Thursday, March 02, 2006


It’s a big day in Sacramento today. A brand new IKEA store opened here. Big time stuff. Is IKEA a national chain? I just looked it up and it looks like it’s pretty national, but tends to hover near the coasts. That makes sense, somehow European furniture doesn’t seem like a great fit with the southern states decor. But then again, I think crappy furniture defies borders, so it probably won’t be long before the middle of the country is on board with IKEA as well.

If you’ve never been in an IKEA store it is hard to adequately explain just how big they are. When I lived down in LA I went to the Burbank IKEA and honestly got lost inside of it for a good hour. Not in the “I’m mosying around, just looking at stuff and oh, there goes an hour” type of lost. I’m talking “I have no idea whatsoever how to get out of this store and I keep going through doorways but they aren’t leading me any closer to the outside world” lost. I felt like I was in a human sized rat maze and I was the stupid rat that was so not getting the cheese.

IKEA is set up kinda like casinos I think, where they don’t really want you to be able to see outside. Once you enter the doors you are in another world and there is no need for you to have any visual contact with the world you left behind. Hours and days and months can pass and you are still roaming around picking out the perfect spoon or bean bag. This design was my main problem when trying to get out of the store in Burbank. With no windows to see out of I had no idea what direction I was facing and what direction I should be facing to get out of the store.

The store I was in was a huge warehouse-like building that had fake walls inside of it to break up the space and divide the store into different rooms of furniture. You could walk from room to room through little doorways in the fake walls. But I found out that walking through the little doorways is very very bad. Cause then you end up in another room and from there you wander to another room and before long you have no idea what doors you walked through to get to where you are. And every door you try to walk back through, just leads you to another, new decorated room. I imagine the whole experience is probably similar to the experience that Oprah or Aaron Spelling have when they walk around their 20 room houses, “Oh, look at that, another room I didn’t even know was here.”

Only, instead of admiring these rooms I became increasingly frustrated with them and their seemingly endless presence. Of course at no point did it cross my mind to ask for directions. Because what kind of idiot needs DIRECTIONS out of a store? Apparently I am that kind of idiot, but at least I was smart enough not to make my stupidity public knowledge.

Finally I made my way to an actual wall that had an actual door that lead to an actual exit. And then I went to the checkout counter and bought a good $300 worth of complete crap. I warn you people, beware of the bins they have. I don’t care if the stuff is 3 for $10, you probably don’t even need one of whatever it is that you are selling. Stay focused on this fact as the elements start to wear you down and you start to wonder why it is that you don’t have more candles/cheese graters/lamps/empty vases in your life. Trust me, once you get home you will realize that your abode is about 1/200th of the size of IKEA and somehow the abundance of crap doesn’t quite enhance your living area.

So be strong fellow shoppers. Steer clear of the bins and try to avoid walking through any questionable doors. And while you’re there please pick me up some storage bins, I’ve got some candles and cheese graters that are getting in the way here.


Dean said...

IKEA is a global chain, not national.

I went to the one in Oakland a year ago. Your right about being strong. I have 1,000 votive candles, that I purchased at a bargain price.

But I must say that my kitchen knifes are still sharp enough to cut Van Gohs ear off.

Good store for those on a budget or starving students. Fun to walk through.

Stephanie said...

And it's so tempting because it's so CHEAP. I bought a dresser there and like a year later it fell apart. I literally had to take the entire drawer out to find what I wanted to wear because they were all off the hinges. And my dad would fix it and a week later they’d break again.

Patricia said...

i admit to loving this store. and when i have a solid block of 4 or 5 hours, i love to wander through it. this has "built in" getting-lost time.

Chunks said...

The closest one to me is in Edmonton which is almost five hours away. When we go there, we take a day just for IKEA. I love it! I don't buy tons of stuff there, but their BASKETS - OH MY GOD!!!!

Sith_Lord_Nibbles said...

IKEA is *evil*. I have a bookcase from there, and it's falling to pieces months after I bought it... :/ It's certainly the last place you should shop if you're lazy or don't know one end of a screwdriver from the other. But I agree that it's a fun (if bizarre) place to waste time in.

Talva said...

I not only love IKEA but I am a card carrying member so I know all that you are saying.

In my car right now rides a bag of crap that I can't decided if I want to keep or return. I don't really need any of it. Yet, at the time I bought it I could not believe that I had live this long without these things.

Do yourself the favor Stay out of IKEA or just move in Such as I have.