Last Sunday I took the plunge, rented a Zipcar and trekked out to IKEA, that mecca for inexpensive and stylish Swedish furniture. It’s more than furniture. It’s an entire lifestyle. It’s a life. I saw people who had a slightly wild look in their eye, like they’d been wandering around for hours and weren’t sure where they were or how they got there. There was a whole contingent of shoppers chowing down in the IKEA cafeteria (and damn, those cinnamon rolls smelled fantabulous). I wouldn’t have been surprised to see someone waking up in the bedroom department, wondering why there were so many strangers tromping through his bedroom.
Side note #1: Do you think anyone ever gets lost in IKEA? Like, truly lost? (By accident or on purpose)? Like, I was so distracted by the 99 cent pot holders that I didn’t even realize the lights were going off and now I’m stuck in one of the mini apartment setups… no? Maybe?
Side note #2: I came perilously close to becoming one of the crazy shoppers, but that was only because I was trying to NOT get sucked into the danger zone! Let me tell you, I barreled down IKEA’s version of the yellow brick road with my shopping cart, narrowly avoiding small crying children and dazed and confused families, one hand on the cart and the other one tossing things in the cart. It was an effective way to shop, but I had to do a reality check before the check out line, and toss half the things I’d scooped up in my temporary madness. That’s what IKEA does to you.
Side note #3: Does anyone remember this Spike Jonze ad?
I always felt bad for the lamp, I will admit. Call me crazy! Call me the girl who bought a plant from the Stoughton IKEA because I felt it needed rescuing.
Dear readers, let me share a secret with you: IKEA is not that cheap!!!!!!!! Yes, it’s true. Some of their stuff is really actually quite expensive. If I’m going to spend $500+ on a couch, I want a couch that two burly men will deliver to my third floor walk-up, already fully assembled. Also, what is up with all the particleboard? I miss heavy, solid, REAL furniture. It still exists, right?
Here’s what I bought yesterday:
1 picture frame
1 salad dressing bottle
1 sad plant*
1 sad plant’s plant holder
*The plant is real. But I had to check twice to make sure.
Plus 2 side tables from the Christmas Tree Shop.
It doesn’t add up to a whole lot, but it feels like I bought so much more because hardly anything came assembled! I DIDN’T buy the bookshelves, chairs, coffee table and tv unit I really wanted. Call me cheap, but I work hard for my money and I refuse to fall victim to a good branding campaign!
Yes, I will probably go back and buy more furniture. Damn you, IKEA. Damn you for making me love your ‘cheap’ stuff.