Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Have Practically Attained Nirvana in My Asceticism


My mother-in-law Betty and I made our quarterly trip to Ikea today. The last time we went is here, and the time my sister almost lost her shizz in there is here. This time wasn't just a meatball trip, because Betty actually wanted to buy things. And buy them she did.


That was just one of our two carts. She bought those two armchairs (the Ekenas for you enthusiasts) and a couple of the Henriksdal dining chairs. And six pairs of curtains and a bunch of pillows. You should have seen the two of us getting those armchairs onto that cart. And then into my van. Oh me. I was sweating like a whore in church by the time it was over, and we had to take one of the chairs out of the box to fit it in, but we got her done.

I bought: three doormats (what becomes of all the doormats?); two tea towels with pictures of teacups on them; and that white plastic stool with the little rubber circles on top, the one that everyone has from Ikea. I think that is probably the most ubiquitous Ikea object out there. What do you think?

We've actually had one for years, but in our working on the basement, it worked its way down there, and yesterday I found myself needing it upstairs, and I was like, "I cannot live this way." Stools.

So I only spent like $21 and it was all cool. I just repeated my mantra, "I already have nice things," and it was fine. EXCEPT when I saw that they now make a cushion for the Poang chair--another thing maybe one in three people have--a cushion that is made of gray sheepskin. Holy macaroly. Look upon it. All must love it and despair.

It cost $189. I thought, "That pays for a month of electricity in the summer, when the A/C is running." That helped me walk away but I am not kidding, I have thought about it all afternoon. It is so me that there is no more me beyond that.

I mean, the two Poang chairs we have had for about eleven years do have functioning cushions, if a little worn and faded. When we first got those chairs, they were our main furniture. They've suffered a process of slow demotion over the years. Now, one is in the book room, and one is in the basement nerd lair. They are super comfy though, as you know if you have 'em.

This is a thrilling post: Old Furniture I Have Known

So, yes, Betty got some lovely things to fix up her living room. And Hank got a cinnamon roll and to play in the Smaland. And I got some meatballs and a feeling of sanctified austerity. A win-win-win.

Any retail item that's got you yearning?

16 comments:

Veronica said...

Ha! I loved re-reading that old post with Amy and the fabric, too. Glad you had a happy shopping excursion! I am currently alternating between coveting and dreading buying one of several double strollers that are sitting in my Amazon cart.

Amy said...

We have the stool, the armchairs, and the kids' plastic dishes which I think is standard issue now--you get them when the state issues your baby's birth certificate. I can't even click on those links CAUSE YOU KNOW HOW I GET.

Love Ikea. I don't care what anyone says.

Becky said...

Oh Amy, didn't you look at the gray sheepskin cushion? SEE IT.

V, I gasped when you said "double stroller," but I guess you are going to need one! I am sure that is something you could spend a gazillion dollars on too!

Amy said...

Oh wow, that cushion looks so cozy. I wanna have a whole room made out of it!

Amy said...

I have never lived anywhere that Ikea deemed worthy of a store. Or within a hundred miles of such a place. So it is that I have reached my fifth decade and never yet set foot on the hallowed ground... can you believe that sadness?? Doesn't it make you want to invite me to visit just so you can be a part of my Very First time?

Roving Lemon said...

Oh, Ikea, how do I love thee? So much that two friends and I are planning a road trip weekend to get to the nearest one, which is 8 hours away. Every one of my few trips to Ikea has involved some kind of odyssey, but this will be a new high (or low, depending upon your perspective).

KathyS said...

Like a couple of others, I'm simply pining away for a nearby Ikea -- when I lived in SoCal, 3 were in driving distance (none of which were more than an hour away). Now? A 7-hour road trip. Which was made last year as my birthday present. Which I long to make again so the long-suffering husband can have a desk instead of a folding table.

Sigh. Lament. Covet.

delaine said...

That sounds like fun! I am impressed at your ability to just say no to temptation! Who are you and what have you done to Becky?? I love those chairs Betty bought. I'm wondering what colors she got and how on earth will she get them home in her car? I can imagine getting all of that in your van was a feat too. Ah, cinnamon rolls.....

ameliawalton.com said...

I laughed about the stool, my mom and I also just made the Ikea pilgrimage a couple of weeks ago and picked up one of those as well. We were stopped at least 5 times throughout our wandering by people wanting to know where we had gotten it, and I have to admit that I'm now wishing that I had grabbed a second one!

Christian said...

If you need any help not buying things, give me a call. I'm helping my parents downsize from a large house to a small condo. Excavating 30 years of stuff is so depressing. It's all very nice stuff, but has lost most all of its value.

etheljr said...

Nice post. I love your writing style. Really, I'd read your grocery list.

laura said...

Our IKEA has been open a month and there are still cops directing traffic but I've blathered on and on @ my blog about IKEA so I'll stop now. But some. day. I will have a guest room tricked out in IKEA. I just have to get someone in a dorm room tricked out in IKEA first.

Beth said...

What did you need the stool for? I dont' find that I use stools very often. Probably because I don't have one.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Oh, to have an electric bill under $200 in the heat of summer. Oh, to have outside plants that aren't singed.

I'd love IKEA more if I had a magic assembly wand (and a genie muscle man to load my car, who appears on command). But I did manage to mash a love seat together (with the help of a neighbor) and it's great. Not sure how IKEA manages it, but the cheaper it is, the more comfortable I seem to think it is . . .

Elle said...

I have the stool, and we piled on + customized some kinda bookcases from them. The sleeper-sofa in the playroom is from Ikea. Baskets, kids' playroom bins, and a buncha, buncha textiles. I've always lived by an Ikea, my whole married life, so that this point, I'm kind of unthrilled by Ikea. In fact, I am not kidding when I tell you it feels like my path is littered with them and I sometimes want to kick them.

We had more hardcase stuff when the babies were babies, and when it came time recently to try to replace some of it ... the corresponding, contemporary stuff was of a shockingly lower quality. I know there are people who have Whole Blog Positions about Being Against the Economics of IKEA, and in this shock, I saw what they are harping on about. It has always been the case that the different price points ... now you really get what you pay for at Ikea, hardcase-wise.

We do go there for the restaurant kind of a lot. We used to go there & pop the kids into Smaland and have lunch without them. Now, usually, its three of us that go, eat lunch, I might buy batteries or flashlights or peek in on As-Is, buy some dishtowels or some of that rubber cabinet-liner stuff. It's like a Swedish Walmart, but they have wacky-o things that keep me coming back, Becky -- like the $3.99 Village-People safety vests I just bought for the kids to wear walking around this winter, lol.

The fabric confuses me, because much of it is home-dec weight, but the bolts are so short. So, I dunno what they want us to do with it. I do always like it, though. I, also, spent a long time last week handling a sheepskin (a loose one, yk) in the "Last Chance" section. I had to break loose of it reminding myself about my own nice things. But the safety vests were a good, unregrettable deal, compared to the price of reflective tape alone.

I had a lot of words pent-up inside me about Ikea, I guess. I should have put them on my own blog, with our new pillow covers.

I really want a SodaStream, but it costs more in its category than the point where I can just BUY IT without mentioning it to Mari and you know the rest.

Becky said...

Ikea does inspire an outpouring of words somehow. I mean, Jonathan Coulton even wrote a song about it.

I have heard that about the casegoods. I have two chests of drawers from the Hemnes collection. They are solid pine, and while I don't think our grandchildren will be dusting them lovingly, they have been okay for what I wanted. I think you get what you pay for, fo sho.

I've been thinking of that gray fleece chair cover, still.