First world problems
You know that saying about many of our problems being self-created… either by something we did or something we failed to do….?
I took my anxiety shopping. I went to IKEA. On a Saturday. Of my own free will. I know, you’re rolling your eyes, but just wait.
I thought a little retail therapy might be nice. It coulda been. But then I was reminded that people drive me crazy. And lots of people drive me super crazy.
I went alone and that was probably my biggest mistake, but it did aid in the get-in-and-out-fast method of shopping. I actually would have lingered longer, but I got about halfway through the showroom floor and zigged when I should have zagged and everything spiraled into chaos. Suddenly I was like a salmon, swimming upstream against the rushing current of people coming towards me and I couldn’t figure out how to get back to my happy place. A veritable sea of bodies, strollers, shopping carts and shrieking voices alarmingly amplified, along with the voices in my head and the pounding in my chest. It was too warm. I fought the urge to disrobe. I talked myself out of hyperventilating. I grabbed a 100-pack of tea lights, partly for stability, possibly for self-defense. Deep breaths, in with the good air, out with the bad air. I felt more grounded.
I finally had to ask a nice yellow vest-clad salesperson how to get a lamp. (The only legit purchase I needed to make). She told me to follow the arrows, à la “follow the yellow brick road” and it would lead me downstairs to where you actually BUY the stuff you want. I mean, looking through all the hip, decorated room pods is fun but my house won’t look like that with just a new lamp. Show me the lamps all at once so I can compare/contrast styles and prices. So I skipped off down the route of yellow arrows and much to my dismay had to traverse the LAND OF KIDS.
I’ve blocked out most of this part except that I was hit by a flying stuffed animal at one point. No injuries were sustained.
Ok, couple things: you are saving a fair amount of coin by shopping at IKEA over just about any other place, short of Goodwill. If your kid is between 3 and 10, maybe consider a sitter? I realize they have Playland and all that, but seriously, kids never stay in Playland. My and your shopping experiences will be less stressful if your screaming toddler is not following me around and pulling on my skirt. (Yes, this really happened). Kids would rather be at home playing. They don’t like shopping. Is it a requirement for every family to have a minimum of 3 kids? It’s like the opposite of China.
Second thing: I don’t find it charming that I HAVE to walk through the kids area to get to the rest of the store. Just because I’m in a “home furnishings” store doesn’t mean I either have kids or am dreaming about having them. And not having to look at kid stuff and listen to them scream, yell, and run around like banshees jacked up on cocaine and sugared cereal would help me shop longer and buy more stuff, which I know is your goal, IKEA. Just saying. Strategic store layout design FAIL.
So I get a lamp, and walking towards the checkout they had a little booth with wine/champagne tasting. OMG, do they realize how badly I needed that about 30 minutes prior??? The first rule of strategic sales: drinking first=buying more. I feel like the Swedes are smart enough to know this. C’mon IKEA, get it together. Strategic store layout design FAIL #2.
Then after the check out, on the FAR side of the registers is all the treats, candies and foodstuffs. What? Why? What merchandising genius thought of that? I would have probably dropped another $40 on chocolate and meatballs if they had been offered to me prior to paying. Strategic store layout design FAIL#3
Who set up this IKEA??… I have some notes for you.
All in all, it wasn’t completely horrific, though I was pep talking myself through most of it in my head. Next time I won’t go alone. (I will bring a flask.) And I will hit the snack section before I go through the rest of the store. Just like at the movies: horror and comedy are more palatable with treats.