My favourite IKEA story is the one by my sister. She overheard a middle-aged couple in one of the Polish branches:
Man: I don’t like anything here.
Woman: Told you, it’s garage furniture.
Eight in the evening, Friday and we’re back to IKEA. The place I promised, promised myself not to buy any furniture from. Why? Because it sucks. It looks small and manageable in store and then you get it all boxed up and realize that shiiiit, the dimensions are surely wrong. We’re here the second time this month. Yeah, you heard it right – this m-o-n-t-h. The previous visit was over a weekend. One of those enlightening moments when you understand why your local English park is empty on a Saturday: everybody’s in local Sweden.
It’s mesmerizing to observe this flood of cultures united by cheap furniture. I see Indian families with great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, children and grandchildren. An African girl throwing out these carefully styled throws and cushions from a box shouting “I’m in my room now!”. English father discussing room measurement with his school-uniformed children – over meatballs. English teenage girl taking a selfie with her pink phone – over a pile of chips. A Muslim woman evidently praying on one of the many, many sofas. There is an elderly couple with a small dog – they’re dressed from top to toes in trekking clothes, including backpacks, the only things missing: sticks for Nordic Walking. Pregnant women of all ages and nationalities (apparently Polish women breed more than others in the UK but not a single one spotted at IKEA this time). A teenage couple heading for beds’ section – the boy to his girlfriend: “bedrooms! We all know what happens in bedrooms… sleeping!” Yeah, right…
In. No, don’t take the bag. Cheap crap that nobody needs. Living rooms. Oh this looks like something we could need. Put away, stick to the list goddammit. Look for tables. This one looks good. I don’t like it, too dark. This one? too light? Maybe this one? You mean for a butcher’s workshop? Leave it, let’s go eat and decide then. No, I refuse to come back here. OK then, sit down. Feels OK. Let’s just get it. Sure? Sure. But maybe… let’s take the shortcut. Kitchens. Wardrobes. Can’t these people walk quicker? OK, I’m getting off this path. Do we need…? No. we don’t. but maybe… Let’s take the yellow bag. Who needs all these boxes? Storage, storage – if you don’t have stuff, you don’t need storage! I think these boxes could really work though. Let’s go and eat. This is new romantic, right? Grab the trolley. Isle 22. Isle 44. Customers are reminded that this store will close in 30 minutes. Can’t find chairs. Go look for the table. Hahaha! It was too heavy! Can you maneuver this trolley? Why are we the only people who push it sideways??? Customers are reminded that this store closes in 5 minutes. The cab’s here. Sorry, my car is too short. No. we’re sorry. No, I’m sorry. Fuck, let’s arrange a delivery. Sunday good? Perfect. Out.
Shiiiit, the dimensions are surely wrong!see comments