Walking Notes from the Land of Plywood and Horse Meatballs

18 Mar




330px-Points_of_a_horseSo, I drop the child off at his appointed destination and I want to get my 10,000 steps in because god forbid I should NOT walk 10,000 steps, it would probably kill a kitten or cause wheat fields to shiver in the Ukraine or something. But it’s cold. It’s spitting snow. The sky is that very special gray that looks as if it were shined up there by a projector from the grimmer parts of my amygdala. And I only have 2,500 steps to my credit so far. What is a girl going to do.

And then I see it. Ikea. What better place to walk? Once you get into an Ikea, you NEVER get the hell out. You know how people think children are cute and don’t notice the nasty nasty things they do? I for one remembered a day when I sat  on my front step in my adorable little Polly Flinders dress with the puffy sleeves and petticoats and pick the wings off a fly. Why? Because then then it would be an ant, and  it would be a new experience for the poor creature. And please don’t tell me that I’m the only weirdo of this sort. BTW, I don’t think I did this all the time. The fact that it kind of hits me in the gut even now makes me realize that I probably figured out that wasn’t exactly the most ethical act of my young life.

Anyway, whenever I go into Ikea, I feel that there is a god, and that the god is a giant, somewhat curious,  6 year old who is toying with me, ready to pluck off my wings or just see what I do when I am driven utterly mad by being surrounded by too many colors of couch pillows. Someone who lets me check in, but not check out. Yes, I know there is a floorplan. I see its sinuous path in various locations, between the skratta throw rugs and the totally necessary storage containers that would really work if I used them and the ingenious finger puppets and the fake rooms where real couples sit and argue, just like they’re really going to argue when they get their flat boxes of SmorabeGunden bookshelves home and realize that they’re made out of the crappiest material ever mined by slave labor misery from the piny recesses of the earth, and that the instructions have nothing to do with the actual product they have purchased. And that they’re missing some grommets or screws or some damn thing. Or that after you open the drawers say, two or three times, of your Blunder Wunsch Kabinett, that’s it—they’re going to be lopsided for all eternity. I just walk really fast around all of these attractive but cheaply made items trying to think about the idea of good design and of the cleverness of some of these items. I suddenly get an idea of something I kind of want. More measuring cups! I’m always measuring things! And then I realize, Hello, Genius, Ikea is the ONE STORE where you’re not going to find measuring cups because for some reason like about 181 stupid countries around the world, they use the metric system when obviously it’s much more sensible to remember that 16 ounces are in a pint. Or is that 32 oz. I take one of those yellow bags and fill it with items I know I’m probably never going to buy but kind of wish I were, like yellow paper napkins and a plastic tray. Then I just put the yellow bag on a chair because girl, you know you aren’t waitin’ in that line in that warehouse part that reminds you of the dreaded Home Depot. Naturally, a great hunger comes over me, I am ready to faint, and I’ve only walked 7000 steps. So I miraculously find my way to the café and think, Do NOT order those meatballs, they are made of Secretariat and glue. But they were on special for $5.99 with a drink and salad, so I got them. I sat dreamily for a while staring at the Christmas Tree Shoppes (why?) across the way and then it was time to go. Luckily for me, I was quite lost. This brought me up to 9000 steps. But not before I brought home some more of those horse meatballs for dinner tomorrow—don’t say neigh! And some salmon that is probably so non-organic that they fed it on nothing but Mountain Dew and Cool Ranch Doritos. Yeah, that’s what cookin’ now. All I can say is that if you ever want to do some awesome mall-walking in these vile and changeable days, you will get an excellent workout at the insanely mazelike and aptly named IKEA (actually I have no idea what that name means). Because by the time you finally find your vehicle in the Red Section M, you WILL have walked more than 10,000 steps, and all will be right with the world.

One Response to “Walking Notes from the Land of Plywood and Horse Meatballs”

  1. Kathy W. March 19, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    You are the cat’s meow, Ms. Hex, and I, your humble servant. I should start counting my steps, but I am too lazy. If not for the dog making me trot hither and yon, I shudder to think. Anyway, I loved this. BTW, if I may be of service, I happen to know that IKEA is an acronym. IK are the initials of the founder, and EA are the initials of where he grew up in Sweden. Something like that. Now, if you think I’d remember the names themselves, you are mistaken. But since you know me, you probably already know I wouldn’t remember. That’s what Google’s for. 😉

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