Patti (whipartist) wrote,

A love-hate relationship

I absolutely despise Ikea in a lot of ways. It embodies the worst in big-box retail-- everything has a disturbing mass-market blandness and lack of character, as though it it was all stamped with one big cookie cutter somewhere in a giant blue and yellow factory in the middle of nowhere. (OK, it was.) So much of what they sell is unspeakably cheezy and cheap; I can't actually imagine having a twenty-dollar chair in my living room, even if it does have slim lines and is easy to place.

And what's up with those goofy faux-Swedish names? Although I have to admit that a trash can named Document amused me today.

At the same time, I'm a sucker for cheap shelving and storage stuff. I'm almost embarrassed at the degree to which I can salivate over unfinished pine shelves and wooden boxes. I'm one of the most disorganized people on the face of the earth, and yet I fantasize about a place for everything and everything in its place. When I see big piles of shelving I lose all ability to think rationally, although somehow I can still calculate exactly how many boards and ends I "need" in order to complete this week's vision of shelving nirvana. And then I start waving the Visa around like a stark raving lunatic while trying to figure out how I'm going to fit it all into a small BMW.

Tonight I went by there because I needed a shelf for the unit that the video stuff is on, and a new desk lamp to replace the one that died. By the time I got out of there I'd spent over $250 on shelves and drawers and boxes and, oh yeah, the lamp that motivated me to go in the first place.

The very worst thing about Ikea, barring none, is the other customers. I haven't figured out what it is, but something about this particular retail wonderland makes them behave as though they're taking a casual Sunday stroll through the park. They turn random directions without looking to see if there's anyone in their way, and stop dead in their tracks for no obvious reason. Worst of all, they think nothing about blocking aisles, displays, doorways, bins, shelves, cart racks, or anything else that one might possibly want to get around them to get to.

If you know me, you know that I don't get stressed out easily. I can sit blissfully in stop-and-go traffic or spend an hour in a doctor's waiting room without getting significantly annoyed, but all I have to do is walk through the door of Ikea and my blood pressure goes up twenty points. Ukea Tilt is not a pretty thing.

I really do think they pump some sort of stupid drugs into the air there. Tonight's uber-winner walked in the door right in front of me and went up the escalators to the furniture displays. About twenty feet past the escalator she stopped dead in the very middle of the aisle, turned to her companion, and calmly asked, "Are we on the second floor?"

They're clearly fast-acting stupid drugs.
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