Thursday, October 10, 2013

IKEA: Swedish for "What is this hold you have on our family?!"

Our history with IKEA has been well-documented. And if you've missed it, there are a couple of examples here and here.

My love affair with IKEA started in my third year of University, when one of my roommates had an entire bedroom delivered and set up right before our eyes. It was magical. What made it even more enchanting was the fact that we didn't have an IKEA in the city and had to drive to "Toronto" (read: Burlington) for the experience.

It continued well into my mid- to late-twenties, as J and I shacked up and began building our little nest together. It positively flourished in Brooklyn, where we found lots of second-hand treasures. And, what's more, it seems to have grown with us. What was once a warehouse full of cheap furniture for students who would throw it on the curb in eight months is now a haven for financially strapped graduates who spent far too many years in University and will be living like students for years to come, though they would like to project the illusion of being grown up.

IKEA is the ultimate refrigerator box in the basement. It's a giant box of fun that is limited only by your imagination. My brother and I had one of those, and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you, H, for my lifelong aversion to enclosed spaces. When I wasn't screaming myself hysterical we had some serious fun with that box. So really it's exactly the same.

Why am I going on about IKEA again, you ask? Well, it's just that every time we go, a little bit of magic happens, and I want to remember these little bits of magic. Take yesterday, for example. After school we headed to IKEA, each with our own agenda. I was returning bins and looking for plant stands. E was gearing up to party in the ball pit, and J was hoping to find a quiet corner in which to study, before we all reconvened for some $2.99 fish and chips. And you know what? All of this is possible at IKEA! So once our goals were accomplished, we were on our way out when the giant ice cream cone perched tantalizingly at the exit caught E's eye. Why not? I don't even bother telling her it's fro-yo. So we buy three "ice cream" cones, and as I hand E hers (the prettiest one, of course), her eyes light up and she looks up in amazement at the picture. "I don't believe it! This is so beautiful, and it looks just like the picture! It even has the curl on top! How did they DO that?" The expression on her face was priceless. You would think she had just watched the ocean turn to chocolate.

IKEA, you complete us.

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