Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ultimate Shopping

Son19 and Daughter13 requested some furniture for their rooms as Christmas gifts. Not an entire bedroom set but just a few odds and ends. And they were very clear about what they wanted. They wanted furniture from IKEA.

If you've never had the experience of IKEA, you've missed a rare shopping event. If you get there early enough, they have free coffee and breakfast for 99¢. And that's just to give you the strength for the rest of the day.

The store itself is laid out in a winding maze. You only move in one direction, thus assuring you will pass every item they have for sale. And they have a LOT of items for sale for every room in the house! And many of those items are displayed in 'room' settings so you can see exactly how it will look when you get it home. Assuming you live in very tiny compartments. But it still looks perfect they way they show it off.

And it is all so...modular, clean, ideal. It seems so obvious that this furniture will make your life more organized, less cluttered, better. Suddenly there is the urge for a new coffee table and bookcase. Or a new desk chair. And the kitchen utensils are precisely what I need at home! And look over there at those lamps!

Of course, you can't put this stuff in mere shopping carts. Oh no, only light bulbs and various little baskets go in the cart. Everything else is coded by Aisle Number and Bin Number. You write it down. And as you leave the store you pass through a self-serve warehouse where all the stuff you saw earlier is laid out before you, disassembled and carefully packed in boxes, ready to go home. It is sort of a miracle of marketing combined with self-service on everything from mouse pads to sofas.

And once you've paid, but before you leave the store, they reward you once again with food. Hot dogs, Swedish meatballs, various imported food and drink, all sorts of little treats for the ride home.

And there's the problem. The ride home. Suddenly you realize you've got 900 pounds of boxes that you have to fit into your car. Packing them carefully, watching the tires flatten under the weight, it all gets packed away in every crack and crevice.

Too bad there is just no way to see out the rear view mirror on the drive home!


Thomas Vickers said...

I have a personal theory that the only way to truly test the strength of your marriage is to assemble some IKEA furniture with your spouse. Try it. See how it goes.

I love the maze that is IKEA. Even better than going to a corn maze.

IKEA is also under fire in Italy this year. They are apparently the only store in the country that doesn't sell nativity scenes and this is an outrage to the Italians.

Go figure.


Chelle said...

I had this experience when I took my daughter there to get stuff for her college apartment. O M G!!! We shopped til we dropped. We picked up our stuff....we lugged it out tot he car.....I drive a little Honda CRV.....uhhh....let's jsut say it was WAY full :) WHat were we thinking?? LOL

However...I do LOVE the store....can't wait to go back again! hehe

Chucky said...

Never even seen an IKEA store around here. Looks like I'm missing out on some good ol' fun.

Em said...

Thomas, when it comes to putting that stuff together, it is NOT time to have a bonding moment. I work (fuss, curse, struggle, sweat, etc) in one room while my wife quietly does another task in a far different room!

Chelle, a Honda CRV? Oh yea of misguided impressions. Thankfully you didn't furnish a room that day!

Chucky, they aren't everywhere. But if you get a chance, it is unique!

Jazz said...

Ah the joy that is Ikea on a Saturday when the whole universe meets there to wander through the maze.

Dirk_Star said...

we love Ikea!

I too hate the distortion of size the store tricks you with.

The boxes are always three times the size bigger at the car than they were on the shelf in the store...

radioactive girl said...

We bought all our furniture for our basement from IKEA. After I finished putting it all together, my son told me he was glad I put it together instead of my husband. When I asked him why, he told me that "daddy always says too many bad words when he does it".

Em said...

Ah, radioactive girl, I think I might have that same problem at times! LOL

creative-type dad said...

My favorite part of IKEA is the $.99 ice cream cone. The rest is weird.