New Place: Ikea

Been to a lot of places around town lately that are new to me. Today the wife and I did the walking tour of Ikea. I’ve been to one Ikea once before, but it didn’t make much of an impression on me at the time as I had no money (like this time) and no place to furnish (unlike this time). We said all the stuff you say when you go to Ikea (“Isn’t that the coffee table that Phil and Sara have?” and “Oooh, I saw that one in the catalog,” and “Wouldn’t that look nice near the living room window?”), plus one thing that might be unusual: “This place looks just like my grandmother’s house.”

When I was a lad, my mother’s mother’s house was a shining example of 1960s designer furniture from Europe, all of it in great shape. This, of course, was the 1980s, though, so all this furniture seemed strangely stiff and weirdly foreign. (On the other hand, her obsessively maintained couch netted a lot of money when we had to clear out her house. She was very good at what she did: Keep nice things nice.) Anyway, Ikea made me miss my grandmother.

At the same time, Ikea made me sick to death of all people everywhere, due to no particular encounter. The zoo-like flow of bodies through exhibits got to be too much, eventually. Sure, it’s nice to see and touch a real Ylfanginhert sofa in a mock habitat at Ikea after seeing them in National Geographic (or the Ikea catalog, or whatever), but by the time we reached dishes and textiles I’d had enough. Getting through the warehouse section at the end of the circuit, wife in hand, was like rushing through the fiery, climactic warehouse of a Michael Bay movie, loud and desperate.

We found stuff we want, but I don’t want to go back there unless it’s a weekday morning. Even then, I’ll hone my catalog-fu before I go.

2 Comments so far

  1. Andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on September 12th, 2005 @ 8:59 am

    The most important question of all — did you buy any lingonberries?

  2. Will (unregistered) on September 12th, 2005 @ 1:13 pm

    The vital question. I wish I had! I love lingonberries, but the Ikea market was so jammed with scrambling shoppers that I had to pass it by.

    Must get lingonberries.

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