Saturday Endurance at IKEA or The Running of the Ikitarod

It seemed the most apt picture for this post. © Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Boffin and I spent the morning at IKEA. A Saturday morning. This is something we rarely do for good reasons. He has more patience for the IKEA Saturday crowd than I do. Me? I call some of them IKIDIOTS, an isolated group of shoppers who ruin it for the rest of us.

For people who are not familiar with IKEA, it is a furniture/home store originally started in Sweden but now based in the Netherlands. Its business model is based upon lower cost, modern design furniture that you put together. (My in-laws called this suppository furniture because you put it up yourself. Fantastic!)

IKEA has grown massively worldwide and is a staple in Europe and in U.S. metro areas. So, the reason IKEA is especially crowded on the weekends in the States is because that is when those who live further afield have the time to get to the stores. I understand that, and I make allowances for people who do not know how IKEA works normally.

But some people are just…um…yeah.

Saturday, Sunday, and holidays are when the IKIDIOTS commence the race that I call The Ikitarod.

Like any endurance race, The Ikitarod has several phases.

  1. Revolving Door Obstruction – The IKIDIOTS always manage to hamper the sensors of the huge revolving door at the entrance causing it to stop. Then they just look around and not actually move their bodies in order to deactivate the sensors. The door actually does not move again until about 5-10 minutes later when the IKIDIOTS figure out they are the cause of the problem.
  2. Atrium Gazing – Once they get past the door, they stare all around at the huge open atrium while standing right at the foot of the escalator, once again, blocking any forward movement. At this miraculous moment is when they realize that they need the pencil, blue product slip, and yellow bag. Then they will go retrieve the items.  Take advantage of your chance to get up the escalator because the IKIDIOTS will return to the same spot to stare at the dining table and six chairs on the floor display.
  3. Sign Search – Upon finishing the ride up the escalator, the IKIDIOTS proceed to look for signs directing them where to go next even though there are arrows on the floor guiding the path. Looking for these signs requires them to stand directly in the middle of thoroughfares, including right at the top of the escalator.
  4. Cart Procurement – Next on the agenda for the IKIDIOT is cart procurement because why block pathways with just their bodies when they can use a portable hunk of metal in an awkward way too? And they only need to push around a pack of napkins, a bag of tealights, their yellow bag, and a dustpan apparently. But don’t worry that is not the end of their purchases because…
  5. Restaurant Stop – The IKIDOTS must stop in the restaurant, having left their carts on the periphery to take up the cause of customer obstruction. They grab the dining tray carts and bash them into your ass when all you want to do is order some meatballs in peace. Then they leave the dining carts around at random while they go off and accidentally grab other people’s shopping carts because everyone else’s has napkins, tealights, yellow bags, and dustpans.
  6. Shopping – Shopping for IKIDIOTS usually means a lot of wandering, trying to figure out tags that give complicated product locations like AISLE and BIN, and wondering what those funny names for those coffee tables actually mean. These activities are very engrossing because…
  7. Sprog Search – Their kids get bored and wander off. They usually end up in the Children’s section on the spinning egg chair.
  8. Large Furniture Pick-Up – Now the fun part comes when the IKIDIOTS either exchange the shopping carts for the flat carts or try to handle both kinds when it comes to picking up the large furniture. They forget how physics really works. At least they forgot how two different kinds of matter cannot occupy the same space, and some things are just too large and dense for certain spaces which leads to…
  9. Customer Injury – They will hit someone as they get that BILLY bookcase off the shelf and/or…
  10. Property Destruction – They will knock over the plants in the nursery section as they look for one last thing even though they have a full HEMNES entertainment center in tow.
  11. Checkout Annoyance – Being too cheap to buy the blue shopping bags, the IKIDIOTS get all butthurt, complain, and try to sneak out of the store with the yellow ones.
  12. Loading– Then they leave the store and come to the realization that the sofa they purchased cannot be adhered to the top of their Volkswagen Passat with twine and Blu-Tack. Then they hog a loading space for an inordinately long time while other people are needing to get in to take care of their purchases.

The cinnamon rolls can wait for mid-week shopping, my friends.

14 thoughts on “Saturday Endurance at IKEA or The Running of the Ikitarod

  1. My other half and I always used to stop off at Ikea when we drove down to visit my parents (some 2 hours away) but since they’ve opened one up in our own town we’ve never been once. I genuinely don’t know why that is. I don’t think we were ever IKIDIOTs though. I’ve come across my fair share of those people…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha ha ha…every time I shop at Ikea I can never find my way out. It’s a maze that is so frustrating that it’s like trying to shop at Walmart or Best Buy during Black Friday. I avoid Ikea now if I can and if I must buy something from there, I order online and take advantage of free shipping. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Sonyo! I know quite a few people who avoid IKEA because they find it confusing and anxiety-provoking. That’s understandable. I avoid Wal-Mart for the same reasons, or I go with somebody who can act as my sherpa. Maybe I can contract myself out as an IKEA sherpa?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha ha ha ha!!! I avoid Wal-mart too because of the same reason. I go only in emergency cases, like the baby just pooped and I forgot the diaper bag and I’m near a Wal-Mart that can save me from the stink. 🙂


  3. We have a large Ikea here in Southampton – I have been to it only three times. I made the mistake of going on a Saturday morning and felt exactly like the sheep in your photo, but within a confined space. I got so frustrated that I could not find a quick exit door half way around – it was a horrible experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another example of humanity’s existence as described by a bell curve; most of the bell shops at such places….
    On any given day, probably 80% of those you’ll find shopping there will have trouble with such concepts as a revolving door, or bags of different colors…. Similar to shopping @ Walmart, I would imagine….



    Liked by 1 person

  5. Running of the Ikitarod – I love it!

    Ikea is all sorts of difficult. My husband is easily distracted and I am more focused; he wants to walk around and leisurely look at everything, touching everything, interrupting my thoughts with “Hey, Athena! Look at this!” every other minute. Me, on the other hand – I want to quickly look at whatever I pass without stopping while heading straight for the Thing that we need, decide on the Thing we need, buy it, and leave. My method takes 30 minutes, his method takes 6 hours. Well, in fairness, his method would only take 4 hours if we didn’t get hungry in those 4 hours and need to take a detour to the cafe. But the end result is that we spend 6 hours at Ikea.

    As you can imagine, Ikea is something of a marital obstacle course for us.

    The good news is – we’ve been to Ikea a handful of times over the years and we’re still married. I guess that’s a sign that at the very least, our marriage is built to last. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bring up a good point, Athena. Every couple should run the IKEA test as part of premarital counseling. If it descends into an ugly argument, postpone the wedding.

      The trick we found is to live close to the IKEA, so it is easy to run in and pick up something, so we don’t have to dawdle. I’m only a 15-minute drive away.

      Liked by 1 person

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