My daughter and I went to Ikea this week to buy her a desk. Although it wasn’t my first trip, it took a lot longer than I anticipated and when we left I felt like I’d run a marathon. We also bought considerably more than I had planned. In the excitement of the moment, it’s hard to imagine life without that extra bookshelf, those candles, 13 pot plants, memory foam pillow and other assorted household items. Upon reflection, I feel that an expedition to Ikea takes shoppers through these clear and distinct emotional/physical phases:
1. Energy & anticipation: You’re fresh, driving there dreaming of the possibilities awaiting you.
2. Wonder: Arriving and taking it all in. You’re in awe, with a distinct overwhelmed feeling, but in a good way.
3. Confidence: You’ve settled in and realised there’s a system here – you can do this 👊🏻
4. Vision & anticipation: You’re deep in the Ikea belly and are inspired thinking about how great your home can look.
5. Frustration: How big actually is this place? You should have worn more comfortable shoes, and been the to toilet upon arrival.
6. Fatigue: Time to rest on a lounge/bed for a power nap.
7. Refreshment: Stop at the cafe and refuel with some Swedish meatballs and questionable coffee.
8. Excitement: The marketplace; shivers, they really do have EVERYTHING! You realise that to maintain an acceptable quality of life means stocking up on many of these items.
9. Fatigue: How big actually is this marketplace? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
10: Confusion: Try and find your flat pack items in the huge aisles. Go on, I dare you to not ask for help.
11. Extreme fatigue: Pushing the heavy trolley through aisles and into the crowded checkouts. You wait so long you would have had time to assemble the desk you’re purchasing.
12. Rage: You’re nearly at the front and a guy ahead of you has an issue – he’s brought the wrong flat-pack item, has to go back and change it, causing great delay. What a moron.
13. Relief: It’s your turn, finally!
14. Shame: You, also, have picked the wrong flat-pack item. Have to go back and change it. What a moron.
15: Relief: It’s all in the car. You’ve only had to relocate 2 child seats, a picnic rug, soccer ball and a coles bag full of garbage.
16. Driving mode: Zone out, drive home and try to forget the ordeal.
17. Creativity: Explaining to your husband why you spent $800 instead of $100 and assuring him that every cent was an essential expenditure.
18. Contentment: Sit back with your glass of wine and watch your husband assemble purchased items. Assistance is neither asked for nor offered.
19. Bask in the glow of new furniture until it breaks in 12-36 months.
20. Continue to repeat process annually until death.