It is a solid fact that I love all things Ikea.
I mean, I really, have a fondness for the place... maybe it is because I would love to live somewhere there are trendy fabric covered sofas without spit up on them, a bathroom where the floor could clearly never smell like little boy pee-pee, and the three amazing articles of clothes I own all hang neatly in a wardrobe. Hence, I dream of being a more Ikea-ish girl.
So, today... I headed out, list in hand, catalog dog eared, snack bag well stocked, the entire back of the Excursion clean and empty, just ready to hold my new trendy life.
I took along my friend Chris, aka T-Bone.
Me, her and four kiddos.
As we arrived, I got a little teary eyed when the yellow and blue flags came into sight. Large, ample parking spaces abound... this is every over sized SUV drivers dream. Especially when one is still a little, um, inept at parking in any space not designed for say, a small airplane.
We park, we potty, we strap small children into carts...
We are even armed with the paper tape measure.
We have lunch... YUM. It was the best $2.49 I have ever spent. Seriously, these Swedish folk know how to make American moms come back... clean pottys and a TV in the eating area. Brilliant really, and if you factor in the $2.49 lunch, they may in fact, be the next world super power...
Three hours later...
We go get a large flatbed cart and begin loading it up. We had big items... beds for my boys, shelves, etc. We even decided to get the bed frame for mine and Micah's room... the Ikea clerk, we'll call him... Doofus, he assures me it will in fact fit on top of the Excursion. Now, my friend T-Bone and I are tough looking girls, her with her houndstooth headband, and me with my baby blue pashmina... I guess Doofus figured we were tough enough to pull the gigantic cart he brought us for the bed and manage a stroller, a shopping cart, and the four kids.... Doofus was wrong, and begrudgingly agreed to take the gigantic cart up front for us. Thanks Doofus, you are a gentleman and a scholar...
Next up, the checkout... Doofus struck again. He tells us, "Here, go the self checkout, there is no line."
I seriously wondered what about our situation... two moms, 4 kids, a shopping cart, a stroller, and a gigantic cart full of furniture screamed "self check out". At this point I wanted someone else to pee for me, I didn't want to be checking out my own furniture.
But, Doofus was insistent, and we end up in the self checkout, where thankfully we got a little help from the self checkout clerk. OK, really, stores of America... if you need a self checkout clerk, what is the freaking point? I shall devote a whole blog post to this very topic soon... back to Ikea.
Doofus dumped us in that self check out and was gone faster than a hidden chocolate stash at a fat camp. So we explain whose stuff is what, and I start ringing my smaller stuff... things got rung up twice because hello... there were no beeps, and guess what? The self check out clerk has to come over a push a code consisting of roughly 253 numbers to take each item off. Finally I am done, I go to use my debit card, because woohoo... you get 3% back for your next purchase, and...
I look at the card... expired in March. Thanks local bank for the new debit card. Thanks a real lot.
Fine, whatever, I get out my credit card, swipe it...
I am starting to think I have been identity thefted... (long story short, the credit card company had blocked my card because of suspicious activity.) So, I turn to my friend and see the chaos that is us at the self check out...
Her one year old screaming in sheer "I have been in ikea too long" terror.
Alden spilling a baggie of Kix cereal on the floor.
Emerson and Grace (Chris' daughter) climbing all over the gigantic cart and asking "why" questions every two seconds...
It was grand.
I also realize people are looking at us, because guess what? Women with four kids, a stroller, a shopping cart, and a gigantic cart full of furniture should NOT be using the self checkout! Do you know who uses the Ikea self checkout?
People buying a few red wine glasses for the party on their boat this weekend.
Women buying a throw pillow for their perfectly clean, never been spit up on sofa.
Gay men buying matching towel sets for their guest bathroom.
Yuppie couples who have those three cool articles of clothing and are just here to get a few trendy items to fill the empty space in their wardrobe...
My friend Chris, in a true act of trust, love, loyalty and simple desperation to make the checkout nightmare end, swipes her debit card without batting an eye. She was not letting me leave without my 3% bonus... I think I heard the yuppies cheer when my receipt printed.
You think it is over right?
haha, this is Day three of Jude's exciting life... it was not over by a longshot!
We head out the door, another customer I should note, helped heft the gigantic cart of furniture. Doofus was nowhere to be found.
I pull the vehicle around, and the friendly Ikea employee in charge of loading items into people's cars, we will call him FrownyFace, well FrownyFace seems less than thrilled about loading these items for us, but he does. Two beds, a shelf, a locker unit, rugs, glasses, baskets, etc. all loaded, in such an "expert" way so as to completely block the back window. Great, what inept over sized SUV driver needs the back window anyway right?
When he gets the final box, a queen size bed frame, on the top he just looks at me.
I look back.
FrownyFace is now clapping his hands together in that 'All done here" way, so I ask, "Are you going to tie it down?"
And off walks FrownyFace.
I think he and Doofus are brothers, or at least cousins.
I realize, we need to secure this thing, and then see someone else get twine from a large dispenser. Ok, I have twine. I can do this. I tie down one side, and hop around to the other, and then in an act of most UN Betty-Freidanishness I spy two young men heading into the store and ask them to help me tie the box down.
Serious note, Toby and Jamie were awesome. They spent 15-20 min tying and retying to make sure that box was secure. All the while FrownyFace just watched. It took all I had in me not to stick my tongue out at him.
Is the story over now?
Heck no, but I stink at typing so I will wrap it up quickly...
Credit card denied again at gas pump.
Lots of Lightning.
Soaking wet cardboard box on roof.
Cardboard box pieces flying off roof of car.
Two kids in a nasty gas station potty. Poop involved.
Late for Science night at school.
So you see, I must realllllllllllly love Ikea to go through all this... because I am going back soon to get my bed linens.
I will not be using the self checkout.