Partner and I went to Ikea recently. What? You’ve never gone to Ikea? Children, go and see it. It’s a little slice of Swedish heaven.



It’s a huge blue-and-yellow castle about the size of the Death Star. It’s full of furniture (do-it-yourself, but cute and fun), appliances, throws, curtains, lighting, housewares. It’s a maze, but there are directional signs. Also there are occasional staff members in yellow shirts to help you. (I was wearing a bright yellow sweatshirt when we were there, and people kept looking at me strangely. Finally one of the staff murmured to me: “Everyone thinks you’re one of us.”)



Then there’s the restaurant. It’s a slightly more formal version of the old-fashioned drugstore lunch counter / soda fountain. It’s cheap and surprisingly good. It also includes a children’s area, with child-sized tables and chairs. Three or four kids were in there, sitting very quietly, eating and apparently watching something on a video screen. I don’t think I’ve seen such well-behaved – and happy – kids in a public place for a long time. (One of my friends said thoughtfully later, when I described this to her: “Maybe they were Ikea children.”)


Back to shopping. Housewares. (I bought a huge beautiful wok for five dollars. I’ve always wanted a wok.) A lamp for Partner’s mother. A couple of pillows for Partner, who is very particular. A bud vase for me, because I need a few blossoms near me from time to time.


Then, after checkout, there’s a cafe and a small grocery store, so that you can buy packaged versions of the food you had for lunch.



I would live there if they’d let me.


God bless the Swedes!




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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