AUGUST 7, 2009
I used to like IKEA. Since the closest store to Cleveland is in Pittsburgh, two and a half hours away, our last visit was many years ago, but I remember it as fun. So I was more or less looking forward to today's trip to the Boston-area IKEA. The ninety-minute drive was fine, and our first circuit of the store was pretty much what I remembered from years ago: lots of modern-ish furniture and cheap home decoration accessories.
Our lunch at the in-store cafe was good: Swedish meatballs, of course, with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jelly, fizzy peach soda, and applecake for dessert. Little did I know that things would go downhill from there on.
After lunch we did serious shopping: Sharon picked out a bedroom set, bed and sofa. Joanne and I bought a small TV stand. We all picked up odds and ends of things for a dollar or two each. After working our way through the checkout lines the real work began: finding the boxes and boxes of disassembled furniture we'd bought, loading it onto a push cart, then fitting it all into and/or on top of my car.
After much head-scratching and discussion we realized there was no way we'd get the sofa into or onto either of our small cars. Sharon got into line to arrange for delivery to her house. Eventually, close to six hours after we arrived, we pulled out of the IKEA lot and headed back to Brookline. Mission more or less accomplished.
What I learned: what's fun for an hour becomes hellish when it stretches to nearly a full day, especially a sunny summer day.
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