In The Magical Land Of Smål

Readers of my blog — the main one, the OG one, as opposed to the 14 frillion other blogs I’ve written/contributed to/abandoned over the years — probably are aware that I really, really love Ikea.

My documented love for Ikea goes way back, and despite once comparing Ikea to an emotionally abusive boyfriend that I keep going back to no matter how many times he sends me home with missing drawer fronts or crooked bookshelves; no matter how many breakdowns in grown-up communication my husband and I have in the self-service aisles because they are out of the EKBORPENOT and we’ve invested too much time and effort to go home empty-handed so why can’t we just buy the ROOPENTORK instead?

Because even though I know in my head that my house will never, ever look like the Ikea catalog — so perfect and cheery with so much adorable storage! — my heart will never, ever stop believing. Life balance and household order is only one flat box and an umlaut away. Also ooooh look, honey! Napkins for $1.99! I totally use napkins! LET’S BUY 20 PACKAGES OF NAPKINS.

My love for Ikea has only grown since having children, for the obvious, hallowed reason that IKEA BABYSITS. Småland is proof of Ikea’s all-around evil-genius-ness and I, for one, welcome my Swedish overlords. Show up, yank your kids’ shoes off and set them loose in a magical land of ball pits and slides and TV and bored employees who you do not know at all and yet you do not care. At all. Not even a little bit. See you in an hour, boys! We will probably try to be as far away as humanly possible when the pager goes off and tells us our time is up. Sorry, sorry! I hurried back as quickly as I could, but I got lost in the textiles department and IT WAS GLORIOUS.

Of all the stupid things I’ve come to have an overly-inflated sense of appreciation for, it’s the opportunity to cry over a sold-out mass-produced TV cabinet in the self-service aisle by myself, like a perfectly normal crazy person.

The facts that we’ve joined Ikea’s frequent family shopper program just so our kids can stay in Småland for longer than an hour, and that we actively discuss and look forward to the day when all three children can go to Småland (I currently wear Ike in a backpack for maximum shoppy freedom, and Ezra still only gets in because I fluff his hair up before they check his height) are probably signs that we have a problem. Or problems, plural. Signs that 1) we buy too much crap at Ikea, and 2) we’re basically admitting that said crap is not actually solving a finite list of problems but is more akin to a Quixotic quest for something we will never, ever achieve. And maybe we do know that. And maybe we don’t really care, because 1) we really DO need new nightstands and 2) Swedish meatballs that I don’t have to share with anyone.

What’s the dumbest activity you now love irrationally simply because you get to do it without your kid(s)?

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More from Amalah’s West:

Journey to the Center of the Mall-Santa Universe
I’m Taking a Stand For Once In My Life
An Open Letter To Certain Random Strangers at the Grocery Store

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