1. You do the research, watch life hack videos, and make a list. You are ready.
  2. You aren’t ready. The store is packed, everything is pandemonium, and everyone is fighting to the death for the same ten items.
  3. A feeling of deep, soul-encompassing dread washes over you, and you’re embarrassed for ever thinking you had any semblance of control.
  4. You seriously contemplate abandoning this project and just buying meatballs.
  5. You hoped the store would have some pre-made components, but they were all out of stock.
  6. You cannot begin to fathom what you’re supposed to do with the assortment of random parts in the inner pouch.
  7. “Does the placement of this wing look right?” (It doesn’t.)
  8. More than once, you find yourself flipping the bird.
  9. “You see me suffering while you’re watching football, right? Get off the couch and HELP ME, asshole!”
  10. There is a fowl smell—somehow, the turkey is on fire.
  11. There is a foul smell—somehow, the dining table is on fire.
  12. Halfway through, you run to the store and buy a specialty knife and shears.
  13. The instructions alternate between useless ambiguity and mocking specificity.
  14. “Why is this so hard!? Everyone seems so confident in the instructional YouTube videos!!”
  15. You’re surprised by how long it takes to finish the legs.
  16. You’re pretty sure the stuffing shouldn’t fall out like that.
  17. “Fuck it, I’m just gonna shove it the hell in there!”
  18. One tiny mistake could put someone in the hospital.
  19. You call the hotline to ask a horrified representative if you missed an important step. (You did.)
  20. In the final stretch, you’re fueled purely by adrenaline and rage.
  22. Looking back on this day many years from now, you’ll remember it as the catalyst leading to an acrimonious, protracted, and deeply contentious divorce.
  23. You stand back to admire the finished product. It looks like shit, and there’s an alarming amount of unidentifiable liquid pooling in the center.
  24. No one had fun, your hard work goes unacknowledged, and you swear to never put yourself in this situation again. (You will.)

 1-9, 11-20, 21, 22-24: IKEA Dining Room Set (“ALG! SKÅLIG HOJTA GRAVYR! FRACK!” are the names of all the IKEA pieces you forgot to buy)

1-10, 12-20, 21, 22-24: Thanksgiving Turkey, (“ALG! SKÅLIG HOJTA GRAVYR! FRACK!” is how you exclaimed “AUGH! SCALDING HOT GRAVY! FUCK!” after burning your mouth on scalding hot gravy)