People in a life transition, buying transitional (nonpermanent) furniture. It doesn’t last forever because you don’t want it to. You go to Ikea when you need your first apartment after college furniture, or when you’re moving in with your boyfriend before you get married – or when you first get married and need to supplement the pieces you two had together, or most of all, when you’re having a baby – or a second baby.
Half of the people I saw wandering around the over-crowded Ikea were waddling pregnant women with toddlers in tow. They were hormonal and trying to validate why the “As is” $35 bookshelf will fit perfectly in THAT spot. Who cares if it has to be turned sideways and there is a hole in the middle – it’s ideal. The husband is measuring and clearly thinking this is the worst idea since the second pregnancy.
She smiles and pats her full-term baby and he pushes the Bugaboo single stroller with one hand and wrangles the toddler with the other. They can’t make a decision about the $35 bookshelf and the husband turns it on its side horizontally and they measure it again. Finally, they decide against it and pay for their linens and colorful straws, an impulse buy for their son.
I survey our cart, assessing our situation. We too are in a transition, remodeling after a flood surprised us with a mandatory renovation. We are buying height extenders for our bookshelves because our books are overflowing and new potholders and cutting boards for the kitchen. Our life isn’t getting a human addition, but we are freshening it all up, reorganizing, finishing things we never finished when we moved in five years ago.
Normally I wouldn’t get caught dead at Ikea on a Saturday, but the days are irrelevant and the overcrowded aisles and extra long lines won’t deter me. Every day we are going somewhere, knocking something off the seemingly endless to-do list for the renovation, which chugs on like the energizer bunny.