Sunday, August 3, 2008

IKEA + So long, coffee

Ok everyone - sorry I peaced out for a few days.

You know when the weekend just engulfs you in a tidal wave of lethargy? That's what happened in between Thursday night and now. (I blame Mad Men: why do you have to be so addictive Don Draper, and your imminently watchable ilk?)

Anyway, another reason I haven't chimed in this weekend is because I've been miffed, perplexed really, over my achy stomach. I think it's trying to tell me something. And if I listen close, I think I can hear it saying, "Help! I'm being eaten away by coffee acid! Somebody help me!!"'s gotten to a bad place. And though coffee ( white chocolate mudslide cream) is hardly the worst thing I consume, it's the catalyst that makes everything else fall apart. Do you guys feel that way? The ones that are helpless to coffee? Besides the stomach-being-eaten-away thing, it also makes me shaky and hungry shortly after I drink it (which is about twice - sometimes thrice - daily).

So I need to make an appointment with my dear, lovely friend and natural-eating guru Sarah and get my head straight. In the meantime, I'm thrusting off the shackles of coffee and am going to attempt this:

Hot water + lemon + Stevia

I know, sorta lame. But is very cleansing. Ironic - since isn't lemon juice also acidic (and thus potentially aggravating)? Well, we're about to find out, aren't we stomach?

I'll tell you how it goes. In the meantime, another big decision happened today: R. and I officially joined the WASPy ranks and took our first trip to Ikea.

Ok, so, on a logical level alone I totally get the seduction of the place. Acres of cheap, fairly cute housewares and furniture. What could be better? One moment you're handling a kelly green houndstooth-patterned pillow for $14.99, and the next, why you are face-to-face with a whole room designed expressly to show off that pillow to its full potential. Very clever, you Ikea people!

But, Ikea is also creepy and frustrating. Creepy in that I feel oddly like part of a larger consumer-habit experiment when I'm in there - "Customer A's walking patterns show a distinct inclination toward items on right, plus a 1:8 item-pick-up to item-placed-in-basket ratio. INITIATE DATA ENTRY." - and frustrating, because it's so damn huge.

I know - everyone told me. Everyone told me it's like a maze, that you have to walk through the whole thing just to get out, that there is a freaking restaurant and daycare inside Ikea, which should tell me all I needed to know.

Still, all of that couldn't prepare R. and I for the onslaught of stupidity we felt walking around the store. Which way? What's an "ektorp? " Is this a real bathroom, or a display? I have to pee? Wait - where'd you go? Wha? Wha-huh?

Picture this: R. on his cell phone, me on mine, like walkie-talkies:

R: Where are you?
T: I'm at the restaurant. I am near check-out.
R: I'm in a warehouse now - it looks like Home Depot. Am I still in the same store?
T: Look for "check-out" on the signs.
R: I see food down here, too -
T: Do you see me?
R: Do you see the Home Depot stuff?
T: No - just follow the signs. I am at CHECK. OUT.
R: Ok, I'm going to follow these signs. Where are you, again?
T: (Sigh) I am - hold on a sec (turn to employee to confirm store coordinates)
Ok, um. Actually Honey, I've only made it through half of the store, according to the Ikea guy.
R: Oh, I thought -

And on and on and on.

By the time we got into the car, we both felt a little bit dirty, and a little dumber too, like lab rats. (But, but - I should point out that the lab rats are now in possession of a super-cute Olega lamp). Still, it's undeniable that Ikea, like Target - which I love - is one of those democratizing big-box stores that makes it possible for all of us to live a little prettier. And many a college student, newlywed couple, and single twenty-something living in her first studio apartment are grateful, I am sure.

I just can't decide if Ikea is redemptive...or evil.

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