Can't Ikea Just Name Their Items Normally?

B and I decided to have ourselves a 500 Days of Summer moment and take a trip to Ikea yesterday. My roomie in college was always referring to Ikea and getting cool shit for our dorm room from there. I’d seen the catalogs and thought it seemed reasonably priced, so I suckered B into going. He bought a condo back in July and I’m trying to slowly take over help with decorating. He didn’t care one way or the other, and figured going along w/ me would score him some points for what he wants to do later in the weekend, involving a new set of Magic cards….can’t wait for him to cash in on that. 

There was another reason for the trip. I have an Ikea bookshelf that has been through a few moves, and one of the shelves is wobbly. If I only put things on the one good side, it’s fine, but when someone takes a book off the good side, reads the back of it, then tosses it back down on the wobbly side, not knowing that it’s unsupported, and then the whole contents of the shelf collapse on the floor, it’s pretty annoying (that doesn’t happen all the time or anything). B’s tried to fix it a few times, but couldn’t find anything to hold it up. We figured what better place to get the part for this than at the mother ship. 

I was expecting Sunday afternoon to be busy, so we got there just before noon, hoping to be there early enough to beat the crowds. Didn’t happen. It was like going to the mall on Christmas Eve. There was a line of cars backed up before the store was even in sight, with employees directing traffic. I hate crowds, but they were to be expected. What I didn’t count on were the throngs of kids. I get Ikea’s whole family-friendly vibe, but I didn’t think kids would be dumb enough to go for it. 

Is there anything more boring for a kid than being dragged to look at furniture? As a recent homeowner, B is Ikea’s prime demographic, and he didn’t even want to be there. Everywhere we looked, kids were shrieking, crying, pulling on parents, pushing on carts (directly into my legs seemed to be a good idea) and generally making it known that they didn’t want to be there. Shocking. I want kids someday, and when I have them, I’d like to think that I won’t subject them to boring adult activities like furniture shopping. 

Not that Ikea was boring. It was like the Target home good section on steroids. Everything you could ever imagine wanting for your house, those Swedes have thought of. Anything you don’t want or need to buy, they’ve got that shit, too. We didn’t have anything in mind, but ended up buying no fewer than three items. That was after getting confused by the weird organization system, and spending ten minutes looking for a Besta shelf unit instead of a Besta wall shelf before deciding it wasn't even worth the headache.   

We went during lunchtime, having been told we couldn’t go to Ikea and not try the meatballs. The in-store café was surprisingly cheap and tasty. We were expecting inflated prices and rubbery entrees, but our meals combined were less than $15 and actually quite good. I know it’s clichéd, but you have to get the meatballs; I don’t know what the Swedish recipe is, but it’s banging. The only thing that would have made lunch better was if the Swedish chef was taking orders. 

The best part of the trip was when we saw the bookshelf from my room. B was so darn curious, he lifted up one of the shelves and unscrewed the little knobby thing that was keeping it level. I told him that should help with mine, and he agreed. Now my Billy bookcase is up to code again. That should help until the next time I move, b/c let’s face it: Ikea furniture is the same shit you’re buying at Target, and you can’t expect too much from that craftsmanship; how do you think they keep their prices so reasonable?