Sunday
May062012

mrs. g. officially apologizes to mr. g...or in other words, hon är ledsen

ikea_flags

Mrs. G. has called into question and cast aspersions on Mr. G's character on this very blog at least three times regarding his inability to go to Ikea without kicking up a fuss or, on one occasion, launching a verbal smackdown in the Billy Bookcase aisle. If Mrs. G. recalls correctly, she wanted the birch veneer and Mr. G. wanted to mow down innocent customers with his flatbed shopping cart because he felt trapped in a death maze, a Swedish tomb.

After three attempts to shop together at Ikea, which resorted in them storming out of the store and screaming at each other in the car all the way home, Mr. G. had had enough. Mrs. G. told him to suit himself but then went on to challenge his manhood and compare buying a Billy Bookcase with him to watching Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal over and over while being eaten alive by chiggers. Thick skinned and unmoved, he declared, for the sake of their marriage and his heart health, he would never enter an Ikea again. He's been true to his word.

Yesterday, Mrs. G. went to Ikea alone to get a new slipcover for her Ektorp Ikea couch. She didn't want to dilly dally -- just get the slipcover and get out. She remained calm as she wound her way around and around bedding, lamps, fake plants and kitchenware to get to the sofa quadrant of the store. Placid, unruffled, Mrs. G. waited 28 minutes for the salesperson to finish up with another customer and push one computer key to print out the warehouse receipt Mrs. G. needed to retrieve the slipcover from a man behind a counter a half-a-mile away. Her forbearance started wearing thin after she trekked to the warehouse retrieval counter and got in line behind seven people to pick up a slipcover she should have been able to pluck off a shelf, without assistance.

The line was moving molasses slow and, 50 minutes into what should have been a a fifteen minute errand, tops, Mrs. G. picked a fight with herself.

If you think my dumb ass is going to stand here in this line for one minute longer, you have lost your ever lovin' mind. This is some bullshitting bullshit and I am about to walk out of this store if I can ever find the exit, Mrs. G. said (out loud) to herself as she waited in line another 20 minutes until the man behind the counter -- wearing suspenders and a back brace -- handed her the two pound box with the slipcover in it.

Never again, never again, Mrs. G. screamed at the top of her lungs chanted as she drove home. When she pulled up in her driveway, Mr. G. was in the garage working. She walked over, hugged him and wholeheartedly apologized for calling him a dickweed in the Billy Bookcase aisle at Ikea four years ago.

Meatballs

You Ikea lovers just keep on loving it, clearly you're made of stronger stock if you can walk into that neurosis inducing distribution center and not duke it out with a loved one or yourself. Seriously, it's all yours. Even the meatballs.

Update: *m* sent the link to this video and Mrs. G. had to add it.

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Reader Comments (33)

Nice Danish in the title but Ikea is Swedish. You are totally right about everything else though.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Thanks Joy. Fixing it now. My apologies to the Danes!

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermrs. g.

We don't have an Ikea near us -- visiting entails a two hour drive each way -- so we've been fewer than ten times in our lives. That said, my husband and I went to one twice when we were planning the construction of our house just so that we could window shop and get some kitchen and bathroom ideas. Then, just as we were about to move into our house, we made an epic all-day visit and came back with our minivan fully loaded, including a queen-size mattress. Through it all, we didn't fight, we didn't even hiss at each other. For some people, Ikea is fraught with peril, but for others, it's not.

On the other hand, don't ever ask us to paint a room together. We'll end up in divorce court by the end of the day.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen on the Edge

There is no Ikea in my area and I had wished there was, hearing good things about the merchandise. And now? Maybe not so much... I don't mind waiting a bit to be waited on, but this sounds crazy!!

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter~ Galiena

We spent three months in Oslo back in the early '90s, when Ikea first expanded into the US. Our Norwegian friends had a joke that in Norwegian, "Ik-ha" means "we don't have it" - for the common experience of threading your way through the showroom only to end up in front of an empty shelf in the warehouse.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Snow

Ikea makes me very happy. When I feel blue, I like to go there to feel better. But I will never go there on a weekend if I can help it. It's too crazy.

Ours is about an hour drive one way these days so...not too many trips. But The Man has NEVER gone! He took one look at the very first catalog that came and said "What a bunch of crap!" I on the other hand ,start out full of excitement and am optimistic I will find what I am after, or the HOLY GRAIL: that PERFECT thing you didn't even know you needed. After I wander around for an indefinite amount of time, put some decent stuff in my cart and spend another lifetime trying to find the one thing they apparently never keep in stock, I am weary. Legs hurt, eyes won't focus and the thought of going back upstairs for lingonberry anything is out of the question. Stick a fork in me, I am done! Checkout line here I come!

Disclaimer: Yes, those are Ikea curtain rods all through my house and you might be standing on a few of their rugs if you come to visit. And I have debated twice about that Ektorp sofa with all the lovely slipcover options!!!)

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbramble

I hate shopping almost everywhere except Williams Sonoma. We have IKEA here but I've been exactly once and came away with fabulous blue votive candle holders for a buck apiece. Surprisingly, my husband has much more patience for shopping than I do. That being said, however, I'll happily take your serving of meatballs. Lingonberries too!

After 17 years of marriage, I know what pushes my husband's and my buttons in a bad way, and I'm pretty sure Ikea would put us both on overload. I think I'm glad that there's not one near by (the closest one is in Minneapolis), and I'll just stick to looking at the website or the catalog.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

I don't know what it says about my friend Deb and me, but we go there for entertainment/relaxation/to get away from the kids (my two and her four). We wend our way slowly through the showpiece rooms, imagining that somehow we could have rooms that look like that, without the covering of dog hair, discarded socks, lego pieces, Polly Pockets, and almost-empty glasses with just enough milk in them to cause a mess when they're tipped over. We walk along, suggesting this or that item of furniture to each other to decorate our imaginary child-mess-free homes, then sigh fondly, buy a frozen yogurt cone, and drive home.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralison

We had one open in Denver just last year. After all the opening hoopla had passed, we decided to visit following my back surgery... really more for the physical therapy of walking than anything. Gawd we both hated the place and didn't really even like the styles of what they had to offer. Plus it felt a little like being herded, without benefit of a border collie. The best part of the day was a stop in the cafeteria.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

Maybe it's my Swedish ancestry, but I do love me some Ikea. That said, we don't go there too often. Did you see the recent video about the Ikea breakup room?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dodfTHOesw

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter*m*

What?!? They didn't have the slipcovers on the shelf? That's NUTS!!
When I go, I prefer to go by myself or with girlfriends, and it's mostly a looking experience. Swedish meatballs are not lo-cal.
I've been there only once with my husband, when we bought the sofa I had already fallen in love with -- although he had to go a second time to get our tax-free status taken care of (we were living in Germany, with their 15% VAT). That was 15 years ago.

I do enjoy IKEA for the experience: one hour of free childcare, looking at funky items I would hate to dust, candles & candle-holders (I have an addiction), and inexpensive wine glasses for parties I will never host (I married an introvert). Generally, I purchase a pack of 100 tealights and leave happy. Last time I came away with multiple packs of tealights and a dozen new glasses for the kids, plus the fun of being there with a new friend who had never before been to IKEA. It's always fun to watch jaws drop in amazement.

...Although, come to think of it, the 3rd person in our little shopping expedition needed to pick up some bins for her preschool and there were NONE in the warehouse... so I guess this is a common problem?

I've been twice. Had an anxiety attack each time.

I had to use every anti-anxiety tool in my toolbelt....breathing slowly, visualizing myself on a beautiful beach, shutting off my anxiety switches in my brain's circuit box. Ommmmmm.

*m* Thank you! That video is hilarious!

Last time I went was at CK's demand polite request for a 'thingy' (Ektorp? Billy? Bekvham?) bookcase to finish off the new kitchen. I took my 10 yo oppo and we had a great time. We even went the wrong way deliberately and laughed about it. The last time I went with CK there were mutterings of divorce by the time we had been there five minutes. Turns out he didn't hear me so we are still married.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrash

We have an Ikea in our town and my husband and I end up going there a few times a year. I swear they pump something into the air because within 10 minutes of arriving I'm feeling lethargic and my eyes glaze over. They disorient you on purpose so the secret to survival I find is to consult the maps and use the SECRET SHORTCUTS.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMustang Sally

"I wish I'd died at Iwo Jima and never met you..." OMG I laughed so hard!!!!!

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

I love to go to IKEA when I don't need anything and just want to wander aimlessly as therapy. Go with my girlfrrrrriend, we like to go S-L-O-W-L-Y through everything, taking our time. I usually find some sort of cool gadget that I simply MUST have or die. I must admit, I haven't had to order anything that I had to pick up or else I may have a different idea of the place....but for a rainy day.....I LOVE IT. Hubby wants to go, but I think he would be a dream killer and I don't want him to kill my IKEA buzz

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrudy

I'm with you Mrs. G. Visited, started looking for the exit and thought I'd never make it out of there.

Darla

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDarla

I live roughly 1.8 miles from the only Ikea in my state. Yes, I've been there. No, I don't get what the big deal is. They're useful for a couple of things but overall, I really just don't care for Swedish Modern or whatever their style aesthetic is. I look at their display cells efficiency apartments and thank whatever deity is convenient that 1. I don't have to live like that and 2. my house doesn't look like that.

I'm not going to say we never get anything there, but since we're so close, we go at say 7:45pm on a Tuesday, use the secret shortcuts, find what we need, and pray we don't need to stand in line (or worse, track down) that warehouse guy because you know, people can't be trusted to pick up their own faucets.

And their cinnamon rolls smell way better than they taste, and the one time we tried the meatballs they were spongy. No thanks.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTC

From one Ektorp owner to another, never go to IKEA alone. Go with a friend. Then it's just fun social time with some lazy shopping thrown in. And the IKEA meatballs are the only "home-cooked" meal of mine that everyone likes -- true story.

Hang on. The IKEA warehouse guy hands you your product? I thought the point of IKEA was that the nice warehouseman didn't do that stuff? Is it different in your hemisphere?

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrash

Trash, I have never had to go to the warehouse window before. I have dragged enormous boxes of bookcases to the check-out counter, so I'm not sure why I had to go to the window for a tiny box with a slipcover in it. It was a new pattern, so maybe they hadn't stocked the shelves yet but it was ridiculous! No, even in the US you are usually alone in dealing with getting your stuff to the check out.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermrs. g.

Our closest IKEA is in Portland ... too far to drive on a whim. So I only go when my sister visits, once a year. We're so busy wandering that we never realise that we're in a never ending maze ... until we finally hit the cash registers and wonder why we're exhausted!

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizP

We bought a whole mess of self-assemble kitchen cabinets for the still unfinished kitchen renovation. We talked to the super helpful kitchen planner who made us think of all of the stuff we would have forgotten (drawer inserts for the cool organization stuff, LEGS for the cabinets, etc.) then he printed a list with a bar code . We got some dinner, and then we took our list to the checkout to be scanned and we went to the pickup area and waited for a while for the stuff to come out of the warehouse. Not terrible. And the 4 kids were pretty tolerant of the whole deal. But our local one is in an Urban Enterprise Zone, which means half off sales tax. I'm willing to put up with more for only 3.5% sales tax. That and it's my happy place. I can totally understand all of the parts of the experience which make others go apeshit. I have those sorts of reasons for not shopping in "Marts" (See "K" and "Wal"). Though I could be convinced to try Steinmart.

When we lived near an Ikea, I finally figured out the quick route to the sections I was interested in visiting. Now we are 4 hours away but my step-son lives close so we are considering a trip to visit both. My memory of Ikea is that some of their stuff is really decent and some of it is pretty cheesy. I've never bought anything there that had to be assembled; I just picked items off the shelf. So, Amy G, when you got your self-assemble cabinets, did they help you load them in the car? I think I want items both from the kitchen and home office sections and I'm hoping I can just go to each section and give them my shopping list (after I look at the items to make sure they are what I want) and then go to the checkout and the pickup area and have help loading the car. I do plan on calling the store before we go to make sure that they will do that but since there are some Ikea shoppers here, I thought I'd ask customers first. I like the fact that you can check the stock prognosis of items you want to see if and how many are in the store. Has anyone found it to be inaccurate?

Thanks!

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartha Mc

I still have the gift card I received following the complaint I wrote the last time I went to Ikea. After calling to make sure the website was accurate and they had the item, I drove 45 minutes to the store, walked around for nearly an hour trying to find someone who knew where the item (seasonal) was, then another 30 minutes for the lone clerk to figure out they didn't have it in stock. Another 45 minutes home.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrightside-Susan

Amy G., could you email me at marthamcmc at aol dot com, please? I have some questions about the Ikea kitchen items you purchased, if you don't mind.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartha Mc

Bullshitting bullshit. Ha! Ha hah aha! I laughed aloud.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngie McCullagh

I love Ikea. I actually have an Ikea Family card.
I'm sorry, I probably should save that for confessions?

No room makeover is complete without the obligatory Ikea trip.
Bookcases, lightfittings, picture frames and a shiny lollypop pink computer chair have all come home
with us. I have sucumbed to the lure of the meatball, and the ratlike maze.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah J

Thanks Mrs G. Glad to hear IKEA US isn't operating a 'paste and safety scissors' policy. Martha Mc, for what it is worth both the Bristol and Southampton were both crap at online stock management last time I was at either of them.

May 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrash

Bwahahaha! I must admit that I have never been to IKEA. My friend was going to take me but then I had a breakdown in Target and we realized it was too soon. (I had just moved back from living in North Africa, and shopping was difficult for me).

May 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteredj

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