Monday, February 20, 2006


Today the Balabusta and the fella went to Ikea.

I like the movie _Fight Club_ very much, but I find it largely ridiculous, and one of the things I find ridiculous about it is the contempt expressed for Ikea by the less civilized alter ego. My God, what's the problem with Ikea? The fella tries to explain. Ikea represents the mass-marketed world. OK, but these guys, when they try to get back to essentials don't start to craft old-world furniture with antique tools. They beat the hell out of each other bare-knuckled. So who cares where their furniture is from?

Anyway. I like Ikea. I like the many things that you can buy there. I like the ridiculously reasonable prices these things are offered at. I like the beautiful little mini-apartments they put in the showroom, where you see how you can have a fabulous and fashionable home in 200 square feet of livable space. I like the weird and often unpronounceable names given to each model item. I enjoy buying weird lingonberry-flavored things in the little food store.

And the Balabusta and the fella had a gift card from the Balabusta's parents, so off we went.

We wanted three things: a throw rug for the living room, curtains for the computer room, and a desk chair for the fella, whose chair, after meeting incredible abuse, died in transit between homes. The fella has been sitting in a kitchen chair at his computer desk ever since. This is not a good idea, particularly since on a day off, he can rack up to ten hours of sitting time in front of the computer.

We found, almost immediately, the "Bonney", a perfectly nice desk chair. It comes in blue and black, also red, but the fella was not going to pick red. He tried out a couple other chairs, while the Balabusta sat in the "Jules" and scooted herself around using her feet, but the "Bonney" it was. We proceded.

We then found an area rug. Well, not before a brief showdown, when the Balabusta mentioned in passing that the rug we had admired when we moved in the summer was $500.00. The fella declared that he would never pay that much for a rug. This led to a brief bout of snarling, when the Balabusta pointed out that

a. The fella had picked out the $500.00 rug last time
b. had suggested they save up for it and
c. had discouraged the buying of a temporary rug, since they should put the money toward the rug they wanted

No one was hurt in the resulting fracas, although a Sturvikk cushion was thrown. We found an area rug. It is blue and mustardy-gold, and quasi-Persian in design. The fella found it, then was offended when the Balabusta said she didn't like the border, and refused to shop anymore. The Balabusta hunted the area, and came back to the fella's pick. It is now in the living room, on the floor. Name of "Brattsby". It is made of 100% polypropelene. The fella has been warned that in the event of fire he is NOT to stand on or near the living room area rug. We're trying to get it to lie flat, using technology, namely several heavy textbooks placed on the corners. So far, it appears to be adapting to its new environment.

Meanwhile, the fella was looking for curtains. This is a kind of a tricky item, since the Balabusta feels that curtains are to cover windows (like the wall of glass leading out to the deck from the computer room), and to lend some color and grace to a room. The fella feels that curtains are meant to block out as much light as possible from entering a room. By the time the Balabusta caught up to him, toting the Brattsby, he had found the curtains of his dreams. Dark, indigo blue, plain and heavy.

OK, fair enough, except that they're out of them. I vaguely remember they were also out of them in the summer. These are some popular curtains. We considered indigo LINEN (more expensive, and I imagine, prone to wrinkle, but nice), but eventually find some heavy cotton ones in a shade of much-washed denim.

So we got out of there, and decided to spend the remainer of our gift card money on dainties from the food shop. Gravlax! Cloudberry jam! Weird torte stuff! Swedish meatballs! Get to counter! Learn that they won't accept gift card! Stand for five minutes while we wait for supervisor! Learn that supervisor is only coming to reset cash register! Go through line again! Pay for gravlax!

And so we came home. A good day's shop, and a lovely Christmas present from the Balabusta's family.


MUST Gum Addict said...

I've been to that Ikea store a few times. Not a fun place to wait on line and find out that your gift card no worky.

Larry Lennhoff said...

All I know about Ikea (despite living near the largest one in the US) is that the zombies in Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel loved it:
"First we feasst - and then - IKEA!" the zombies cried.
Zombies, the author notes, have an unholy desire for Danish Modern furniture.