I love IKEA.
Sure, some of the paint on the furniture is bound to scratch and peel after a week of use, and of course the assembly directions resemble a graphic novel involving an androgynous character and hard-to-follow plot line. And even if the entire store is flooded with starving students, boho newlyweds, screaming children and the parents that ignore them (please people, that is what SMALLAND is for), I can still make myself excited to go. Where else can you find weird swedish imports such as a dog bed shaped like a roadkill possum or wine glasses the size of a baby's head for 4.99? (For a four pack!)
I've discovered the trick to enjoying your trip to IKEA. (My boyfriend still complains, but he's getting better.) You simply have to follow these steps.
Tuck and roll -- if you can't dodge turned-loose children, strollers, oversized shopping carts or slow walkers, you probably will end up with bruised shins and a bruised ego.
Short cut -- sure, the show rooms are pretty and can give those creative types ideas on candle placement, but if you're more interested in getting the goods, slip into the conveniently placed and labelled short cuts whenever possible.
Don't fear the food -- IKEA food is a starving student's dream. A bowl of pasta runs for 1.99, a swedish meatball meal for 5.99, and hot dogs are a measly .50! Fountain drinks are equally as cheap, and easy to take advantage of as refill stations are placed away from the till. A warning: if you like milk, don't bother. They give you a shot glass sized cup.
Be picky, not snobby -- who needs a 3-pack of giant fork, knife and spoon? Nobody. But whats wrong with picking up a toilet scrubber for 1.29? Nothing. We all know where thats going. If you shop with an open mind and don't fall for dramatically priced (aka. cheap) items, you might walk away feeling satisfied.
Ignore employees -- because they ignore you anyway.
Survival of the fittest -- IKEA shoppers are competitive on a good day. Put an 8 pack of block candles on sale for 2 for 1 and you'll leave the store with shopping cart skids and claw marks. Therefore, it is imperative that you are confident in staking out your prize. A shifty gaze and strategically placing a shopping cart to block the aisle is a good start. If you can manage a threatening growl or H1N1 sounding cough, even better. Never show weakness. IKEA shoppers are ruthless and prey on the weak. The injured, the elderly and those burdened with small children are often bypassed by more capable shoppers without so much as an "excuse me".
Following these steps pretty much ensures a painless trip to IKEA. Eventually, you may come to love the store as I do. I only left the store $60 dollars poorer today, but I had a gift card so thatâ€™s okay.