Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ikea Day

Yesterday, Smartmom, Hepcat and Real Fruit Jelly ventured to Ikea. An inexpensive couch for Smartmom and Real Fruit Jelly's office was the main item on their shopping list. RFJ had the idea because she, on occasion, finds herself napping in the office. Usually she sleeps on the comfy chair in the corner by the window. But that chair is better for slouching than sleeping and really not all that comfy. Smartmom too falls asleep in the office from time to time. More often than she cares to admit. Sometimes she just sleeps on the floor or sitting in her office chair.

Ikea seemed like the ideal place to find an affordable couch. When Smartmom and RFJ made the plan, Hepcat decided to come too because he needed frames for his photographs. So off they went in hot pursuit of a couch and picture frames. In RFJ's Lexus SUV, the three crossed the Verrazano Bridge, drove across Staten Island and crossed the Goethals Bridge to New Jersey. From there's it's one exit on the Jersey Turnpike and VOILA. IKEA.

Unfortunately, they made a few navigational errors - the driver was distracted by the conversation - and had to do some backtracking. Not a problem. They arrived at Ikea with high hopes and high energy ready for adventure.

Mid-week, mid-day is an ideal time to land in Ikea. The store was quiet and not very crowded. There were even a few sales people around in the event of a question and/or an order. After a thorough review of all the couches in the couch department, SM and RFJ found The Karlanda, a blue upholstered bench that looked great for sitting and perfect for sleeping. They plan to put it against the wall and throw some throw pillows on it.

Mission accomplished. Except for one itsy, bitsy problem.

They were out of stock. Sigh, sigh, groan. A sales person did take RFJ's information and promised to call when it comes in.

After that disappointment, the three wandered the floor. At first Smartmom was all eyes and energy, taking everything in. Ooooh, what a nice cabinet, look at that table, nice storage unit, cool dresser, handy desk, a table for the printer...


A trip to Ikea inspires a complete re-evaluation of one's abode. Storage bins and closets look like instant solutions to everything that ails the urban apartment dweller. Clutter: that great monster can be controlled with just a few items from the Swedish furniture giant. It all looks so clean and simple. The solution to life's chaos...

Smartmom found herself fantaszing about throwing her furniture away. She wanted to start all over again -- new everything. Even Hepcat kept grabbing things he thought they needed -- a duvet cover, towels, a collander, garlic press, pillows. Their blue plastic Ikea shoulder bags were packed with things they were convinced would improve their quality of life.

And then the fatigue set in. but they couldn't stop.

Hepcat started showing signs of fatigue-induced mania early on. He became obsessed with the Swedish names for the merchandise finding them all quite hilarious: the Krabb mirror, the Expedit, the Billy Bookcase and the Ivar, a line for furnishing the garage. In the lighting department, he found the Dunkar floor lamp, the Non, the Aftonstund, the Morker, the Limbo, the Not lamp, and the Duno lamp.

Hee hee hee. He was losing it in the lighting department.

"Hey, come look," he said. "The Dipodi Lamp -- for the bathroom, maybe?" He pointed out the Lock and the Rigor ceiling lamps. The funniest were the Fartg lamp and the Sextol bedside lamp. There was even a group of cocktail shakers and trays called the Grogy.

You get the idea.

Hepcat is convinced that they are fake Swedish words, jokes on English for the Americans.

Later, Hepcat grabbed a blue teddy bear for OSFO even though Smartmom begged him to put it back. "She doesn't need another stuffed animal!" But Hepcat insisted on bringing what he called "this gorgeous blue bear" home to his daughter. By then, it was abundantly clear that he was really far gone.

The three took a much-needed rest in the cafeteria and ate an inexpensive feast of Swedish meatballs and gravilax, an Ikea tradition. The windows of the airy and attractive cafeteria face Newark Airport and the Jersey Turnpike -- truly one of the most engaging vistas around. As they watched planes landing in the fog, the group's feet were aching, their big yellow plastic Ikea bags waiting on the chairs beside them.

By the time they reached the check-out, they'd spent more money than they'd wanted to and had to figure out how to pack it all into RFJ's SUV.

Smartmom and RFJ still don't have a couch for napping in the office. But that's okay. When they do get that call about the Karlanda bench they'll be crossing the Verrazano again, Ikea bound.


At 5:07 AM, Blogger brooklynfox said...

SM, can't wait to cross the G and V bridges again. I had such a nice day with you and Hep. Lucky me. I wonder if it will be as much fun to go to Ikea when it's in Red Hook. We mustn't go there too often so as not to ruin the adventure of it. Thanks again. RFJ

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Little Light said...

Ikea's coming to Brooklyn? Man, I haven't been to Ikea in years, but you describe my memories of it perfectly from the excitement to the fatigue. I think you have to commmit to two trips each time you shop.

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