Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Next Time You're Tempted To Give Up A Freedom or Two, Spend the Day At Ikea

There are things you should know about Ikea if you haven't figured it out already, the hard way.

Ikea is like DisneyWorld. While at Disney it makes perfect sense to buy yourself a Mickey Mouse shirt. When you unpack that shirt at home, however you have the same sick feeling you had when you saw the picture someone once took of you drunk at the Office Christmas party.

Maybe it's the intoxicating turning to nauseating smell of cinnamon coming from the Ikea kitchen, maybe it's the displays of little dollhouse rooms that, against your better judgement, lead you to believe that you too could live very nicely in much much less room if you owned lots of furniture with Swedish names that prompts your initial shopping excitement, I don't know. But I do know that you experience what I have called "Ikea Brain," which is a lot like pregnancy brain without the weight gain. You FORGET that you hate Ikea with every cell in your body. You forget that you have a few more friends apparently, than the average Swede, therefore that minimal sofa you just bought for the same price you could have purchased a life size sofa (already assembled and delivered) will only comfortably fit one, and maybe awkwardly two. You forget that the small table you just purchased is much like the one you gave away months ago. Somewhere around the middle of your shopping trip you may remember all these things, but by then you have invested way too much time and energy to go back.

Besides, you can't seem to find the exit door.

If you follow those arrows around the store there is a chance you will spend the rest of your life living at Ikea. I'm not sure if or how they round up all those circling dazed shoppers when the store closes, but I suppose there is always a very sensible no frills bed to collapse on and leftover meatballs in the kitchen.

Real sales clerks are similar to mirages in the middle of the desert. Only you're not the only one who sees them. The 300 people in front of you line to get help from these real clerks have also seen the vision.

And last but not least, if you choose not to remember any of these things and you, against all your sworn oaths and public declarations decide to shop at Ikea again, just remember this one very important fact.

There is no aisle 42.

They stop at 38. Aisle 42 is code for the Cash and Carry pickup area, which if you're Catholic is the equivalent of purgatory complete with fire, people moaning and the crying of poor little babies who weren't baptized in time.


  1. I got a cash and carry bathroom sink the last time we were there. It is still sitting in the dining room.

  2. I have almost gotten divorced twice. Both times Ikea was to blame.

  3. Susan, I totally understand - by the time you actually get the thing home you're too exhausted to deal with it anymore. Hence I suggest those who need a new line of work try Furniture Assembly specializing in IKEA assembly route. Fortunes to be made.

    Libby, Dave and I are more the murderer/accomplice types. Seriously a man I never met before almost met his demise yesterday (in Ikea) getting wayyy to close to the cart I waited in line for 10 minutes to score. Anyway the result would be the same, we'd both be separated from our spouse because of Ikea, but Dave and I would be incarcerated and you'd be a single mom.

    I hate Sven.


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