As Is Life


An As Is relic.

Urgency Day 283

500 Things Item 216: Small Ikea Dresser

  • History: Originally for Baby Sam’s stuff
  • Value: Has also held off-season items, VHS tapes and DVDs
  • Parting Pain: Since it’s been emptied, none
  • Un-possessing: Donation

Alarms should sound in your head when you see the following words: AS IS.

This warning should apply to:

  • Cars
  • Houses
  • On-line Purchases
  • Potential spouses

It takes a lot of money to fix an As Is situation.

But who doesn’t love Ikea’s As Is Room? My mom and I adore an Ikea outing—sharing a lunch of Swedish meatballs and a long amble through Ikea’s showroom and marketplace. We enjoy the casual catalog atmosphere and each other’s good company.

One visit could have gone terribly awry, however, when we heard the URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT! for an immediate 15 minute sale in the As Is Room.

We took off for that remote corner of the store, and when I say took off, you must imagine my mom summoning all of her stroke-affected speed– bless her heart—grasping with her one good hand an inexplicable all-directions-at-once cart, beady-eyed with determination, and yelling at me to “run ahead!” and get all the good bargains!

Look out Sweden: She has a cane, and for a bargain, she’s won’t hesitate to use it!

As Is. No doubt it is possible to get a good bargain with an As Is tag on it. I just think it takes an abundance of self-control to pause and consider if you are in the presence of a real bargain or just some cheap crap with an alluring sale tag on it.

We all have stories of not pausing and considering. Our If-Only Tales:

  • If only I had waited;
  • If only I had walked away;
  • If only I had cared about the flood damage in the scary basement next to the piles of raccoon droppings.

But the house was an As Is bargain!

The small dresser pictured above didn’t come from that amazing race Ikea visit with my mother. I got it when the Self-Contained Unit was a much smaller and needier version of himself. For years, it held diapers and blankets and onesies by the score.

It went on to store off-season items and then VHS tapes that faded and broke long before I parted with them. The drawers fall out when pulled too hard; it’s made from that hallmark of cheap furniture, ubiquitous white almost-wood; it still has the glue marks from the As Is sticker. And, for all its flaws, I have a soft spot for this crappy little dresser. It only cost about $20.

Well what do you know: an un-cautionary tale.

Mom and I ended up laughing too hard to buy anything that day. One thing about As Is shopping: you cannot waffle. Stake your claim or get out of the way. Even of sweet little old ladies with canes.

Or maybe, especially…


3 Responses to “As Is Life”

  1. Laura Says:

    What house did you move into that had raccoon droppings??? That makes creepy unfinished basements- the kind with hopping spiders and moldy dress-up clothes and the occasional dead mouse, of which I generally avoid altogether- WAY creepier. No one wants to be walking around a dark, damp (especially if it’s flood damaged), sub-ground-level room already in a state of pre-anxiety attack due to all the CREEPINESS, only to have a raccoon jump out in front of them. I think I would die. In the future, please consult me before considering any sort of place that includes damp basements or droppings of any kind.

    I love you!

  2. sthibeault Says:

    Well, the raccoons were convinced to vacate, once we plugged up their access. Ditto, the bats. The rest is only slight hyperbole: the flood came within a year and there really is no mold. Do you feel better? I will still consult with you, but as you know, I am NEVER buying another house, so you will have to consult on other matters. Hair? Travel? But of course!

  3. melanie Says:

    Fabulous. I don’t even know your mother and I love her!

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