So I spent the afternoon at IKEA today. This is not my first time, but every time seems like the second time. Oddly familiar layout but none of the same things in the same place.
We actually got there about 1 and left about 7. We didn’t spend that much, and bought nothing bigger than a breadbox. However, given the distance, going to IKEA is sort of like going to a Canobie Lake or SixFlags for adults. You get to ride escalators and seemingly easy navigation turns into a long roundabout.
The one of the few places they are dissimilar is that you don’t get drenched at IKEA.
Anyway, given that I was willing to drive from Arlington to Stoughton to carry out the ill-defined mission we were on, we went. Honestly most of the furniture is the same stuff that you can get at Target, but there’s 27 times the variation.
One way for a guy to survive a trip to IKEA is to remember that you have to gird yourself to suppress your innate hunter. You don’t go into Ikea looking for a thing. You can’t be silently tracking a single moving prey, your protein for the month, moving stealthily around obstacles. And since a lot of it has weird names, (Flosk, Dasnek, Fichlum, Bjorken…I made those up, but that is what it looks like) you feel like your inner hunter has suddenly been scooped up from your familiar forest into a cold desolate tundra. The stuff is just sitting there looking back at you. Furniture, Kitchens, weird chairs that bounce, tables that fold up like inverse transformers, lamp shades hanging off the ceiling, odd shaped cooking utensils.
Joyfully there is a cafeteria and we ate immediately today. However, it’s weird cafeteria food. Salads with smoked fish slices that look like cold cuts, strangely unsweet apple pie, meatballs served with gravy and runny jam on the side, square fish that is baked and served with yellow carrots and hash browns tainted with cheese and broccoli. Today they served ribs dripping with the barbecue sauce it was swimming in, fries and cornbread. I was afraid about what swedish french fries would be. My fear was that they’d be named Frensk Greasca or something and I’d end up singing Waterloo after eating them. I chose the weird hash browns and cornbread as my sides.
Then we walked around for 4 hours, seemingly in circles over and over. And when no more furniture setups were presented we went downstairs and walked around where the plates, knives, curtain kits, lamps, oddly shaped bathroom sinks were displayed. Then suddenly we enter a warehouse. As we walk past the aisles of dissembled furniture, I wonder how they stay in business. How can there be such a demand for a leather Poang? Who would buy a plexiglass chair for their kitchen?
One of the most tiring things at IKEA is the weird carriages with none of the wheels locked. These things handle like bumper cars at that aforementioned carnival. You spend all your time trying to make sure you can move directly at your target. Then you watch an elderly fellow trying to just walk down an aisle and as he pushes forward, the carriages drifts to the right and takes him along with it until he bounces off a display. He then begins to drift left, his body still facing the direction he wants to go, but the carriage is seemingly dragging him in a tangential way. It’s as if some huge magnet was pulling him southeast.
Then we were at the register. yay! done! pay quick! Wait, when we got through paying, it was 5:30 and dinner time. Should we leave? No let’s go upstairs again. This time I had the fish and 2 of the hash browncollicheeses.
Finally about 7:00 after diving back in to look at the plants again, we leave. 6 hours. I’m exhausted. It was at this time I thought that my carnival analogy was not exact. This was the swedish Spags.