I was in a bad mood for two-and-a-half days straight, and I blame my mood completely on one ill-conceived plan by my well-meaning husband.
It was Saturday, and I had said that perhaps we could go to this furniture consignment store that Matt had driven past the other day. I wanted to see if they had any inexpensive furniture for my quest to reorganize the playroom. What I meant was that I wanted to go to this furniture consignment store in my quest for furniture to reorganize the playroom. Then I wanted to come home. What Matt heard was, “Blah blah blah blah furniture blah blah blah playroom blah blah blah.” He came up with the brilliant idea to breakfast at Ikea and then traverse the store for ideas.
“Big deal!” you say. Yes, it is a big deal. Perhaps I should enlighten you with a very important tidbit of information about myself: I despise shopping. I literally have physical reactions to shopping. I can remember in high school shopping for homecoming dresses in multiple stores and having to sit down next to a rack of dresses so that I wouldn’t pass out. Nearly every Christmas season, I get faint and dizzy and have to sit down (probably because the temperature of the stores is 107 degrees). I get pounding headaches. I get crabby. Very crabby. And I start to dislike people.
I didn’t date a lot, but if ever a boy suggested roaming around the mall as a date, that would have been our last. I am sure that sometime in the course of the evening I would have blurted out, “You’re stupid,” merely because I am allergic to shopping, and my allergy causes me to become very mean.
I don’t like looking for great deals or shopping at stores with clothes thrown all over the place. I like neat. I like clean. I don’t like to search. I like to walk into a store and immediately walk out with my purchase. If I go to hell, I will be placed in a mall and told to window shop for eternity. My allergy is a pain, and I hope a researcher develops a shot or something someday.
So when Matt suggested Ikea, my heart started beating at an irregular rhythm. I know I’m supposed to love Ikea–it’s its own amazing little country–but I hate Ikea. First of all, I rarely like any of their furniture, (I have discussed previously that I am not cool or trendy, so their stuff just doesn’t do it for me) so the thought of walking around a store that is the size of a little country just to search for ideas makes me want to poke a pencil through my eyeball.
I know I’m supposed to love Ikea–it’s kid friendly! It is extremely kid friendly–they even have their own little daycare; however, I’m not comfortable leaving my children with people I don’t know, so we end up dragging them around with us. Yes, Ikea has bottle warmers, extra diapers, baby food, family changing rooms, and a family parking lot, but none of that changes the fact that the layout of their store is a non-shopper’s nightmare! And therein lies the problem.
In their evil-genius marketing plan, Ikea has planned their store so that everyone must walk in the same direction through each little department until reaching the end and thus being given the chance to exit the maze. A person can’t simply jump to the bedroom area; that person must walk the maze through the preceding departments first.
Unless, of course, that person is part of the Davis family. Then that person would have somehow started at the end of the store in the children’s area and then decided to walk in the opposite direction of the arrows on the floor with three children, struggling like a family of trout swimming upstream, doing his best to avoid the onslaught of people walking the right way. For most of the trip I kept imploring Matt, “PLEASE…why can’t we walk in the same direction as everyone else?!” But evil Ikea didn’t plan simple turn-around points. There is no turn-around. One must walk the whole store if one wants to turnaround. And that wasn’t happening.
Keeping up with our children in this kid-friendly store was a nightmare. All of the kid rooms were super cute, and of course, our children wanted to jump on every bed, read every book, and travel through the little tunnels connecting one room to the next. Yes, there were holes in the walls, and we kept losing our children through them. And the random streamers hanging from the ceiling that had some sort of electro-magnetic field that children were highly susceptible of falling victim to–we lost our kids to those, as well.
While I was prepared for the challenges of kid rooms with beds and toys all available for kids to touch and try out, I wasn’t prepared for sofa after sofa after sofa leading to sofas that were somehow anchored to the wall. Performing an amazing leap reminiscent of my gymnastics days, I managed to catch hold of the leg of one of my children before she successfully mounted this red couch hanging from the ceiling. I also managed to smash my shin against the bottom rail of one of the floor couches in the process. I think I hit the most important nerve in my body, causing my shin, foot, and back of my thigh all to throb.
So even though Ikea had a special where we could deduct our lunch (yes, lunch; we were one minute late for breakfast and thus had to pay $4.99 a plate instead of $1.99) total from our purchase of $100 or more, we left empty-handed. We were just getting ‘ideas’ that day. Yeah, I came up with a few ideas on that trip, but I’ll save them for myself.
As I hobbled to the car, Matt announced that we were going to Pottery Barn Kids at the mall to get more ideas, and I swear I went into anaphylaxis shock. I would have paid more attention to the hives had my leg not hurt so darn badly. So on we went to another store where we would leave empty-handed but full of ideas and more symptoms of an allergic reaction. And for good measure, Matt took me to Target, too. Finally, we ended the day with a fifteen minute stop at a certain furniture consignment store.
We got home at five o’clock that evening, and my allergic reaction lasted until the middle of Monday.
My apologies to Ikea. You really do have an impressive and innovative store. If it weren’t for my condition, I’m sure I would love it.