Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ikea takes me to my happy place

I haven’t been to Ikea in nigh on a year. That must be an all-time record since the Brooklyn store opened. About six to eight months ago, I had a major Ikea craving, but David refused to enable me and I decided to try and sweat it out, which I did. After about three weeks of really jonesing for a stroll down the marketplace, finished off with some 99 cent Swedish meatballs, the intense desire waned and I hardly thought about Ikea at all.

But a few weeks ago my mother gave Primo a super-comfy toasty-warm down comforter. We lay this brand-spanking-new comforter on his bed and within three days, it was filthy. I’m not exaggerating. Primo was having a string of nosebleeds thanks to the onset of cold weather and sudden radiator heat, and before we could do anything about it, there was a big, old, scary looking blood stain on the comforter. It was clear we needed a duvet cover. I posted on parkslopeparents for a used one and scoured Overstock for a slamming deal, but no dice. And then, inspiration struck.

“Doesn’t Ikea carry bedding for children?” I asked David, a gleam in my eye.

“I don’t know,” he replied uneasily.

A quick web search revealed a half dozen twin duvet covers, all of which were $20 or less, featuring adorable, sophisticated, kid-friendly graphics.

“This weekend is my birthday,” I told David, “And we are going to Ikea.”

Sure enough, on Sunday morning, we were pushing our cart through an endless series of perfectly-appointed, totally-irresistible model rooms and I was feeling positively heady.

“Let’s pretend this is our house!” I squealed to the kids, “And this is your bedroom!”

Something must be wrong with me.

The worst is always the walk through the marketplace, right before you get to the registers. I feel the trip ending and I am thrown into a frenzy of conspicuous consumerism before it does. I need EVERYTHING – power strips and gingerbread houses, extra Trofast buckets, clip-on lamps and strangely long orange post it pads. I just toss stuff into my basket like its all free and I’ve only got a minute left in my free for all.

“Mommy, you’re going crazy!” Primo reprimanded me, “We don’t need that!”

“Yes, I know,” I agreed, “I really am going crazy but I just LOVE IT ALL SO MUCH! I’ve got a bad case of the gimmes! Help! Don’t let me take anything else!”

Thankfully, the kids act so atrociously at Ikea that we can’t linger long, forcing me to cut short what could easily be a twelve-hour marathon session of shopping which would bankrupt us and fill our house with garbage.

But though the kids don’t get excited for the furniture, they do get jazzed for lunch.

“I want the Swedish meatballs!” Primo yelled.

“Me too!” Sec agrees.

“Pay the dollar and get extra!” David chimes in.

Once David and I went to a Swedish restaurant somewhere in the Hudson Valley and afterwards, with the check, the waiter brought a comment card.

“Almost as good as Ikea!” David wrote. We meant it as a compliment. We are cuckoo for Ikea meatballs.

A Mommy friend once told me she never lets her kids eat at Ikea.

“Why not?” I asked.

“The meatballs cost A DOLLAR,” she said, “Don’t you think that sounds suspicious


“Not at all,” I said, “Because I’m too busy thinking about how WONDERFUL it sounds!”

We stuffed ourselves silly with gross, irredeemable crap and then we discovered, with unimaginable GLEE, that since we spent over $100 (and how could you NOT?), the price of our lunch was deducted from our bill. Meaning we ate for free.

I heart you Ikea.

I really do.

I love Ikea so much that on this trip, I intentionally didn’t purchase the furniture system we needed so that I could justify another trip in a few months.

Yes, I have a problem. But it hurts so good.