There I am in the paper #38.

Another of my articles from the Irish Examiner’s Feelgood. 

I have a confession to make which may surprise you…until yesterday I was an IKEA virgin.

On many occasions I’d muttered, “I must go there someday,” but I never really meant it. However last week, perhaps due to an excess of alcohol swishing through my veins, I heard myself say to my youngest,

“Next week we’ll go to Dublin to see Mum and on the way home call to IKEA.”photo credit: ell brown <a href="">IKEA Order and Collection Point - Dale End</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

When the madness left me a few days later my daughter was only too happy to remind me of my promise.

Family and friends had different reactions when I told them our plans.

“Oh enjoy, it’s fantastic.” said one.
“Good luck,” said another.
“Rather you than me,” said my mother.

While yer man commented,  ‘Mind the credit card.’

To give ourselves plenty of time we left for our big adventure early morning. After a lengthy argument with Google Maps we finally entered the car park to be pleasantly surprised that the ‘millions’ my mother forecast had not yet shown up. Giddy with anticipation we wondered where to go first, the showrooms upstairs or shopping downstairs?

The showrooms won. Let me warn you now in case you have yet to venture there, somewhere between the stairs and the showrooms we entered a parallel universe. Time as we knew it stopped as we walked miles kitting out imaginary studies and baby rooms. By the time we came to bedrooms we were getting picky, opening drawers, criticising hanging spaces and ridiculing lighting.

Wandering into ‘Kitchens’ for the third time my stomach protested.  Two hours had passed in a moment and it was well past lunch.

We limped into the restaurant only to discover the millions my mum warned us of had arrived and they were all hungry. It would be a test of stamina but taking deep breaths we joined the queue, only to discover no one carries their tray.

“Go get one of those tray trolleys for us, will you?” I asked my daughter.

Unfortunately in the few minutes we’d been queuing the county of Leitrim had joined behind us and they were less than forgiving as my daughter battled through with the tray trolley.

We’d planned a light lunch, but by the time we got to the food we felt we’d earned our dinner and dessert of course.

“Do you know vans come up from Cork weekly to collect shopping from here?” I said.

“Ah, I don’t think we’ll go that mad,” said my daughter.

Having eaten to excess we waddled downstairs into ‘Shopping’, almost drowning in a sea of people. Within minutes I spotted a little white jug for €8. Our shopping had begun. We skipped on picking up cups, plates, gadgets, towels and pictures, all of which we put down again.

“Is there something wrong with us?” I asked my daughter, as another overflowing trolley pushed past.

A lifetime later we found a €12 mirror my daughter fancied. Embarrassed by our hanging hands we decided we’d buy it, if only we knew where they’d hidden them. Following a game of ‘Find the attendant’ we were told they were in self service, aisle twelve.

No one had prepared us for ‘Self Service’. Each aisle looked to be a mile long and towered above us.

Suddenly I felt very weary.

“Do you love that mirror?” I asked.
“Not this much,” my daughter replied, noting we were in aisle one.

We walked towards the tills, six deep with laden trolleys. I looked at my little jug, we’d been together for close to two hours.

“Sorry. It’s not you it’s me,” I said abandoning it in aisle three.

Five hours after entering we blinked in sunlight as the words of Martin Luther King came to mind,

“Free at last. Thank God almighty we’re free at last.”

London Irish Graduate Network
photo credit: danielfoster437 IKEA Store Checkout via photopin (license)
photo credit: ell brown IKEA Order and Collection Point – Dale End via photopin (license)

20 thoughts on “There I am in the paper #38.

  1. Teehee….I HATE huge shopping places, you won’t catch me in IKEA….I can’t walk far! But I have been, in the past. And even had a couple of IKEA units for HiFi in the past……oh, and I still have a rather good bookshelf in my study!

  2. Oh yes!! Recently bought a €4 item in the credit card only queue because it was the only short queue. The only good way to shop there I have been informed is to go directly to the bargain section at the tills, you never know what you may end up with then!

  3. so funny, i totally get this, but somehow still find it to always be an adventure. it’s like falling down the rabbit hole in alice in wonderland. p.s. there are secret shortcuts to take you through so you don’t have to go through every room )

    1. Shortcuts! I should have looked for your advice first. I’m not an Alice in Wonderland fan maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it?

  4. you have me going for a minute Tric thank you!! Hang in there my friend I hear it all gets better….LOL But I hate to shop even when I go to the grocery store I have a list and only get what is on my list….now when I shop online that is different ball of wax cause I never leave home. ❤ ❤

      1. I saw a ‘couple’ of things that were interesting. But not enough to deal with the process of getting it. Not intrigued enough to go back. Yet. But I might. Fortunately I’m in the ‘I don’t need this much stuff’ phase. So I buy less and am willing to give away what I have!!!

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