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IKEA, Where Dreams Are Made

Aug. 9, 2018 at 4:54PM

I read an article a few years back about how shopping at IKEA was a sign you weren’t really an adult yet. But, if you shopped at West Elm, that was it. Frankly, I think you’re stupid if you trade one for the other and I am vehemently opposed to the assertion your worth comes from which home decor store you are financially able to shop at. You can put that article in the bin with the one making the rounds recently about how much you should have in your savings by the time you are 30. We really need to rise up as a people against the garbage that’s posted on the Internet. IKEA is wonderful because it offers affordable quality. And meatballs. Which now come in vegetarian and chicken options.

Unless you are actively embracing your hermit lifestyle, IKEA just opened up shop in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. We are no longer a second rate state, folks; we have an IKEA. I was thrilled when I first heard it was opening. I have no shame about it; there are many reasons to love IKEA:

  1. You can use IKEA as a test for whether you should stay in your current relationship. There’s a few tests I use to determine if I should stay in a relationship. Do my animals hate you? Then, we are a no-go. Can we put IKEA furniture together without murdering each other? Yes? Let’s get married next week.
  2. You can find things there you never knew you needed that prove profoundly useful. I bought a battery-operated whisk there a few years back for a few dollars and use it ALL THE TIME. It’s doesn’t exactly produce the microfoam you would get on a latte from a decent cafe, but it creates foam. It’s perfect for homemade tea lattes.
  3. You can remember how much you enjoy a childfree life as you wade through a sea of shrieking children and disgruntled parents.
  4. You can be thankful you don’t live under your parents’ roof anymore as you watch multiple parents berate their children for no apparent reason in a wildly public place, typically right in the middle of the walkway so you inadvertently find yourself in the middle of their tense moment. Jesus, Ted. Be a little discrete with your “teaching moment”.
  5. You can build your confidence navigating the labyrinth that is IKEA. No, seriously. If you look at reviews online, one of the biggest complaints is how confusing the layout is. People. It’s literally a horseshoe. There are maps everywhere. There are 5,000 employees on site to help you. Buck up, Buttercup. Part of being an adult is honing your navigation skills.
  6. You can appreciate how it isn’t standard to outfit your households with fluorescent lights.
  7. You can understand how bad you are at pronouncing Swedish words, which may or may not influence you to pick up a second language first out of moral obligation and secondarily from shame.
  8. You can ponder whether the zombie apocalypse has already hit as you watch people mindlessly lumber in a rough queue through the store.
  9. You can enjoy a break from looking at pictures of immaculately conceived living rooms on Pinterest and garner some inspiration right in from of your eyes at IKEA’s staged rooms.
  10. You can test out the furniture without shame. Everybody’s doing it. Come on. You should do it, too. You aren’t cool unless you test out the furniture.
  11. Cheap. Fucking. Rugs.
  12. Have you tried to buy a rug lately? Like those beautiful Moroccan-style Berber rugs? They are easily above a beyond a paycheck for this girl. Fuck that shit. Buy affordable rugs, y’all.
  13. You can embrace your sense of whimsy while looking at Miyazaki-esque lamps that are probably made with children in mind, but don’t you dare let that stop you.
  14. I feel like the whole place is set up to build your confidence because confident people buy more things, right? Like you are living a real life Legends of the Hidden Temple, but the challenges are navigating through crowds of people, searching for an item at a computer kiosk and loading deceptively heavy labeled boxes onto a cart. You test your agility navigating the crowds. You test your wits searching for some item in Swedish, a language you don’t speak. You test your brute strength lifting boxes filled with the newest Hemnes dresser. Once you achieve, you are met with additional aisles of merchandise right before the checkout. You are primed to spend!
  15. Something about capitalism.
  16. Have you ever had elderflower anything? St. Germain liqueur perhaps? Okay, so take that. Remove the alcohol. Put it in a small cardboard box. Add a straw. Elderflower JUICE. I think this also may be marketed towards children, but a friendly reminder to not let that stop you. Liquid gold. I also just learned that it’s organic, so you can assuage your conscience, too.
  17. I don’t know if he’s still there, but there was a lovely gentleman with headphones in directing traffic in the parking lot rocking out to whatever he was listening to through his buds and it was glorious and contagious. There are three things that make me break my resting bitch face and it’s people dancing like the world isn’t currently destroying itself and dogs acting all excited to be outside. Number three is prairie dogs.
  18. We are all in this magnificent race together to find a plethora of affordable home goods to make our residences feel comfy/cozy. I feel like home decor is this desperate pursuit (guilty!) to make some part of our lives make sense and be cohesive because so much outside of us is not. It’s so friggin’ pure. We need more purity in #thesetryingtimes
  19. I can’t personally vouch for the viability of their plants, but I can tell you they are ridiculously cheap. They definitely had a fiddle leaf fig there that is a fraction of the cost of anywhere else you’d find one in Milwaukee. Purchase at your own risk.
  20. College never has to end when you have access to all the goods from IKEA. You can relive tha bestttt years of yur LIFE!
  21. As my boyfriend and I carried all of our goods between us balanced on top of a five foot long box holding a bamboo shelving unit, one of the gentleman directing traffic in the parking lot yelled out to us, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” and I think that perfectly exemplifies the draw of IKEA.

About the author

Caitlin Knudsen

Propagator of succulents, hobbyist baker, healthcare by day, pug wrangler always.