I love IKEA. A lot.
The Swedes know how to do things. Clean lines..brightly colored textiles…interesting, whimsical light fixtures…lots and lots of fresh white furniture that isn’t too big or too expensive.
I could live at IKEA. They have meatballs. And good, strong coffee. When I was younger and cared more about things like shoes and lipstick than I do now, I used to think that Heaven was probably a lot like the first floor at the old Dayton’s in downtown Minneapolis. To a small town girl in a great big city with a teeny tiny checkbook balance, racks and racks of designer shoes, air that smelled like Chanel No. 5, the luxe decor with enormous crystal chandeliers and marble columns, and that grand piano with the guy in the tuxedo playing “Moon River” seemed like a great place to spend eternity. Now that I am in my fabulous 50’s, I couldn’t care less if I ever wore another pair of high heels (they hurt) and too many perfumes being sprayed in my direction just makes me ornery and headache-y. The chandeliers that enthralled me at 18 just look like a whole lot of work to keep dusted at 51. And that Piano Man? Pretty sure he didn’t iron that pleated tux shirt himself.
But IKEA? Nirvana. Even when I get to the checkout after wandering trance-like for an hour with just a package of napkins, a bamboo plant, and a throw pillow.
The last time I was there, I purchased three of their giant blue bags in which to haul my purchases. If you are not familiar with these, it will be difficult to describe how wonderful they are. Or how really LARGE they are. Let’s just say that if I HAD a child who was still a toddler, and if the pretend toddler was tired, and if I didn’t have a pretend stroller in which to place the pretend toddler, in IKEA, I could easily place the toddler in one of the bags and carry him/her/it out to the parking lot. Next to the package of napkins. And the bamboo plant. And the throw pillow.
I use these bags to haul stuff to and from the cabin. I’ve used them as makeshift laundry baskets. They never rip. They can be hosed down. They expand magically to accommodate nearly anything one could possible need to tote around. Like magic! They even have two different sets of handles that do what they are supposed to do.
Last week, I took one into the grocery store along with the smallish, canvas ones I normally take to bring groceries home. The two teens bagging up my load had apparently never seen one of these big blue wonders, based upon the conversation that ensued as they tried to determine first, what it WAS, and second, what it was they were supposed to DO with it. Here’s how the conversation went…..sort of…
Bag Boy #1 (Looking in Big Blue’s direction) to Bag Boy #2: “Dude…..is that a BAG???? Holy #)*@!!!!!!!!”
Bag Boy #2: “Um….I’m not sure, but if it is, it’s TOTALLY gonna make my whole fricken’ month, Dude!”
I’m not sure whether or not they found Big Blue to be a thing of beauty, or whether they simply liked the idea that an entire month’s groceries could be packed in it, or whether they found it to be just ridiculously, awesomely, large and out of place. Who knows?
But they smiled when I told them to pack it full. And they chortled as I hefted Big Blue into the cart. Then, they waved a solemn farewell to Big Blue as the automatic doors opened and we made our way to the car.
It’s nice to play a small part in making someone’s fricken’ month once in a blue moon.
It’s the simple things that give us the most joy once we grow up, isn’t it?