I’m helping a friend style a wall of family photographs, so naturally for picture frames, one goes to IKEA. It takes me over an hour to get to the closest store, and I have to plan to spend at least half a day or more of my time on an IKEA excursion. In winter, in the rain, it is a complete hassle, but with all those deals to be had, I make the trip twice a year.
IKEA and I have a complicated relationship. Every time I pass one, I long to go in, and consider it complete torture to pass one on the freeway without stopping. Once I’m in, I go through a series of emotions. First, frustration at the miles of parking lots, tens of thousands of square footage to navigate, glaring florescent lights, and the disturbing feeling we’re all being herded like cattle. Moooo.
Next, admiration when I remember IKEA has a professional daycare that greets you at the door. Clearly, this is a store designed to trap you and your children inside for hours at at time. That, or they’re just tired of cleaning up broken vases on Aisle 242.
Then comes the anxiety that sets in trying to follow all those blue signs with all the arrows pointing you to go here or there. It’s quite a disturbing labyrinth and it frightens me so.
Anxiety is always followed by hunger requiring that I get in the long line to wait to dine on their Swedish meatballs. Once revived, I experience the delight of scoring some pretty good deals on some cheap goods.