Change of Address
I want to live in IKEA. I doubt anyone would notice me. I would wear bright prints and meatball perfume. Blend right in.
I’d start with the kitchens because let’s face it, they rock. I’d whip up some pretend food and read the fake paper while almost eating a plastic apple glued into a beautiful oblong bowl. I bet I’d look right at home next to the shiny stainless steel and glossy white veneers.
After all, I have a very oily t-zone and painfully whitened teeth (get it, slick steel and veneers).
Sorry, had to do it.
Then I would go to glassware- ahhh, glassware. IKEA has the craziest shaped plates and bowls and glasses. I would stand there and do my best mannequin impression while fake sipping a square tumbler and pondering a crescent shaped bowl of plastic oatmeal.
Luckily, when I move into the living room section and spill my fake drink, the liquid will freeze mid- spill to demonstrate the stain guard or fabric seal or practically kid proof (!) material. I ADORE those fake spill crime scenes and sometimes visit furniture stores just to act shocked upon discovering them throughout the faux tableaus.
Back to my life in the IKEA, I would next meander over to the curtains which are out of this world unique and cheerful. You cannot be depressed with IKEA curtains- they will not let you. The intricate prints will block the world outside your window and shout happiness at you until you get up and go! With a wide-eyed grin and blurry shapes and colors behind your eye lids.
Where to next? So many rooms, so many pretend lives to step into and live perfectly. The limitless storage! The powerful lighting!
The toys. I recently saw stuffed broccoli in an IKEA toy section and I literally said, “Broccoli, how cute!” a phrase I thought I would never, never, ever utter. Then I saw the stuffed carrot.
Suppress your eye roll. Thank you.
How many people get caught trying to live in IKEA stores? Someone should do a study on that. I want numbers.
Obviously, I would eventually find myself in the bedrooms, so simple and elegant and modern and...again…bright.
Faker than fake, certain furniture is often a mere spit shine from cardboard. But I do love the style and premise of the IKEA brand and clearly, the store design rocks. Your buck has bang at IKEA and that is why I go there time and again. That and the tasty meatballs.
Pssst…I bought a stuffed hare and named it Lettuce.
In honor of wanting to join a stationary, fake society, here is a lovely poem by Whitmarsh.
Department Store Fictions
by Jason Whitmarsh
The mannequins are all in love with you
and too depressed to say it. The cashier
flirts with another cashier, who eyes you,
who eyes the sales rack of wool pants.
Behind each mirror hunches an old man
watching women adjust their skirts,
their sunglasses, their hair. Small dogs disappear
on the escalator. Everyone leans forward
at the perfume counter, asking to be touched.
"Department Store Fictions" by Jason Whitmarsh, from Tomorrow's Living Room. © Utah State University Press, 2009.