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August 08, 2005

Say it with me, people. SAY IT WITH ME, AND FEEL THE LOVE.



(Except that is totally not how you are supposed to say it, apparently, as it is truly pronounced Eee-Kay-Yah, or Eye-Key-Yay, or Place-Where-I-Wanted-To-Buy-Housewares-And-A-Pot-For-My-Plant-That-Is-Almost-Dead,-And-It's-Saying-I-Just-Need-A-Damn-Pot,-Lady-What-Is-That,-A-Buck?-BUY-ME-A-POT).

ANYWAY. Yes! I FINALLY WENT! Can you BELIEVE IT? After it has been open FOR A MONTH? Am I capable of expressing my sentiments about this trip without using upper-case words? NO!

And so we went, Dukay and I. And the overwhelming emotion that we felt, the feeling that permeated our bodies and souls, the sensation that rocked us to our very core, was: SHEER CONFUSION. We were confused. This is how it went down.

(We arrive).

Dukay: Where is In? Which way to In?

Self: I don't...know. Look! A yellow arrow. Isn't that sweet? It's yellow.

Dukay: Yeah, but, where does it...go? I don't think -- wait, we can't go that way.

Self: Suuuuuure we can, I'll just turn-

Very Important Ikea Guard: NO.

Self: ...around. I'll just turn around! Because In, In is surely...somewhere.

Very Important Ikea Guard: NO.

Self: I can't...turn around? I can't go forward and I can't turn around?

Very Important Ikea Guard: NO.

Self: I guess I...I back up? I go around that car? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Self: (Backs up. Guard looks at Self like Self is a total idiot.)

Dukay: I'm kind of getting stressed out.

Self: No! Shut up. There is no stress. This is Ikea. This is where Jesus lives, when he is not checking out the Manolo section at Neiman Marcus.

Dukay: Your religious views disturb me.

Self: What can I say? Jesus is such a shoe whore. It's true. That is how I am Christ-like.

Dukay: Did you just hear...thunder? Way to go.

Self: What?

Dukay: Look! Now it's raining. You've pissed off God! Nice one, IDIOT.

Self: Whatever! God knows I'm kidding.

Dukay: And now God is never going to let us find the entrance, BECAUSE WHERE THE FUCK IS THE ENTRANCE, OH MY GOD.

Self: Look, there has to be a way in. We're just...a little turned around, is all. It's got to be SOMEwhere.


Self: Awesome. See? God totally digs me. He digs my irreverent sense of humor.

Dukay: WHATEVER. Anyway, now we find a parking place.

Self: Well, it's totally not going to be crowded, because we are here on, what...six o'clock on a Sunday? In the pouring rain? People stayed HOME today, man. We are the only ones here, I bet.

Dukay: If this is the case, then why are all the parking places taken?

Self: Hmm. It's the employees, I bet. Just the people who work here, ready serve all of my Ikea needs. These are totally not the customers' cars.

Dukay: You're an idiot. Also: we're never going to find a parking place.

Self: Oh, yes we are, NAYSAYER. There's one.

Dukay: We are now in Siberia.

Self: Just a healthy little walk!

Dukay: We are in the outskirts of Siberia.

Self: Shh. This isn't Siberia. It's, like...Guam, or something.

Dukay: HOW INTENSELY COMFORTING. But you know what would make me happy?

Self: What?


Self: Well, it must be...somewhere. Huh. You know, they're really not making this easy on us, are they?

Dukay: I just want to go home.

(We eventually made it inside. And then we went up an escalator. And then we were Even More Confused.)

Dukay: Why does it smell like cinnamon in here? It smells like cinnamon in here.

Self: Maybe that's what a lingdonberry is. A berry of cinnamon! That exists exclusively in Sweden.

Dukay: I kind of hate cinnamon.

Self: Well, you are just a party pooper. Look! Little room displays! "Living in 180 square feet with eleven hundred people." Look at all the little beds!

Dukay: Oh, my God. I think I just caught claustrophobia. Can you catch claustrophobia?

Self: No, I think you're born with it. Oooh, I like that vase. I'm going to get it.

Dukay: You can't get that one. It has the store tag on it. You have to get it somewhere else. Someplace called...uh, the "Marketplace."

Self: Are we not...are we not in the marketplace? I can't buy these things and put them in my little yellow bag?

Dukay: You can have none of these things. These are display things.


Dukay: Oooh, I like that picture.


Dukay: Sigh. It's seven feet long.


Dukay: This store is STRESSING ME OUT.

Self: Where do we go now? I'm so confused.

Dukay: Now is when we need one of those yellow arrows.

Self: Look! LOOK! This way to "marketplace"! Where there are things you can actually PURCHASE.

Dukay: Spectacular. After you.

Self: (Walk walk walk.)

Dukay: (Walk walk walk.)

Self: (Walk walk walk.)

Dukay: (Walk walk walk.)

Self: (Walk walk WALK WALK WALK)



Self: Honestly, I have no idea. Children's furniture, apparently. That's why the happy colors.

Dukay: Suddenly I hate children.

Self: Suddenly I hate everything.

Random Unsupervised Small Children In Stampede Form: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


Eventually, we made it to the marketplace, and there were wonderful things in the marketplace! Glasses and vases and pots and little chairs and dog beds and EVERYTHING. It was awesome. And I bought...nothing. I bought nothing. Because Dukay was well and full in a snit by this point, and then we got VERY confused by the "as is" section, which contained something called a "Handyman Corner," and this contained...pieces of board. And not even real board! Pretend MDF board! FAKE BOARD. BROKEN PIECES OF FAKE BOARD THAT COST REAL MONEY. SO CONFUSING.

Anyway. I did find a bunch of stuff that I plan to go back and buy, sometime when I do not have a very frustrated Dukay in tow (honestly, thinking that Official Non-Shopper Dukay could handle Ikea was just my own personal delusion). And now that I know where the entrance is, NOBODY CAN STOP ME.

Well. Nobody except for that damned guard.

Posted by doxie in I Got Drunk And Bought Shoes Online | permalink


Our Ikea's parking structure has NAMES for the different sections, like a themepark! Like, "Couch" and "Chair" and, possibly, "Just Outside of Siberia."

Posted by: Tiffany | August 9, 2005 12:05 AM

I TOLD you Ikea is confusing as hell. But I'm glad you finally made it. The motherland is calling with open arms, Doxie. Embrace her. Return to the Marketplace!

Posted by: Jen | August 9, 2005 12:17 AM

You know you loved it...can't you feel Ikea's siren call? "Miss Doxie...come back! We'll let your park in South America this time. Honest! Maybe even Honduras! Watch out for the hurricanes!"

Posted by: Hannah | August 9, 2005 12:58 AM

Oh! I LOVE Ikea! Next time I move, it is totally going to be to a city with an Ikea.

And - you should totally have breakfast there next time you go!

Posted by: Bethiclaus | August 9, 2005 06:22 AM

How funny, I was JUST at the IKEA in Elizabeth, NJ, last night! I was helping a friend move some furniture in my beautiful Pontiac Vibe with the fabulous folding-down seats. That's got to be worth some karma points, no?

Posted by: Eh... not so much | August 9, 2005 07:35 AM

Wow, just reading about your Ikea adventure stressed me out. However, I'm still excited that one is opening near me next year. I'll have to make sure and not take my husband with me because I'm pretty sure he'll be at least as stressed out as Dukay was.

Posted by: Jessie | August 9, 2005 07:36 AM

Sounds like a good place for on-line shopping. Do they let you do that yet? Or does IKEA still force you to complete the ever-more-challenging tasks that you describe in order to purchase their wares?

Posted by: Julie | August 9, 2005 07:42 AM

What did you expect from a Swedish chain? Swedes are like the... French of Scandinavia.

Posted by: Kirsti | August 9, 2005 08:03 AM

Next time you need to embrace the Zen of IKEA.
It starts in the parking lot, you need to empty your mind to the fact that you are so far back in the parking lot that you can't even SEE the store anymore.
Listen to your senses as you make the trek toward your goal-follow the cinnamon/meatball smell.

Once inside, throw away your shopping list and grab whatever pleases you as you come to it.
Do NOT attempt to go back for something you've already passed, you'll mess up the flow (of traffic).
Everything you needed is already gone in the size and color you desired, even though the sample still remains on display. This is to teach you humility, patience and new swear words.

IKEA-more than a store, it's.......... other stuff too.

Posted by: Susie Sunshine | August 9, 2005 08:13 AM

Every time I've gone to Ikea, I've had to go immediately go home and have a drink and a nap afterward. Or better yet, a drink BEFORE I GO. That damn store is so stressful! Right now, I'm sitting in my computer chair that I bought at Ikea, that I thought was red but is actually PUKE GREEN. I never returned it because the thought of going BACK was enough to trigger full-body shivering.

Glad you survived your experience!

Posted by: Lucy | August 9, 2005 08:20 AM

Miss Doxie, Honey - never take a ma-yun on your first trip to a new store. It isn't done. Now you see why. They just don't have the nerves for it.

Posted by: daffythedachshund | August 9, 2005 09:11 AM

I don't know who that other Hannah is, but it is not me. I am me! What's the most confusing, is they say they're on 17th street, just across the bridge, but that's a sheer technicality, because they are actually on 16th St., off Northside Dr. So, the confusion begins early. I need to go back and buy more frames. And a mirror. And maybe some shelves, so we can go together. But I'll drive.

Posted by: Hannah | August 9, 2005 09:32 AM

Miss Doxie you do make me laugh! There are two Ikeas in London and I have struggled my way through them both, only to be vomited out of the other side clutching nothing but an obscure light fitting. Sometimes it is nice to go there just to remind you how humble you are in the grand scale of the Universe/Sweden.
Thank you for your funniness.

Posted by: LĂ©onie | August 9, 2005 09:59 AM

Did you NOT have a meatball???

Posted by: allison | August 9, 2005 11:16 AM

Ah yes, an important piece of information: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, bring the boyfriend to IKEA. They turn bad. Really, really bad.

Posted by: Heather | August 9, 2005 11:16 AM

love ikea -husband hates it! we have classic meltdowns at ikea. most famously when I was 8 months pregnant and fixated on nesting... not the place to be when nesting. makes you want to buy weird stuff!

Posted by: lindsay | August 9, 2005 11:23 AM

Ah, Doxie... the first Ikea experience. I once took my brother, The Mac, to an Ikea, and he nearly lost his mind. Poor The Mac, faced with Ikea's confusing, maze-like structure, thought he might have died and gone to hell. I believe it is built to lull you into a state where you are susceptible to buying ANYTHING you remotely wanted that you can find at the end. Even if it costs a million dollars.

Most of the stuff in the As-is section (best section in the store!) is only slightly damaged, or was a display model. I found four undamaged glass doors in wooden frames for super-cheap that Rob made into sweater shelving for me (since our closets are so small - sob!).

But I will never, ever wander the entire Ikea again, now that I know their wiley ways - you can target specific sections and then take shortcuts to the exits. Learn the shortcuts!!

And good luck with future shopping experiences!

Posted by: Noodlejen | August 9, 2005 11:50 AM

Okay people enough with the Ikea bashing. Doxie I am so sorry you did not have fun. Try again without a male anchor around your neck. Ikea is not for men unless they are gay. Go with your Mom or a girlfriend. I went with my daughter and it was an enriching experience. Did you not eat? As soon as you get to the top of the escalator turn left and go eat first. You need the fuel to make the journey. There is shopping power in every lingdonberry.

I wonder what the mailman has to do to get the mail to Ikea. Do you think he has to go around the block or does the guard let him in?

Posted by: mackmomma | August 9, 2005 11:51 AM

I love Ikea, yet when I'm really trying to get something there it feels like it's me versus Ikea. I usually win, but not always.

You MUST have the Swedish lunch. That is the way to a man's heart.

Posted by: jamy | August 9, 2005 12:37 PM

I went to Ikea on Sunday. I am indeed 8 months pregnant. Our child already has too many damn toys and needed a toy box.

Jason promised we would go straight to the children's section and NOT have our typical stressed-out meltdown fight in the lighting section. Also that I could eat some meatballs.

Five hours later, we left with a toy box, seven flower pots, a 99-cent shoehorn and a lamp that we fought over. I did not eat any meatballs.

Posted by: Amalah | August 9, 2005 12:45 PM

I heart Ikea. I went for the first time a couple of months ago and stuffed my yellow bag with all kinds of stuff for my house. I feared going to the register, but it only cost me $12. Word! It helped that I went with a bunch of my friends, rather than my boyfriend. We had a great time, even though we almost lost one of the girls in there. Make sure to buddy up.

Posted by: Jessica | August 9, 2005 12:50 PM

Ok.. I haven't been to Ikea in ages.. but went the other day cuz my dresser doesn't fit up the staircase in my funky newly rented place. So - off we go, boy I'm dating and moi. After about 10 min there, I want to kill him. And, we go in the out cuz the stuff we wanted was in the 'self-serve' section which is just before the check out. OMG.. talk about messing up the flow of traffic.. uh, understatement. And THEN, what I wanted for my 'dresser', the Antonius, was in like many pieces.. It didn't say in the catalog everything would be individual - but then they didn't have the canvasy baskets. 'Getting 150 in tomorrow'. Oh gee.. thanks. BUT we found them not in the display..but in the market placey area w/ all the storage bins you can buy and lo and behold.. they had 8 there.. helllooo.. what if I wanted to buy them? I can??! OH SWEET JESUS.. YAY! Then, boy I'm dating.. who's never been there, decided he was above backing into the loading zones clearly marked.. and pulled up to the FIRE LANE.. um hi.. can I smack him now? So I fully agree.. tho I love Ikea.. I hate Ikea sometimes.. definitely NOT the place to go w/ a significant other.. of any kind. Take a stranger.. that's my advice.

Posted by: Angel | August 9, 2005 12:52 PM

That's so funny, I was just on the Ikea website this morning. I recently broke up with someone who got custody of the furniture, so I will need new Ikea goodness when I find a place to live. Looking at that website when I have no money is like waving free crack in front of a crack whore long enough for her to salivate, and then taking it away. Actually, Ikea is so much like crack. You can't get enough of it, and that makes you ashamed and destitute, but you buy it anyway.

Posted by: SuMMer | August 9, 2005 12:53 PM

You must learn where the direct entrance to the Marketplace is. Uusually understairs, next to elevator- kind of.

Posted by: VeeBeeWhy? | August 9, 2005 01:03 PM

Muhahahahaaa, I can park right across from the door at MY IKEA. No stampedes, no Upper Volta lot, not even a GUARD. You hate me now, don't you?

Posted by: Miss Fish | August 9, 2005 02:01 PM

Apparently, unlike anyone else here, I have the most metro boyfriend. Dude, the boy braved Ikea by himself and bought a huge picture to hang over the fireplace in our apartment. Unfortunately, the BLACK picture frame doesn't match our DARK BROWN coffee table, but ah it's the whole idea that he went shopping WITHOUT me!

Posted by: Foxy | August 9, 2005 02:45 PM

Glad you finally experienced the heaven & hell known as IKEA. I've found that the key to IKEA (ooh that's punny) is to shop at home from the catalog and go straight to the marketplace to get the pre-selected items. Less confusing, and your man thanks you too! Another tip: I don't advise odering online, as their shipping cost are often more than the item!

Posted by: Sarah | August 9, 2005 02:50 PM

Poor Dukay... I have lived it... I will look into starting a support group for Ikea victims. I caught claustrophobia and everything else a person can catch when I went to Ikea... including homicidal rage.

The only time I was ever filled with more murderous intent in my life was after watching Steven Spielberg's "AI."

Posted by: TheMac | August 9, 2005 03:31 PM

I was worried about you. I live in Arkansas and even I have been to the Ikea in Atlanta. I had to have ten full minutes of quiet afterward, even though I got a sweet-ass duvet cover for $25.

Posted by: Megs | August 9, 2005 05:20 PM

Oooh I think I am going to IKEA on Friday! Is it bad that I'm more looking forward to the meatballs than to the actual shopping?

Posted by: Lauren | August 9, 2005 06:32 PM

What a coincidence! I just got home from Ikea...just kidding. Anyway, good luck with that trip back to Ikea - make sure not to forget the plant pot this time! Poor neglected plant. (at least all of the Harry Potter nonsensical jibberish has ceased! I've been so left behind by the wonder of nonexistent nouns like "Bimbledork".)

Posted by: Kiefer Twin | August 9, 2005 07:00 PM

Sunday my husband comes bounding out to the car brandishing something at me. "Look, the IKEA catalogue came!" (pauses) "I can't believe that got me so excited."

Posted by: Shawna | August 9, 2005 09:58 PM

I got lost the first time I was at IKEA.

Lost, as in LOST. Totally lost. It was scary.

Posted by: Lily | August 10, 2005 01:18 AM

I went with girlfriends and we fortified ourselves with meatballs. I think the side order of Lingonberry jam is key and causes one to leave Ikea with fun shape ice cube trays and Swedish pastry in tow, and no memory at all of the traumatic parking lot experience, aisleless navigation woes, or stadium-sized crowds. I am SO SORRY I did not find the as-is section and must return immediately!

Posted by: Renee | August 10, 2005 09:36 AM

I once got so confused at Ikea I bought some concrete speaker stands. Never go there with me...

Posted by: birdy | August 10, 2005 09:43 AM

This, THIS is precisely why I detest Ikea. I hate that feeling of clautrophobia/getting lost/why are there so many people here??

I can find my way around a Crate & Barrel store much more easily.

Posted by: Peyton | August 10, 2005 10:26 AM

OK...this is high-larious and oh so true....my pals & I have special rules for "Ikeafights" (tm) - that no matter what cruelty & viciousness is said to the significant other, it doesn't matter because we have been possessed by the evil voodoo that cause the Ikeafight (tm.) Leaving the store is like an exorcism. You look at your partner & say - what the hell just happened? And why didn't we buy anything?
There's some ascii movie thingy someone sent me once that was like a videogame where you had to escape the Ikea...one of your "weapons" was the Ikea catalog.
I scare myself for the long comment re the Ikea.

Posted by: MissK | August 10, 2005 11:00 AM

I think Dallas (more correctly Frisco) got the next IKEA after Atlanta. It opened just a week ago on August 3.

Reading about your experience and the comments has sort of scared me. I'm not much of a shopper to begin with but I know my GF is DYING to go.

I wonder how much time is appropriate to wait after it's opened. I have no desire to wait in line just to shop. I know, kill me now.

Posted by: Heatherette | August 10, 2005 11:03 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!! Brighton pointed me over here. I just went to ikea on monday with my lab (lab hooky ikea day - hooray!) and blogged all about it. Blogland is full of ikea recently.

But I am an experienced ikea shopper, being from Pittsburgh, so I was there to show around the ikea virgins. that's what you and Dukay needed: a tour guide.

Now go back and buy lots of cool cheap stuff. I'm going back to buy a $30 faucet and countertops. They're good because they're SWEDISH!

Posted by: ESC | August 10, 2005 12:00 PM

I also truly, truly believe in the power of the Ikeafight. Never leave Ikea without one.

The last time my husband and I went, we made it all the way through the store without a fight, which we agreed was a miracle. Then suddenly our cart disappeared WITH ALL OUR STUFF ON IT. So although we technically DID have an Ikeafight, it wasn't with each other, just with some old grumpy hag who thought she could put our cutting boards and $.99 candles on the floor, then take our cart and get away with it. Damn bitch.

Better luck next time!

Posted by: Emily | August 10, 2005 01:55 PM

Okay, to reduce confusion, I will now be the other Hannah...sorry, Hannah Beth!

Posted by: The Other Hannah | August 10, 2005 03:15 PM

It's LINGONBERRY. No "D". (and spending the day at IKEA is the sort of experience that either kills you or makes you...well, wish you were dead)

Posted by: Anna | August 10, 2005 03:26 PM

Hilarious! Welcome to Ikea hell. Wait till you buy something and have to put it together! Every time I go, I swear I'll never go again...

Posted by: Kara | August 10, 2005 04:49 PM

Thank you Anna. It is so difficult for me to type correctly what with the Cerebral Palsy and the arthritis. Sometimes a wrong letter slips in and I don't notice it. Thank God for your vigilance. I will go now and cut off the offending middle finger of my left hand.

Posted by: mackmomma | August 11, 2005 03:51 AM

The trick to going to IKEA is to go, like on a Tuesday morning; never ever go on weekends, or in the evenings if you can help it at all.

I recommend that you look online/in the catalogue, scout out what it is that you want and then launch your attack. In and out, just like the elite shopping commando that you are.

Posted by: melimelo | August 11, 2005 08:02 AM

Don't worry, mackmomma, you can keep all your fingers! I'm the one who keeps typing LingDonberry. It just SEEMS like it should have a D in it! Is that wrong? Is that wrong like the time I insisted that "propitory" was a word?

I mean, it isn't, but it fucking SHOULD be. Propitory! Lingdonberry!

Posted by: Doxie | August 11, 2005 09:13 AM

Look at you go, with all that Ikea stamina! I've gotten as far as Smith's Tavern and haven't made it any closer to the Ikea. Apparently fortifying for shopping with beer is only good in theory. ---p.s. Bread pudding, girl. It's my new sex. Have I thanked you for the introduction?

Posted by: Robyn | August 11, 2005 12:27 PM

I have found eet!!!

Someone alluded to this earlier, and I found the link. (Thanks, Google!) Here's the IKEA video game thingie:


Posted by: Lori | August 11, 2005 05:50 PM

There ought to be a map you can access to tell you where everything is. AND the layouts should be the same so that you can find things no matter where you are. They have a newer, shinier Ikea that replaced the older, still-shiny Ikea by my house, and I was so used to the old layout that before I knew it, I was accidentally getting ready to exit, having not experienced the Marketplace at all.

Also, I am convinced that the bags hold nothing, which is why you need at least two, one to sort of hold against the other one so that the tea lights and the lamps and the fuzzy pillowschmorgens do not fall out of the original bag.

Wow. That whole last runon sentence confused me.

Also Also, one more thing. THESE IKEA ENTRIES ARE REMINDING ME THAT I HAVE NO STINKING BED, and I really have got to get a bed posthaste. But they're good reminders, so thank you! Keep posting Ikea entries!

Posted by: Coleen | August 12, 2005 09:07 AM

Goddammit! Someone who commented after me made me remember I FORGOT the cute ICECUBE TRAYS! !@#$%!

Posted by: Angel | August 12, 2005 11:19 AM

I go to IKEA sometimes merely for the 30 minutes of free babysitting. The one in San Diego has a little playroom, and you can drop of your kid for half an hour (sometimes an entire hour depending on how busy the playroom is) and then go and sit in the cafeteria and enjoy 30 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee and people watching - because watching people walk around lost in IKEA is a serious good time, yo. Love it.

Posted by: Jen311 | August 12, 2005 12:16 PM

You can't imagine how comforting it is to hear that someone else was confused with the labryinth that is Ikea's floorplan. The first (and only) time I went to Ikea, it took me an hour to find my way out of the display furniture department. I remember laughing at the paper maps they hand you when you walk in, now I wonder why the hell they don't assign each customer their own sherpa.

Posted by: Corin | August 17, 2005 01:18 PM

You mean nobody ever warned you TO NEVER GO TO IKEA on a WEEKEND or EVENING? You have horrible friends who obviously are jealous and lie to you. Here's what you do: 1)Take a weekday off for trip to IKEA 2) Make yourself a nice vicodin/cabernet cocktail. 3)Be prepared to walk to the walk of the parking garage. No Monolos today. 4) Enter store. Wander around and buy things. Eventually you should find the exit. Ta Da! Mystery of IKEA solved. Your friends will think quite highly of you and thus never lie to you again.

Posted by: Shano | August 18, 2005 01:33 PM

Bless you sweet Doxie, a friend sent me an excerpt of your blog and through that I discovered the joy that is Zappo's. I'm in heaven!!!!!!
p.s. there is nothing wrong with having two of the same shoe, especially if you really like it. cuz when one wears out, you've got the backup!!!!!

Posted by: tlo | September 15, 2005 03:30 PM

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