One word. IKEA.
Why people, why? IKEA is not a multi-generational trip out. Seriously, ever wondered why you never see it listed alongside Port Aventura, the Aquarium and the city tour bus in the guides? Grandmas/pas, mas/pas and little ones, like a slow-moving caravan, travelling along the path to fulfilment (generic wall art). Or worse, six abreast in that very same path, blocking the way for confused shoppers, who fear stepping off it could lead to something catastrophic. Like a giant rolling boulder suddenly crashing through the bedroom displays, or those imaginary childhood monsters coming to life and gnawing your legs off, up to the knee.
I decided to capitalise on my recent discovery that Ikea is best visited at lunch time on a Saturday, for my final ‘interiors’ project this year. Seriously, I’m knackered, but this summer break has given me the opportunity to change up, move around, re-organise, add some cute little touches and have a much needed clear out. If I downsize anymore, you’re going to find me happily disconnected sitting up a mountain in a cave somewhere, mindfully not being in a flat pack furniture store.
I have cracked the way to shop there. Listen up.
At home I make a list of what I need. I screen grab the items online, with item number. I pack a small yet practical bag with essentials: purse, pen, tape measure, cable ties (don’t ask), wet wipes, blinkers. I dress appropriately comfortably, jeans, tee, baseball cap and trainers for speedy entrance and exit. Hair scraped back, no make-up, not even mascara, hence cap. It’s a sweaty business in there, and ‘slightly damp panda’ is not a good look. I pick up my little delivery trolley and giant blue Ikea bag and head out.
Someone recently told me there is a secret passage, or codeword or something, that gives you access to the store without having to pass through the above chaos, but I didn’t have the time this time, to enquire if the eagle was indeed, landing tonight. So, secure bag – check, adjust cap – check, blinkers on – check and:
I was in and out of there in thirty minutes, like a Kallax ninja. Stopping only briefly to photograph the mass grave of stuffed toys in the kids’ department. In the words of Donald Trump, ‘very SAD!’ I sprinted, dodged, ducked and dived and may have elbowed someone out of the way. My unit and extras (all on the list, I did not stray), were strapped to the trolley and at the curb waiting for a taxi before you could say, ‘I survived Ikea!’ And I humped the whole lot up to the fifth floor.
This crack operation was a morning in the planning, half an hour to complete and the rest of the afternoon to construct, and as you know well by now; focus and discipline are not my strong suit. Can you imagine me juggling a pram, trolley and tape measure? And what would have happened if my toddler strayed into my peripheral vision, so effectively blinker-blocked to avoid temptation? And there’s no way I could have got past the stuffed tiger that had apparently mauled the rest of the animals to death, without an explanation of the carnage to tearful little ones. Agent PANK to headquarters, we have a situation. Oh wait, I am headquarters. There are just so many corners in that place too, conveniently at little person head height, to run full pelt into. And so many places for them to hide…. I’d spend my time in there trying to avert a code red, rather than being able to leap over a television unit, dodge a granny and sprint through the kitchen department, complements, plants and candles, to claim my flat pack prize.
And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #69.