I lost 5 hours of my life at IKEA

Kristine Laco
Written by Kristine Laco

 Our daughter is a teenager. As teenagers go, so far we think she is pretty great. She is also a big pain in the ass and the reason I roll my eyes before I get out of bed, so, yeah, she is awesome.

We have been asking her if she has wanted to update her bedroom to more her style. She has always said no, until last week. It started with some spring cleaning and ended with the comment that her room “Seemed not to have enough personality.”

She combed Pinterest. She scoured websites. She thumbed the paint swatches. We did not leave the house unarmed. But I did leave unprepared.

I thought we were ready. I thought she had put enough energy into the planning and the decision would be a snap. The first store confirmed my theory. She saw a bed she liked. She approved of the dresser. The price hit me like a shiv in solitary but we were still within budget so I didn’t waiver. Then I did it. I mentioned IKEA. Not so much for beds but accessories. I only have myself to blame.

We left that perfectly quiet store with front row parking and headed to the big blue box. I was still optimistic pulling into a parking spot right beside the cart corral. I even offered cinnamon rolls as a reward for a job well done. My spirits elevated spending a whole Saturday with my girl and the washrooms were right as we entered so there was nothing to hold us back.

We started at linens. Our cherub had investigated online and found the exact ones she wanted. Then she saw the dizzying array of options and baulked. I saw it and tried to go straight to the Pinterest favourite but she was too far gone. If we were on Grey’s Anatomy, I would have booked an O.R.

We toggled. We circled. We spiralled out of control and yet we plugged along. We settled on a throw pillow she liked (yup, that was it) and a promise to return after reviewing the bed options which was approximately 38 kilometres away at the other end of the store, including a set of stairs and another potty break.

The bed was easy. There was one and she loved it. Snag. It was only available in queen and she has a perfectly good double mattress at home. It’s okay. I flexed and sprung for a mattress too (you saw what I did there, right?). While my sinewy offspring lounged on every bed in the store, I evil-eyed the group of college boys also requiring mattress firmness testing all of a sudden. They were not to get their firmness anywhere near my baby. I’m pretty sure they moved on to the tiny Swedish meatballs after I was done making them feel small.

Bed finished. Throw pillow decided. Linens, lamp, and some fun accessories to go. Then the charmed day went bad. We walked the entire store twice looking for inspiration in display rooms. If you have never been to an IKEA, the Swedes are geniuses at turning straight lines into a web of zentangles. Swedes invented the TetraPak and the Pacemaker for IKEA trips alone.

She chose a duvet set and brought the pillows back up to place against her new headboard. She would find another and the process would start again. She finally had it narrowed down to two options and had discarded the original throw pillow when I sent my husband the picture of the two choices. I also added, “Your daughter wants to know which pillowcase you like best. Your wife says to pick the one on the left or we may never get out of here alive.” He chose the one on the left and then she saw the message. Doubt crept in but my husband is too smart. He sent our daughter a ‘you have excellent style’ text and I lived to tell the tale. My preference will forever be a secret.

The first checkout line led to a second one. We had to go back to the warehouse and a third line. Then the final line. We looked at our watches to see we had been there for a little under five hours. 

With a hint of panic, I offered the cinnamon roll I had originally promised. The line for the cinnamon buns was 20 deep. She gave me a fierce look and rolled her eyes. At least the decision to pass that line was easy for her. She still gets to be awesome, today.

About the author

Kristine Laco

Kristine Laco

Kristine Laco shares the stories we all have with a splash of sarcasm, a pinch of bitch and a ton of wine. Her middle finger is her favourite and she lives by the motto that if you are not yelling at your kids, you are not spending enough time with them. She takes selfies at the gyno. Taco Tuesday is her gospel. Reality TV is real folks. She is making turning 50 a job because she doesn't have one.

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