Friday, May 7, 2010

Now That Was a Retail Experience

Did you know that the Ikea in Atlanta is the largest one in North America? Or so I am told. I don't really get there much, which is odd given my tripartite reverence for things 1) Scandinavian; 2) modern; and 3) cheap. Also my reverence for meatballs, which exceeds my reverence for the first three things. Last Sunday I got to cruise down there with my sister and my mom. It's a treat enough for us to all be on the same continent. Put us in an Ikea and we are like pigs in slop.

We went with a special eye out for their fabric by the yard. I have never paid much attention to those bolts of fabric they have, possibly because I only had eyes for Marimekko. But Amy had recently made some wall hangings out of Ikea fabric that she got at her store in Sydney, so we went to the fabric and poked around.

Without further ado, ZOMG have you seen this stuff?

These are all examples of their Annamoa patterns. Holy Crapoleum. That red fox and that crab are enough to slay me. I think the whole internet already freaked itself over the Annamoa range when it came out back in the fall, but I must have been busy with something else. Amy blogged about it. But I had no idea how many different patterns there were.

So Amy and Mom and I got into the fabric section and then there was an unseemly amount of moaning. You know, like, "Oh my God look at that! Look at how cute it is! Look at it RIGHT NOW." Do you ever see something in a store that is so wonderful and perfect for you that it actually causes you discomfort, like it creates a kind of desire that's painful even as it is about to be satisfied? It was like that. A full on Ikeagasm.

Or is that only me?

Usually I'm the one to get all worked up, but Amy just ran out in front. She started getting a little bit frenzied. She was all, "This is so cute that it makes me want to hurt someone. AAAAHHH!" I knew what she was getting at. And then we saw this.
Then she kind of started to rave. You need to click that picture so you can see the little mountain goats on the footbridge, and the little snowy cabins. It's got a kind of Japanese landscape thing going on, but also Scandinavian folk tale-ish at the same time. Don't say I didn't warn you. Anyway, back to the raving. We all started to proclaim our imminent death from the cuteness. "I died. I died and I'm dead because I need this," and "I'm going to drive out and park at the beach with this fabric and climb in the backseat with it." You know, just the way you talk when you're shopping. Amy was all, "Oh I am so ANGRY because of how cute this is! I want to punch someone! $7.99 a yard, that's crazy, AAARRRGH!"

I was laughing at her freakout. Then, then, she turned to the mild-mannered Ikea employee who was cutting our fabric, and she goes, "Christopher, has anybody ever just punched you in the face because THIS IS SO CUTE?"

She said that. To the Ikea man. And this isn't really in character for her, the proposing of physical violence for textile-related reasons. She's really the polite one.

I felt pure pleasure at witnessing this spectacle. I turned to look at the nice Ikea man, and he just kind of shrugged his shoulders, or as much as he could shrug while cutting with scissors. It did not faze him. Like, "Hmm, punch someone, mmm hmm." Perhaps we're not the only ones who have basically lost our minds in there.

It can happen in there, man. It's some kind of Ikea thing. Something to do with the fumes of pressed wood and cinnamon rolls.

Somehow in the fray I wound up with two yards of that blue fabric. What wall I'm going to put this on, I have no idea. As you probably know, I am pretty much okay in the wall hanging department. My mom got two yards of the same thing. I think Amy bought one of everything, and she threw a display shelf through a plate glass window. We had to leave after that.

Amy left on Thursday night and I sure miss my shopping buddy. Not many people say things that surprise and delight me like that. And seriously, that fabric. $7.99 a yard! It is enough to drive you to the brink.


Julie at ModernDayMiddleAge said...

I regularly have Ikeagasms ... I just never knew what to call them before! And thanks for reminding me about their fabric ... I don't buy it often but am always smitten with it when I waltz past on the way to indulge my faux-midcentury-modern-light-fixture addiction.

While reading your post, I had a veritable freight train of ideas roar past and only super cute fabric will do so ... Ikea-bound! But maybe I need my sister to go with me... you kinda made me miss my sis.

Maggie said...

OMG!! Ikeagasm!!! I died laughing at that. I am however, in line for some of that action myself because----WE ARE GETTING IKEA HERE IN DENVER!!!!! Oh happy day. I haven't been in one in about 25ish years(from when we lived in Germany and it had stuff we could actually afford)
Delightful post, btw. Glad yall had a trip to the mothership while Amy was stateside. Love ya!

Beth said...

I cannot tell you how awesome it was to imagine Amy punching that guy in the face. I hope it's an SNL sketch this Saturday. I didn't even know that Ikea had FABRIC. Does my Ikea have fabric? You have the biggest Ikea on the continent, so of course you have fabric. I might have to go check it out. Maybe I could use it for my Martha craft challenge. Now I have to flip through the book to see if I need fabric. Or maybe I'll have to take on her Encyclopedia of sewing JUST to use that fabric. It is bananas.

puncturedbicycle said...

Yes, I had this exact experience in the shoe department of Century 21 (Morristown NJ). Palpitations, hyperventilation, sweating, feeling emotionally overwhelmed. Also? Sterling was very strong against the dollar, so everything was bargain-basement affordable. I had to leave empty-handed as my emotional state made it impossible to make any decisions.

Re: fabric. I would buy a couple of yards of each of those fabrics and come straight home and make these:

In fact, I may do just that first thing Monday morning. Thanks for the heads up.

I loved this post.

M said...

Dang, Sub Mat, you are hilarious. I am not prone to trend Scandinavian even though it is ridiculously well made. I'm a William Morris girl myself and have never stepped foot in an Ikea. But this post was really, really well done.

Flat Rock Creek Notebook

The Dental Maven said...

You Girls have totally lost your minds! But, that's a good thing, isn't it??

Michele said...

I get lost in Ikea and not in a good way. We'll be braving Ikea in a month when we move. I'll never go there again without thinking of you and your ladies. Ikeagasms, HA!

Coffee with Cathy said...

Becky -- My son and daughter-in-law in Huntsville, Alabama, make regular Ikea trips to that very same store and have those very same reactions ... except for the face-punching and window-breaking, of course. Keep us posted on what you do with that super-cute fabric.

Ginny Marie said...

So cute! I didn't even know IKEA had a fabric section!

I totally cry when my sister has to go back to's not Australia, but it still seems very far away from Chicago!

Jenni said...

That was just hilarious.

Bren said...

I think this may be the funniest post you've ever done. Amy provided some great content, but the writing! I laughed out loud (I always feel guilty when I laugh out loud at anything not said/written by Houston - I think he may prefer that I yell someone else's name in bed) Put it on the list for the 2011 anniversary retrospective.

Becky said...

Bren, this is the truest thing you've ever said. I bet he WOULD prefer that!

And thank you guys! Actually I didn't think it wrote up as funny as it was in real life. It was electrically funny.

And you could easily get lost in that place. Also, have y'all seen the stories about young people in Japan who just hang out in the Ikea? It's like a thing. Also people have dates in there because of the free childcare. The Smaland only keeps kids for 45 minutes in ours. But that's enough time for coffee.

Rebekah said...

I concur, this post should be on the list for one of the best of 2010. Really well done and great fabric pics. I love looking at fabric too. I can't sew, but I dont' know what it is - some primal urge to pick patterns. Glad you got to have this Amy memory to carry you over till you see her again.

Amy said...

That's pretty much how it all happened. It was an ikeagasm indeed. Except for me breaking the display window...though I did consider it. I don't think Christopher will ever be the same.

Hilarious post!

Michele R said...

"Do you ever see something in a store that is so wonderful and perfect for you that it actually causes you discomfort, like it creates a kind of desire that's painful even as it is about to be satisfied?"
Brilliant sentence. Seems like the euphoric feeling was enhanced by being with your female kin.
Would you still like me if I told you I had never been to that store?
Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

The Stiletto Mom said...

I think I'm in love with your sister.... :)

Veronica said...

I tried to explain to Patrick why the internets were making me laugh so hard, and he just shook his head in confusion. This was hilarious!!

Kate said...

you gals are hysterical. now how do you stretch fabric for a wall hanging? I have some cute orla kieley fabric, not enough to make a pillow.

Sara said...

Ha! Darn you for making me say: LMAO!
sigh...good times.
What I wouldn't have given to just sit and *watch* you 3 shopping. Good gravy.
I think my mom, sis, and I could get that giddy at IKEA. They get me laughing to tears and then it's over, cuz I'm like seizing or something with the laughter.

What a satisfying post. Oh, and the fabric was fantastic, I agree. I *need* to go check it out. Soon. And don't even get me started on their rugs...deLIGHTfullll...

Veronica said...

This just came up for me in the "You might also like" list of links at the bottom of your recent post, and I read it again and laughed just as much as the first time. This one goes in your book, when you write it.

delaine said...

I agree completely with Veronica! It was a stellar day! Def should be included in a retrospective, Bec.