The Cult of IKEA

36-ikea-humorIf there is one thing I know about myself it’s that I’m a horrible predictor of what the next big thing will be. Take the cupcake craze. When all the cupcakes shops started popping up in every other strip mall I laughed and said,”Yeah, right like who’s going to pay $3.75 for a cupcake?” Apparently, everyone.

Not learning my lesson I continued with my baked goods economic forecasting and thought the cake pop – a tablespoon of mashed up crumbs, dipped in frosting and shoved on a stick with a two dollar price tag – was one of the world’s biggest rip offs. Like, right up there with paying a buck for eight ounces of bottled tap water. I do believe I gave the cake pop, maybe, six months tops, before it would go the way of the dessert burrito.

You’ve never heard of the dessert burrito? Point made. But as for that cake pop, it couldn’t be any more popular. There are cake pop bouquets, cutesy, pink cake pop kitchen appliances, and even, yes, and I take this as the final blow to my skills as an economic futurist, cake pop cupcakes.

Another thing that befuddles me is the cult of IKEA. I don’t get it. I know many, many, people are excited about a new IKEA opening soon two towns over from where I live. So much so, that IKEA announced it would allow customers to line up 48 hours before the grand opening. If I had to compile a list of things I would stand in line 48 hours for, thus requiring me to use a 52-ounce Slurpee cup as a bathroom, IKEA wouldn’t make my top million. (Some of my top ten, just in care your curious, include any kind of cash give away that exceeds the low five figures and seeing the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.)

Because we’re talking about stuff right? Not a limited supply of an Ebola vaccine. As far as I know IKEA has furniture, bedding, wooden kitchen spoons and $5.99 mattress pads. For sure, the furniture is cute and inexpensive but don’t you have to put it together yourself? I think if a furniture assembly instruction page is longer than three sentences or in IKEA’s case three pictures and you have to wear reading glasses to magnify the image than you’ve most likely aged out of IKEA. (This would be me by the way.)

The last thing I bought at IKEA was in 1996 in Houston. I was eight months pregnant and attempting to put together an armoire for the baby’s room. The act of basically constructinikea2-1g furniture from almost scratch upset me so much I thought I was going into early labor. There were panels you had to put together and then you had to make sure you got the slide things on right so the drawers would go in smoothly.

The thing that really started my contractions was that I couldn’t get the drawer knobs on. You would think that would be the easy part. Just a little righty tighty and presto the knobs are on. But no, not even using my third trimester of pregnancy mom strength I couldn’t get those freaking knobs in.

I feel my blood pressure rising right now just thinking about it. I curse you armoire from IKEA! Most especially that special Swedish thingy you had to use because a good old U.S. of A screwdriver wouldn’t work. I’m telling you, the whole experience made me proud to live in a country that embraces the Phillips and flat head screwdrivers.

All of this is why I was taken aback when I read that there are 1,200 parking spaces at the new IKEA and store managers’ fear that won’t be enough. They predict 5 to 10,000 shoppers per day during their first couple of months in business. My immediate thought was, “IKEA, you Swedish drama queen, calm down. I think you’re a little full of yourself.”

Then I got on social media and discovered families were planning reunions that are right REUNIONS, based on IKEA shopping. What’s next church services being held in the various IKEA “inspiration room” settings? Will the prayers be directed to the God of Commerce or the coupon holy trinity of 30% off, free assembly or BOGO?

You know, just know, some enterprising mom is already planning her child’s IKEA birthday party featuring fun time in the kid’s play area followed by Swedish meatballs and birthday cake in the restaurant for the kids and salmon lasagna for the parents. Okay, I was sort of kidding about that but I just goggled “IKEA birthday parties” and guess what? It’s a real thing, complete with Pinterest pages.

Is this one of the signs the world is ending? I’m a little scared.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.

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