Thursday, November 16, 2006

I IKEA. You IKEA. We all IKEA.

Saturday afternoon = Looks to be that when the weekend rolls round, many folks have it first and foremost in mind to head for the nearest Ikea. Never no mind the entertainment to be had at local parks, theaters, museums and seasonal fests. They even eschew outdoor recreation offered by the idyllic natural surroundings, on a gorgeous autumn day - to be - HERE.

That said, so did I.
Last weekend was the only opportunity HubbyDear was able to accompany me to Ikea, so we braved the crowds. I had anticipated a lot of people, but didn't expect to meet with the multitudes. After parking waaaaay out in the back 40 of the lot, HD and I boldly entered the store with a decided purpose: to seek out a small piece of furniture for the guest bedroom. We targeted the upstairs furniture displays, weaving in out between and amongst - individuals, couples, small groups and entire families (quite a few multi-generational). Some, but not all - were - shopping.

We encountered a horde of All-American Folk engaged in the Disneylandesque ambience of Weekend Ikea.
Grandparents sat comfortably on the moderne furniture patiently waiting for (and no doubt bemused by) their adult children, who hassled and haggled over home decor decisions. HD and I dodged strollers (filled with clothes and purses) left and right. The toddlers who weren't in their strollers were running amuck, playing with the toys in Ikea for Kids, lying on cute beds, dancing about around as well as on the colorful furniture. They begged for tasty treats from the Ikea Cafeteria (is the food area always next to the Kid Area? Smart planning in this regard, Ikea!). Grandparents, parents and kids all seemed to be having A GOOD TIME. Go figure.

Yet, in the midst of all the carnival-like gaiety, there seemed to be some semblance of order (perhaps I just create a mental order to survive such situations). Even a bit of good ol' American Consumerism.

Guided by the directional arrows on the floor, the crowd managed to move (not quite en masse, but one could detect a flow) like lemmings from department to department. As if on a self-guided Universal Studios Tour. (Yes yes, I says to myself - this is fine, really it is....all is good...HD and I will get through this...).

And so we did. Well, sorta. Just us and all the other local folk enjoying quality weekend hours at Ikea. It was something of a joyous scene, albeit a bit surreal.
Ikea is a STORE after all, innit?
Who knew it could be so - recreational?!?

Thursday evening = HD and I are back for a second look. We needed to see if what we thought we saw on Saturday was anything close to what we actually want/need. There was no chance for reasonable decision-making last weekend. As most of you know, it's tough to make the right choices under Chaotic Shopping Duress.

There were no crowds whatsoever. No jostling. Lots of room to browse. Shopping at leisure. IKEA associates poised, with a smile and at the ready to assist with every little thing. It was almost a luxury to be able to take time to examine the merchandise and seriously consider to buy or not to buy. No urge to indulge in shark feeding-frenzied buying. Much accomplished in far less time than on a weekend afternoon. BTW, we ended up with something altogether different from our weekend choices.

On such an Ikea shopping trip, you can even walk into the delightfully furnished rooms / apartment vignettes and pretend you live there without turning the corner and discovering a 'stranger' in 'your' bathroom. Last Saturday, 'strangers' were in all my fantasy cribs. Geez, you could probably take a wee nap in one of the beds and no one would notice for....quite a few minutes. You can walk round happily filling your HUGE YELLOW IKEA SHOPPING BAG with all manner of cool stuff and not bump into anything or anyone.

Best of all: No need to queue up for Swedish Meatballs.
Nice. I mean, really n-i-c-e.
Like I'm never doing Saturday Afternoon Ikea Again Nice.
[Or Sunday for that matter]

Book me R/T to Ikea for my next mini-getaway vacation, will ya?
Just make sure it ain't on a weekend.
Or during the upcoming holidays.
Or on an Ikea Grand Opening Day.

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