The Trumps Clashed Over Furniture Just Like Every Other Couple at IKEA


We’ll probably never really know if the Trumps’ marriage is actually healthy unless they go on a tour together and film a music video in the Louvre. (LOL, can you imagine? The Mona Lisa would never.) Despite the fact they seem, from all public appearances, most tweets, and some strategically lettered jackets, to be characters from a House of Cards fan-fiction Tumblr, it turns out in at least one aspect they’re just like us non-nefarious normals: they cannot agree on what furniture to put in their house and it’s a whole dramatic thing.

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A New York Times article on the first lady’s time in the White House reports that, prior to joining her husband in Washington, Mrs. Trump made furniture selections that hewed close to her preferred style of “clean, modern lines.” Ah, but like when someone who picks out a few crates and barrels from a catalog and then leaves their spouse to do the actual ordering, things went awry. The Times writes, “in her absence, President Trump — whose tastes veer toward the gilded, triumphal style of Louis XIV — replaced her choices with several pieces he liked better. One of two people familiar with the episode cited it as an example of Mr. Trump’s tendency not to relent on even the smallest requests from his wife.”

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I don’t wish unhappiness on anymore (well… almost anyone) but there is some grim pleasure in the idea of the Trumps as the couple barely containing their simmering resentment in the middle of an IKEA. Donald is holding one of those ridiculous blue bags that has, despite hours of searching, only one shelf in it. Melania is eyeing a sideboard they both known damn well they won’t be able to put together and will have to a TaskRabbit to come over and save their marriage. There are roughly 45 other couples standing in their vicinity having the exact same gritted teeth argument about Swedish words they cannot pronounce. No one has eaten. All the signs point to other departments; there is no exit.

Somehow they know that if they can just come to an agreement on one thing—a throw pillow or a very large photograph of a city skyline perhaps, a weird hanging lamp that will make their living room look like a dentist’s office, anything—a portal will open up, ushering them into a land of unlimited soft-serve ice cream, and after that, a huge warehouse full of boxes where their next nightmare lies in wait.

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“I just wonder if this solid gold FÄRNÄS is really necessary,” Melania grumbles. “It’s not quite a… current style.”

Donald retorts, “Some things are timeless. Don’t you think ‘clean, modern lines’ are a little ironic given that this administration is both antiquated and dirty?”

Melania hisses, “I think it would be best if we dropped this.”

They stare into the middle distance in stony silence, as an endless expanse of gray concrete and white bookcases and neon blankets that seemed like a good idea at the time spreads out before them. The aroma of meatballs and lingonberries fills their nostrils but they know they will never satisfy their hunger.

Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.


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