A lot of people have told me about Ikea.
Even though there was one around Chicago somewhere, I’d never been to one. My brother’s house is mostly furnished through Ikea. But I just never got around to it.
But being here in Germany, it seems to be a rite of passage, a stop along the way to outfitting your house. And so I found myself getting off the train at the mysterious stop of Godorf surrounded by industrial decoration, all smokestacks and sleepy little town life. I wandered the road until I came to a marginally open area with two larger than life buildings. One was a hardware megalopolis, the other Ikea.
I stepped inside and immediately felt nervous. For those who’ve never been, it’s like a haunted house maze of domestic goods. Wild meandering paths and piles upon piles of options and examples of what your home could look like. Where you could go, who you could be.
Ikea is a warehouse-sized aspirational statement built out of particle board and lacquered in varnish. You say you have just 89 square meters? Well, here’s how you could be living!
But as is often the case, when overwhelmed with choices, I stop like a deer in headlights. Staring, looking, comparing, watching and never ever, ever deciding.
I stood in the couch section looking at variations on sleeper couches. Fold down vs. fold out. Sit, stand, look, sit, stand, look, lay down, get up and look some more. I spent roughly three days conducting the decision-making process. I finally settled on one. I was going to finally get a couch. Yes, absolutely, let’s do this.
I found the ticket, I think i filled it out right and I took it to the woman at the help desk. She asked my phone number and that’s when I realized my phone was missing. I frantically fished about in my pocket.
Somewhere in the sit-stand phase it’d dropped out.
Anyway, I’m getting a bit sick of this story. I could continue and tell you how I never found it. And then how I wasn’t able to meet up with my friends. And how I ended up depressed and watching fireworks alone, but that would be boring.
So I’ll just blame it all on Ikea and never speak of this day again.