Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 5, 2004
A Trip To IKEA
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 5, 2004 – IKEA should probably be slotted in as the 8th wonder of the world – okay perhaps we should just create another category where it could rank as #1. What an amazing store! As a veteran IKEA shopper I always visit the store during the week and preferably in the morning.
Evenings and weekends are for the uninitiated, the lovers of crowds, the seekers of chaos and those of the rigid schedules. Luckily Dorothy and I do not fit into any of these categories – so we zoomed up Leslie Street to Sheppard and found parking in the enormous IKEA lot with relative ease. The first order of business was the consumption of a 50 cent hot dog, eaten while standing up, close to the food court. With our energy somewhat revived it was time to find a cart and tackle the endless aisles of merchandise.
We went in through the check-out lines on the main floor, not the second floor entrance where it’s easy to get bogged down looking at the furniture and the terrific room displays. We had a very specific shopping list and not a lot of time to spend. The first display was a sparkling smorgasbord of Christmas decorations, that might just as well have been free, they were so reasonably priced?
Dorothy immediately pounced on some miniature, gold tree decorations, a wooden log with electrified candles, clear wrapping paper and bright red serviettes. I moved on, unfazed by the trappings of the upcoming season, my half of our shopping cart barren.
Dorothy was on the hunt for a mat for her front hallway. For reasons unknown to the common man (or woman), visitors to her home never wipe their bad weather feet on the outdoor mat. Instead they come inside and shed dust, dirt and mud on her hallway runner. She wanted to replace it with a small, innocuous mat for inside the front door. In short order, she was successful and had heaped a straw-like carpet into our buggy. Still I resisted the allure of the “buy”.
I had a precise prize on my shopping list, but I could easily have been tempted by dozens of their inexpensive, practical and colourful items. Wonderful merchandise for the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living areas of the home. Great curtains, bath mats, candles, office storage units, flower pots, pet care items, duvet covers, pillows, picture frames and decorative cushions.
I recognized many things from the homes I see when I’m working with clients. Sometimes a client will point to an item and say “IKEA” and I will be taken aback. It looks so good – far more like a designer object d’art than an item available to all of us who care to spend an afternoon at this retail bonanza.
We worked our way through garden items, carpets, curtains, bathroom accessories and then ended up in kitchenware. My quest was to find twelve, oven safe, individual pots for the beef bourguignonne that I’m going to make for my annual Christmas dinner in late December. I was hoping for a selection of decorative, red, holiday dishes – instead for $3.99 each I happily settled for plain white. They also had a caramel coloured one, but it didn’t look particularly festive.
Instead I bought one of those for Ziggy, who has been eating out of a clay dish that used to hold a summer citronella candle. He routinely breaks his food dish after a rousing game of dish hockey. He likes to send his dish spinning across the kitchen floor into the wall, where it frequently cracks into two pieces. Not surprisingly it’s no longer any fun to play with. So he is now, Ziggy of the caramel pot. It will be interesting to see how long an IKEA dish can withstand his punishing kitchen antics. He should probably be in their next commercial.
I passed on white pillar candles and bathroom do-dads, but was way laid by a beautiful white duvet cover for my third floor bedroom. I didn’t need it, but it was inexpensive and I enjoy changing the way my room looks from time to time, just for the fun of it. I passed some fabulous picture frames and red flower pots on my way out, giving me a reason to come back another day. I dropped Dorothy off at three o’clock and had lots of time to get some work done during the afternoon.
I’m booked with clients both days on the week-end so I really didn’t mind playing hookie for the afternoon. This is a new adventure for me, I’m endeavouring to have a life where I do more than work. I still feel the prickles of guilt and worry, but I’m getting a bit better at managing some time for myself during the week, especially when I’m working all week-end.
Change always takes time and it usually doesn’t come without the obligatory struggle. However, the more I stick at it, I am starting to think it may just be possible to teach this old dog a few new tricks!