When it opened, everyone went to the Ikea in Saint Louis Midtown. We went Sunday afternoon. I think if I'd been there in a great throng I would have broken free and run for the wall. It's like the British Tube had a baby with an abattoir and called it a furniture store.
I wanted to go, since I wanted to understand what all the pop culture references to Ikea meant. (And by the way, I know they want their name, IKEA, in all caps. Too bad, Ikea.)
Gary surprised me by parking in Family parking. The sign makes it clear what they consider a family.
I pointed at the sign and warned him that we didn't qualify, and Gary said, "F&^k that. We're a family. You and me, babe." Very un-Catholic of him.
If you haven't been to an Ikea, it is a cement building designed to shuttle you like a slaughterhouse cow past displays of white furniture and random dreck with Swedish names. There is a dark gray path painted on the light gray cement floor, and if you follow the path as it angles and turns you will be sure to see every white bit of furniture Ikea makes. They have helpful mass transit-style signs to be sure you don't get lost:
After three departments of the Ikea Death March I'd had it with the forced shuffle, and we decided to hit the restaurant for the Swedish meatballs and call it "en dag." I looked around at the other diners and was surprised to see no one else had opted for the fabled meatballs. Everyone had chicken strips instead.
I though it was odd until I realized chicken strips are toddler food, Ikea is a store where you bring your family, and if the pop culture references are true, Ikea is the store where you fight with your loved ones. If the Family Parking sign is right you'd be looking after a toddler, a child in a baby carriage, and a husband as you all trudge single file past furniture and candy. Who wouldn't fight, just to feel alive?
Ugh. After that I felt bad for parking in their spot.