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!