get you everywhere: "That detail work on your dragon scales is amazeballs."
  10. Be a witness to the occasion. Carpe Diem! 

Listen Up A-Listers
Listing. I’ve been guilty of falling victim to this form as of late—perhaps because I’m the scattered working mother of a toddler—and though I’m pretty far from being anti-list, I felt like employing the technique in the above example was a cop-out, a convenient way for me to orchestrate the obvious: satire. Or worse, middle-school ridicule.  

Furries are different. Okay, maybe on another sun in another solar system different, but who am I to mock? 

  • I’ve been known to talk to myself to the point of my toddler asking, “Mommy, who are you talking to?” 
  • My dog, who also happens to be female, humps me. Mind you, I’m not on all fours or anything, but I’ve told myself her behavior isn’t really untoward. However, it is, in fact, disturbing. And untoward. 
  • I have an irrational fear of bees, wasps, hornets, flying ants that look like bees, anything bee-like or bee-ish. I will not only swat and run from them, but also catapult spaghetti inside a moving vehicle at the mere thought of their seemingly benign contact. 
  • When certain sport’s teams lose, for which I have zero control, it often affects my mood for the entire day … and possibly the next … and the next. 
  • Until I became a mother, I bathed. Almost daily. 
  • I have anxiety over playing the simplest of card games or doing the most basic of math.
  • Via the phone, I’d prefer never to make reservations, doctor’s appointments, travel arrangements, inquiries into billing discrepancies, pizza orders, home repair requests, and so on and so on. If I had my druthers, I’d never answer my phone. When something requires dialing and then communication through dialing, ninety-five percent of the time I will ask my husband to do it, and he usually will do it. Because I do the laundry.
  • Speaking of laundry, I will only buy Tide detergent. Ever. 
  • I can’t parallel park and refuse to relearn it. Thank God I live in Kalamazoo, MI. 
  • I’m a closet fan of Totino’s Pizza Rolls, words that end with n’, the Eagle’s song “Lyin’ Eyes,” Vanderpump Rules, and in certain cases, the deliberate, reckless use of clichés.

Whether you feel this list classifies me as weird is your call. Trust me, I’m embarrassed by most of it. I realize it may be nothing more than a way to boost my self-confidence, but I admit, there will always be part of me who thinks furries are a bunch of weirdos (granting they’ve been misunderstood and maligned).  

While I’m not one who believes an author should edit his or her work to avoid offending furries and non-furries alike, I am one who also believes lack of said editing does have consequences. One consequence may be shitty writing. Another may be shitty hyooman-hood (hyooman n.: a [furry’s] dismissive term for “human”).

Despite consistent failure, it’s still my goal to avoid both. 

(Not Really.)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

IKEA: Just What The Doctor Didn't Order

This past week, my husband had some vascular work done on his legs. Sure, this health care writer should probably drop the correct medical jargon on you for said procedure, but you’ll have to excuse me. I’m just still too exhausted from our last pilgrimage to IKEA to look it up on Wikipedia or dig through his paperwork on the kitchen countertop (which, thank you very much, we did not buy at IKEA.)

The point is, my husband had some work done that had nothing to do with tucking,  botox-ing or liposuction-ing, found out that same medical procedure caused a blood clot in his leg, and this news seemed like the perfect reason for us to drive two-plus hours to pick up some Swedish pleather and particleboard goods. Actually, I’m confident the Swedish goods we picked up are genuine wood and leather. Mostly. Just like the meatballs are genuine meat. Mostly.  

So what do sclerotherapy, endovenous ablation therapy and IKEA have in common? (Have patience, my friends. You knew I would eventually look it up.) Like my grandmother used to say, “I haven’t the foggiest.” Not having a clue is often how I write much of what I write. No plan and no parachute. This is both a detriment and a blessing. 

Bear with me. 

I just read that in sclerotherapy, a liquid chemical is injected into a varicose vein to close it off, and in endovenous ablation therapy, lasers or radiowaves create heat to close off a varicose vein. Both of these procedures accomplish the same thing: they shut down certain unhealthy veins, and blood is thereby rerouted to other healthier veins. Perhaps I can use this knowledge as a metaphor for IKEA? And wouldn’t that be a cool, writerly slight of hand?    

Let’s give it a stab: 
  • At IKEA, customers flow through room after room after room, a labyrinth of functional, unpretentious, family-friendly and cheap-as-shit home furnishings and assorted accoutrement. 
  • These rooms are linked, not unlike our closed circulatory system. (A closed circulatory system means our blood never leaves our stringent network of arteries, veins and capillaries.) 
  • We, as customers, are also enticed to never (EVER) stray from IKEA’s closed circulatory system, especially without at least eight throw pillows, five lampshades, two bookcases, four shelving units, seven bar stools, three whisks, sixteen tea lights, twelve dish towels and an undisclosed, embarrassing amount of meatballs. (All with Swedish names I’m pretty sure translate to variations of “American douchebag” with a generous sprinkling of umlauts.) 
  • Once we select all we could possibly need and even more that we don’t need, we are herded to the basement, where we must pluck the bigger items on our desire lists (e.g., KIVIK sofa, in white, of course) off the warehouse shelves ourselves (yes, ourselves), put said items on special self-serve carts we navigate as inconspicuously as a pack of inebriated chimpanzees, and wait in the winding checkout lines brimming with wailing children and adults who have zero respect for anybody else’s personal space.  
  • No matter how long this quest takes and no matter how lingonberry-stained our forced smiles become, we begin to shut down the former belief that we wouldn’t ever have the means or the wherewithal to give our kitchens that total remodel or own one of those enormous wall clocks we assume cost at least five-hundred bucks elsewhere. Because, after all, time should be measured in the largest and boldest font possible.   
  • Slowly, almost without notice, this former mindset burns off. It shuts down. Our pessimistic home view has somehow been replaced with a healthier, more hopeful vision of an organized, immaculate abode. (Until we finally make it home and go about the task of putting all that cheap IKEA shit together.) 

Okay, I admit, that metaphor might be a tad strained or missing in action. Sort of like what happens at IKEA. You go in for a duvet cover, and three hours later, you end up leaving with a complete kitchen cabinet system. You know, the one with the name that contains no vowels and comes with a free, one-year supply of cream sauce. 

While we didn’t leave IKEA with all but the kitchen sink, we did exit with a sofa and chaise (not in white!), dresser, child’s step stool, two dish brushes, and yes, a bag of frozen meatballs. This procurement took place after we’d already visited two weeks earlier, and on our very first trip to the Swedish juggernaut, fled from the outer regions of the tundra that is their parking lot with a new bed frame, a clock (it is huge and it is spectacular), two end tables on wheels (so handy!), a sleeve of rainbow-colored plastic children’s cups (so cute!), and another dresser (that makes two chest of drawers ... or should I say chests of drawers because it sounds funnier?).

Pow. Wham, bam, thank you, Helga. Heidi? Are these names German? Norwegian? Am I in the ballpark? 

Anyway, I’m still not sure how it happened. As far as I know, I’m not even one-hundredth Swedish. I guess the truth is, we needed a distraction, a detour from my husband’s health scare. Oh, and a babysitter. We needed one of those, too. Yes, I realize IKEA has Småland (Swedish for: “While you wander around the store wide-eyed and slack-jawed like gambling addicts on a bender, we’ll watch your screaming toddlers as long as they’re a certain height and won’t poop their pants.”) Okay, fine, call the latter a want. We’re in our forties, and when you’re in your forties, sometimes you want a babysitter so you can go out on that romantic date night to Applebee’s. Other times you want a babysitter so you can give certain pleather and particleboard goods the undivided attention they don’t deserve. Hey, at least they aren’t made in China. Mostly? 

There are simply those moments, like when the love of your life has a blood clot in his leg, that you need to exchange your mortality worries for a KLÄPPA easy chair or an ULSBERG nightstand.

Not from IKEA, but looks more stylish in blue. What kind of person buys a white leather sofa anyway?