The IKEA Encounter: Part One

And Lo it came to pass that Becky and Joel hadst need to pilgrimage to IKEA, born in Scandinavia, and because Joel was a descendant of Scandinavians, he had to go. He took with him Becky, his wife.

So part of our move this time was a reckoning. We threw away or donated all our furniture we no longer either needed or knew would not survive the move. We were brutal. And thank goodness, as our new place is a bit smaller in size and wouldn’t have accommodated most of it. Some of it was held together by books.

Becky here: Joel says the words “a bit” smaller as if we are only missing a few square feet here, a few square feet there. Hell no. We are missing WHOLE rooms. We were spoiled at the other place: 2 bathrooms. Here we have 1. While this is a first world problem, it has led to many indecent encounters and strains on our marriage. Seriously, why do men have such disgusting ear wax? Why is there so much of it? Can we somehow recycle it and use it as a non-traditional fuel source? And another thing, when he says the bookshelves were held up by books, he means it. One completely collapsed on a packing day.

For weeks, I joked with Becky that we should go to IKEA. We were wary of the place after a particularly awesome episode of 30 Rock that outlined how the store works and how it strives to break up couples.

We find this is true of all home improvement stores. More couples can be found fighting in the aisles of Home Depot than any other store. But after weeks of internet searching for things we needed for the new apartment, IKEA kept showing up with some nice, relatively inexpensive items that would fit our needs. For two people that hate shopping with a near religious zeal, it didn’t help our apprehension.

So on Saturday mid October, we had a huge day planned. Our first stop was at some furniture stores to find a couch, which we did with little difficulty.

Becky again. Hold up. Joel is skipping over the REAL first stop of the day. The first place we went we found on Craigslist named “Brand Name Deals” in Brooklyn Park, MN. We were there because they had this fold out room divider. I wanted the room divider for my own personal sanity. I CAN’T handle clutter. So, since the apartment feels like we ate the wrong thing in Alice in Wonderland, I wanted to create a psuedo closet in the den. It obscures the Christmas decorations and eases my frantic need to destroy clutter everywhere. I’m pretty sure that is my super power.

We looked all over the internet to find a screen large enough, but they were quite expensive. Except the one at “Brand Name Deals.” I think the first clue that should have tipped us off that this place was not exactly on the level, was the fact they had a grocery aisle. But, we continued into hoarder’s paradise, found the screen, and I was ready to run. Joel, nope, he wanted to try the couches. The first couch had holes in the side from where a forklift had ripped two holes. The next one, we sat on and the owner came out to talk to us.

The owner came out and asked Joel if he liked the couch. Joel asked if they delivered, and the owner said, “I import and sell drugs, so I have a van and we can work something out.” Turns out, he said RUGS not DRUGS. I couldn’t help it; I did not want to have Joel “work something out” in a van to deliver our new couch. When the owner left us alone, I told him this was not going to be our couch. Joel, always the optimist: “We can always come back if we change our mind.”

But, I still wanted the screen and, Joel, completely out of no where, haggled. He fucking haggled. We got 10 bucks knocked off the price and out we went with the room divider / wooden screen. I have to say, looks pretty good in our den.

This is what we got
This is what we got

Our first second stop was at “a real” furniture store to find a couch, which we did with little difficulty.

It’s like Joel and I were not having the same day. We went to a place called “That Furniture” in Edina, MN. Don’t let the whole richy rich stereotype fool you. It was a huge warehouse stuffed with, guess what, that furniture! I felt like I was in some Paul F. Thomkins skit where he shakes his finger at the ottoman and says, “Oh, it’s just THAT furniture!” The warehouse was stuffed, just stuffed full of couches and bedroom sets, to the point where they had to stack the furniture. You’d have one couch hanging from something that looked totally safe, directly above another couch you sat on to try. Eventually, Joel and I picked the couch we have today. Some how, magically, it rung up 200 bucks under the sale price and it could be delivered, so we were out of there! But I swear, if I hip check that couch any time soon due to lack of space in our apartment, I will wiggle my finger and smile and say “Oh, THAT furniture!”

Comfortable with our purchase, we went to Lagos Tacos in Excelsior just off Lake Minnetonka for some ridiculously incredible tacos.

For now, we will leave you with the tacos and the anticipation of The Ikea Encounter: Part Du out next week.

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