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'Relationship stations' help IKEA customers vent frustrations

Decorating or redecorating a home can be one of the most stressful experiences that any couple can go through. A big part of that, of course, is shopping for furniture, draperies, artwork and other home furnishings.

Fans of the iconic romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally" no doubt remember the argument between the leading characters' best friends when they began cohabitating regarding the man's wagon wheel coffee table.

Nowhere are differences in taste more prevalent than in that furniture Swedish furniture superstore IKEA. In fact, psychologists have called it a "relationship deathtrap."

One man is hoping to help couples cope with the stress of buying furniture -- at least in one Southern California IKEA. He has designed "relationship saving stations" where couples can go to relieve their stress, anger and frustration with each other and the store and perhaps not take themselves -- or the shopping experience -- so seriously.

The Burbank store now has five of these stations. The man, a comedian, claims that no one even noticed that he was putting them up. They include:

-- A picture of a tiny puppy in a cup. Who can be angry when you're looking at an adorable puppy?

-- A model of a miniature horse that invites people to "get it all out" by yelling at him. Of course, that assumes that you want to yell at a tiny horse.

-- Milk cartons with holes cut in them to put your face through. It seems silly to argue with your mate when you're wearing a milk carton on your head.

-- A bottle of bubbles. "Blow your anger" to make a bubble instead of yelling at your significant other.

-- Finally, there is that Disney icon of wisdom, Elsa, who asks shoppers to write down their frustrations, put them into a jar and then just "let it go."

Now, if only couples could take these relationship stations home and use them while they're trying to assemble their IKEA furniture.

Of course, most couples facing divorce have problems that go well beyond design tastes and whether or not to seek help from a professional to assemble furniture. However, everyday stresses like this can bring much larger problems to the forefront.

Source: Huffington Post, "This Man Who Set Up ‘Relationship-Saving Stations’ In Ikea Is A Hero," Brittany Wong, April 12, 2017

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