What is She Saying When She Says IKEA?

At diner, my wife dropped a suggestion that landed just south of the salad and ticked like a time bomb while I considered the implications.

“Let’s go to IKEA tomorrow,” she said.

[ Gals – would you excuse me? I need to speak to the guys for a bit. Please skip the next section. ]

Guys, how well you speak relationshipese?

What was my wife actually saying?

A: “I value your taste in household furnishings.”

B: “I need a pack mule to carry my purchases. By the way, bring your VISA.”

C: “I need you to prove your love for me.”

If your answer was “A” then you are a sensitive male, please join the gals at the end of this section.

Everyone else, don’t be fooled, it’s a trick question. You have too little information to go on, so you need to wait a respectful 15 seconds before asking, “What do you want to get?”

If she rattles off a list, the answer is obviously “B”. Bring your VISA.

But God help you if she is vague like, “Let’s just go for fun.” That is a definite “C”.

***

[ Great to have everyone back, us guys had a wonderful talk… ]

For those you who have spent the last decade on a south sea island with a soccer ball named “Wilson”, allow me to explain a few things:

What is IKEA?

IKEA is a store that is to furniture, what Volvo is to cars – both Swedish and terribly strange.

The company specializes in inexpensive household furnishings, all made from three basic ingredients: particle board, Tupperware and meatballs.   These materials are combined into a bewildering variety of products that satisfy every possible human desire. But what makes IKEA truly delightful is its odd product names.

IKEA Naming Guide:

Warning!!!  Even people who speak fluent bar-code have been injured while pronouncing IKEA product names. Never attempt it without proper training by a certified instructor.

Product Category Product Name
Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, doorknobs Swedish place names that even Swedes cannot pronounce
Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture Words not allowed in scrabble
Dining tables and chairs Finnish ghost towns
Bookcase and office aids Forgotten occupations
Bathroom articles Scandinavian bogs and tidal flats
Kitchen appliances Swedish tongue twisters
Chairs and desks Hotentot evil spirits
Curtains Sri Lankan women’s names
Garden furniture Volvo part numbers
Carpets Words discovered in Danish pastry
Lighting Chemical compounds
Bed-linens, covers, pillows and cushions Errors found on 3rd grade spelling tests

The IKEA Store Experience.

IKEA stores are architected in a “one-way” layout.  Think of walking through a McDonald’s play-land built for adults. The purpose is to trap you in a universe made entirely of particle board, Tupperware and meatball for the better part of an afternoon. Having wasted so much time there, you are obliged to buy something.

Gals and sensitive guys, this marks the end of the article for you. I am sorry if you are disappointed but at least you now have a brief description of IKEA and a few safety tips

Thanks for reading…

***

Now guys…

An unaccompanied male in good health can make it through an IKEA store in less than two hours. I estimated our adventure would last under three hours because she said all she wanted was a reading lamp. I should have known better.

What I should have asked at diner was, “Why IKEA?”

To understand her answer, there are a few things you must know:

  • IKEA furniture is incredibly cheap.
  • It is where college kids go to outfit their dorm rooms.
  • It is where young lovers go after signing their first lease.
  • It is where young families go to furnish a house on a negative budget.

In short, IKEA is where adult life begins.

So why would a grandmother want to go there?

At the very first display, she drew my attention to a one room apartment furnished entirely in particle board and Tupperware.

“Isn’t that CUTE!!” she cried.

It is then I knew what she was doing.

She wasn’t interested in my opinion on modular couches or kitchen utensils named after fish. She hadn’t gone to IKEA to shop, she went there to dream.

During diner, when she asked about IKEA, what she was really saying was, “Honey, come with me for a day and do what we used to do when we were young and life was open to every promise.  Let’s dream like we used to dream.”

So guys…. did you get this?

No matter what she says – the real stuff in a relationship – is dreaming together.

Never lose that.