Super Mega
A Dove Sparks a Memory

Escape from IKEA


Many stores are impossible to leave with just the one item you need. Target. Home Depot. Barnes and Noble. I hear that Costco falls into this category too.

For us, IKEA is a trap. Not so much the actual furniture part - we can pretty easily avoid buying sofas, bookcases, beds, and kitchens. The trap is the Marketplace. So many small things that are so inexpensive just kind of jump out and land in the big yellow bag. And we end up spending at least $100.

Tea lights. A small frying pan. Basket, oh so many baskets! Gadgets galore, a new pillow. Look at that nice bathroom rug! Yes, I need a new toothbrush holder and a salad bowl. Aw, a cute stuffed animal! How about a plant? Hey, cool picture and I like that duvet cover.

You know? Of course you know.

Anyway, we braved the Marketplace today in search of a lampshade, because the old one kind of disintegrated. We bypassed the upstairs furniture showroom and went straight into the maze of home necessities.

Dang, that place is like a casino. There are no straight lines; if you don't follow the path, you'll get irretrievably lost in the sea of goods. No clocks either; well, except in the clock department. Wait; is there a clock department? I can't remember.

Of course, the lampshades were alllllll the way at the end of the zig-zagging concourse. On the way, Joe picked up a set of hangers. I kept repeating "Lampshade. Only a lampshade. Lampshade. Okay, and hangers." We found an appropriate lampshade and kept trekking onward to the checkout area.

And to get there, you have to go through the self-service warehouse, with its storage containers in the middle of the aisles and the Ektorp sofas hanging right there in front of your eyes.

We make to the checkout and selected a line. And I saw the food market just on the other side with its selection of delectable Swedish snacks. I could not resist that siren song, and went in search of my favorite - Cloudberry jam.

I love this stuff. I first tasted Cloudberry jam in Finland. Our hotel had a magnificent free breakfast buffet, everything from sausage and eggs to muesli and yogurt. Out of all of this bounty, my favorite was this amazing soft brown bread slathered with Cloudberry jam. So good, so good, so good!

Luckily, the couple ahead of us had many many items, giving me enough time to rule out the Strawberry, Lingonberry, Blueberry, and Orange/Elderflower marmalade. Finally I spotted the Cloudberry, grabbed a jar, and hustled back to the line, just in time.

In the end, we escaped with the lampshade (the reason for this quest), the hangers, and the jam.

Only three items! Less than forty bucks! Success!!