On our trip to visit Allison and Dave last weekend, we decided to go to cheap cool mecca: Ikea.
Ikea is a great place to find all sorts of things at bargain basement prices with names like FLARVEN and SMBOORG. You can really go hog-wild when you see all the $1 and $2 items and end up spending a ton.
Another common malady is seeing an awesome piece of furniture that would be great for organizing, say... a certain room in your house that needs more storage anyway... and that's relatively inexpensive for a piece of furniture it's size... and that would be just perfect and that could be set up Labor Day weekend when we have some extra free time... and just assuming that there is a way to fit it into your car. Even if you're in a somewhat decent sized car at the time.
Ikea does work to prevent this problem - one of the first things you're greeted with when you enter the showroom is a rack full of paper measuring tapes. Of course, we didn't take one, and we hadn't pre-measured our car... because we weren't going to buy anything that big.
There needs to be a sniglet for it... when your i-ke-eyes are too big for your i-car-a. We fell victim.
Allison and Lydia and I tried every which way to cram the pieces of the EXPEDIT into our vehicle. First we tried variations of pieces in the trunk, then through the folded-down back seat, then in the front seat... never mind that we needed to transport three people back to Allison's apartment 30 miles away...
After about 20 minutes, I announced that the experiment was over. The shelf had to go back.
After repackaging the pieces and loading them back onto the cart, we went back up the elevator to the customer service desk and took a number: 49.
The next customer was 11.
Part of the problem was probably that this Ikea has only been open for a few weeks, and customers who came in the initial onslaught probably are just now bringing back things that weren't matchy-matchy enough or clashed. However, there were several familiar faces in the crowd that I had seen while we were shopping. Several folks had very large packages like I did... so I felt a little less dumb.
For the next hour, I sat in the virtual line (since we all had numbers, it was more of a blob) and played Tetris on Lydia's phone while Allison and Lydia snacked at the Ikea snack bar. I finally got up to the counter, and Ikea gracefully credited us and accepted our return, purchased less than 90 minutes ago.
All in all, the experience was tedious, but far from unsatisfactory. The Ikea folks really have hit on a great formula: stylish, cheap, mass quantities, simple. If there were one nearer, or if we drove a gas-guzzling SUV, you would see a lot more of it in our decor.