Swedish for “line-up”

images-1I went to Ikea the other day. I know, I know – but I actually enjoy going to Ikea. Every summer I wait for the yearly catalogue with unbridled enthusiasm, and when it arrives, I am transfixed by its offerings. When I get to the store, I am in my glory and can wander joyfully for hours. I may not buy anything, but I get lots of ideas for home decorating projects that I’ll get around to someday.

Well, this was someday. I decided that I absolutely had to purchase a plain navy blue carpet for one of the rooms in my house. I had seen such a carpet the last time I visited Ikea last summer, when I picked up a few items for DD. I didn’t buy it at that time, because I wanted to think about it, to turn it over and over in my mind to make sure that I really wanted it. (I do this. It’s kind of the antithesis of impulse buying. The problem is that sometimes I ruminate for so long that the item I wish to buy is no longer available, but at least I’m usually spared the ordeal of returning something that I bought in haste.)

It was very nice to drive out to the store in the middle of the week, rather than on a weekend. Much less traffic. The parking lot had plenty of available spots. I was able to wander through the store at will, without bumping into fellow wanderers and their strollers/ shopping carts/ oversized shopping bags.

I quickly found the carpet I was looking for, and picked it up. It wasn’t too heavy or bulky, fortunately, so off I trotted towards the checkout.

I passed the candles on the way. I also grabbed a couple of packages of tealights, since I was completely out of those and I do like my candles. I was feeling pretty good about things, particularly about my efficiency and how single-minded I was being. No aimless meandering for me that day, I was on a mission. And my mission was very nearly accomplished. The checkouts were in sight.

Except that only four of the twelve checkouts were open. And each had a line-up snaking waaaaaay back, at least ten people plus their strollers/ shopping carts/ oversized shopping bags. It was going to be a loooooong wait.

My question is this: on a weekday, with the parking lot and the store itself half empty, where the hell did all those people at the checkouts come from???


13 responses to “Swedish for “line-up”

  1. Where indeed did they come from? I find the same thing often happens with Wal-Mart. Like you, I enjoy browsing Ikea, and I love the recent ads with David Hyde-Pierce narrating. They’re screamingly funny.

  2. I too love Ikea. Fantastically for me, so does Jason. My ex and I nearly divorced in Ikea several times, but Jason and I go for pleasure. I find it very soothing.

    • katyboo – That IS terrific that Jason loves Ikea! You are indeed a lucky woman! PG only puts up with it, but he has gone with me. Once. But it was not a lot of fun for me, as I felt like I had to rush through and not browse as I normally do, out of deference to his sighs and dragging feet. Still, he was great for carrying my purchases!

  3. I hate IKEA and everything IKEA related. I suspect the cars of the people in that long queue have disintegrated and/or been stolen and/or been towed away from being there so long.

  4. Buy their meatballs.
    And their Lingonberry sauce.

    I stock up when they also have those pouches of that other sauce on sale too.

    • VioletSky – Okay, I’ll try them. (And here I thought all these years that it was the furniture, but now I see that it’s the food!) 🙂

      XUP – Now yours is the attitude I’m most used to when I mention my love for Ikea: “Ikea?! Ewwwww!” Thanks for interjecting a little sanity here.

  5. My Ikea phase will never pass, I think. I like it and I can afford it and almost everything I own comes from there. I love wandering through the store and picking things up and putting them down again, until I decide I can’t live without something. It’s simply wonderful and so are the meatballs.

    • Irene – Ikea stuff has evolved over the years, hasnt’ it? Back in the day, it was relatively cheap student-type furnishings, and now it’s still relatively cheap, but the quality and design has become much more upscale. Ikea has grown up – but will we??

  6. I love Ikea … love love love … almost everything I own (save my sofa and ‘coffee table’) are from there. I don’t care what anyone says – to quote Douglas Coupland, “I’m in the Ikea phase of my life.”

    Oh, and sometimes the trip is worth it just to stuff those magical meatballs in your gob. OMG.

  7. Ikea does not skimp on parking spaces.
    I used to go there for a day’s outing, just like you. Now, I live only 5 minutes away from one, so often go there just for the coffee! But, never on a weekend. There are cops directing traffic, it can get so busy.

  8. Oh.. I love Ikea too. Like you, I can wander around for hours, without necessarily buying anything…

    And seeing the size of their half empty parking lots, there were no doubt still TONS of people in there. And only four checkouts…

    It doesn’t matter, I’ll put up with a lot for Ikea.

    • Jazz – I never thought of the size of the parking lot being so deceiving. But, yeah, I’ll still put up with the crowds just for my Ikea fix every now and then.

      VioletSky – Definitely never on a weekend! That would just be foolish – unless you go right at opening time and get out as quickly as you can (and yes, I have done this. An addiction is an addiction.).

      quackattack – You know, I’ve never had their meatballs. I’ve only ever eaten there once, I think. And how long is this Ikea phase supposed to last? Apparently I have been in it for about 25 years!