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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Back to Something Funny OR Let's Go SHOPPING at Ikea OR Can I Make This Title Longer or Sillier?

Warning:  I will bounce randomly from subject to subject, probably because I'm mildly bored with anything serious.  Brains will probably be impacted.  Protection may be required to read this blog.  People without a sense of humor should just stop reading here.

Recently we went shopping at Ikea and Pain in the Ass Man returned for a guest spot in the trip.  (Pain in the Ass Man RISES AGAIN!)  Pain in the Ass Man is HIM, the man to whom I'm married.  Well, Pain in the Ass is HIM's alter ego.  He has super powers, such as how to annoy me in three words or less.  Occasionally he can annoy me simply by looking at me.
I like the twinkle on his teeth.
Pain in the Ass Man may be a pain in the ass but
he knows about dental hygiene.
We went to Ikea to waste time, browse through Swedish imports, drool over Swedish meatballs in their cafeteria, and buy me a new office chair.  (Note to Fat Woman's writing fans and especially Bubba fans, Fat Woman's back hurts in the old chair.  If my back hurts I cannot write funny Bubba dialogue and witty pseudo literature to entertain you.  The chair was ten years old and tired of me, too.  Now it's been relegated to the garage where it will sub for outdoor chairs.  We also had an interesting race with it on the slight slope of the driveway.  Bet you didn't know that that law of physics was applicable to old office chairs and sloping driveways.  Didn't I just tell you I was going to meander?)
This doesn't have anything to do with Pain in the Ass Man but
everything to do with stopping off at Ikea's cafeteria for a cheap and yummilicious
lunch after heavy duty shopping with your significant pain in the ass partner.
So back to Pain in the Ass Man and Ikea.  If you haven't shopped at Ikea, it's like this.  You find a chair.  (Or whatever you're shopping for in the way of furniture.)  You like the chair.  You decide to buy the chair.  The tag on the chair tells where to get the box that contains the chair you will buy and then take home and assemble at your leisure.  Ikea is also insidious by having a 'path' that it leads you through all aspects of the store on two floors on 100,000 square feet of consumer heaven before delivering you to the warehouse where you pick up your furniture.  Then you go to the registers and, let me just add snidely, that that is where they have another mini-restaurant that specializes in cinnamon buns.  (I think they've got a machine that sprays cinnamon bun smell all over this area so you will automatically drool over the cash register and/or clerk before rushing over to buy one of the spicy confections.)  Ikea knows how to market.

Again back to the return of Pain in the Ass Man.  As you enter the warehouse you need to get a flat cart if you're going to get a bigger piece of furniture.  You'll need it to load and then carry your booty off to the registers where you can trade your first born child or use your MasterCard, whichever.

I said to Pain in the Ass Man, "Let's get a flat cart."  (My reasoning was thusly: desk chair DOES NOT come pre-assembled, but in a large box that will have to be transported, somehow, to the front area for purchasing and then out to your car for loading.  I did not want to have to somehow obtain a team of huskies and ride that sucker to the front, so the flat cart was ideal.)

However, Pain in the Ass Man had already gotten a regular shopping cart and deposited our only child in it because she said, "I'm tired, Daddy."  (100,000 feet of shopping extravaganza wears out a seven-year-old fast.  And let us not forget that Ikea has established little yellow play areas about every 200 feet for children to further entice their parents into the whole trapped-in-the-super-store experience.  Possibly I should say that Cressy will never let us forget each and every single one of these playtime mini-areas.  God forbid we should skip one because she wasn't paying attention, because she will make us go back.  She has a little mental map of all of these areas permanently etched in her brain.  Ikea = smart, devious cookies.) 
This is our daughter in a exhausted, hungry, demonic moment.
"You talking to me?  I don't think you're talking to me.  You're
talking to some other tired seven-year-old in a shopping
cart, aren't ya?  Yeah, say hello to my little friend."
HIM said defiantly, "No, it will fit in this cart."  He might have puffed out his chest and put his hands akimbo at that point but I'm not really saying that.

I looked at the cart.  It already had a 50 pound child in it and a couple of items from the cooking ware section of the store.  "But, the chair won't fit."

Pain in the Ass Man said, "It will."  He had a mulish expression on his face that said I wasn't going to win but he didn't anticipate that I was looking forward to the chair box not fitting in the cart so I could say, "I told you so."  (I can plan ahead.)

So I shrugged and trudged over to the aisle where the chair was located in its handy-dandy box, ready to do damage to the unsuspecting consumer who doesn't bend his/her knees when lifting.  (Ikea should have a chiropractor on site; they missed that op.)  We looked at the box.  Then we looked at the cart where Cressy was sitting with her hands locked onto the plush beagle she'd managed to finagle out of the children's section of Ikea.  We looked at the box again.  Then at our child.  Our child looked at us both as if we were insane before we could even dare to suggest that she get out of the open part of the shopping cart so we could put the box into it instead.  "Surely, you jest," her little blue eyes glittered at us.  "One of you puts one hand on me and you're going to lose it.  Or I'll cry.  Whatever is worse."

Consequently, Pain in the Ass Man attempted to stuff the over-sized box on the bottom shelf of the shopping cart.  The box wasn't narrow enough to go all the way back.  But that didn't stop Pain in the Ass Man from shoving at it anyway.  After all, his new motto had become, 'If I push it hard enough it will go in there.  We didn't really need those other parts that were compacted and fell off.'
It occurs to me that this can be misconstrued.
The box did not fit.  I finally said, "There's a support beam on the side of the cart that's blocking the box from going further."  (I don't think I was that polite but it's my blog, so it's going to be my version.  If HIM wants to have input, let HIM start his own blog.)

Pain in the Ass Man grunted at me.

Instead of going back to get a flat cart, we tottered with the child in the inside part of the cart and the box leaning out of the bottom part.  (Leaning waaaaaay out.)  If I had let go of the cart the entire thing would have tipped over to the front and the HazMat Team would have to be called.  Or maybe the SWAT Team.  Maybe a divorce lawyer.  (I get confused.)

Well, you don't have to imagine what happened because I will draw a picture.  I leaned to the back and pushed the cart to the front because somehow Pain in the Ass Man had managed to evade that detail.  (It's possible he was trying to get far enough away from me so that he wouldn't be able to hear, 'I told you so.'  I believe HIM might be underestimating my need to communicate the message to HIM, because I would have yelled it across the store if necessary.)
Does anyone notice who's NOT in this picture?  Hmm.
Leaning further and further back I narrowly avoided a few other carts and gingerly directed it to the cash registers.  (Another note here.  Apparently Swedish shopping carts are not like supermarket shopping carts.  These bastards are like four-wheel drives.  If you go to turn one way, all the wheels turn that way and the whole thing floats to one side.  God help you if you're going fast because there's a lot of glassware and glass products on the bottom level of Ikea.  Just saying, I think Ikea did it on purpose.)

We did the self-check out line, which is always fun because the hand scanner is usually broken.  This means you have to lean down and read the number on the bar code and then laboriously go to the machine and enter it with fat little fingertips.  (Chances of making mistakes are high in this scenario.)  Then after making several mistakes and starting over, it finally rang up.

By the time we were ready to leave I was a little steamed.  HIM wanted to plow ahead and damn every other shopper in our vicinity.  HIM especially wanted me to get ahead of a shopping cart with a little old lady who was doing a shuffle-shuffle-step guaranteed to irk his sensibilities.  Since I was driving the cart, and still leaning backwards to balance the blankity-blank thing, I declined to throw myself, and the cart with our child still in it, in front of the old lady.  It may be just me, but I'm not speed-four-wheeling through Ikea with an unbalanced shopping cart just because we can't possibly allow a little old lady who can't see above the handle bars in front of us.  ("Jesus, sweetie, she's in front of us.")

Then I received the death glare from Pain in the Ass Man.  (This is the part where one of HIM's special powers kicks in.)

I began to grumble. (One of Fat Woman's special super powers is the ability to bitch at a sub-tonal level.) (This ticks off Pain in the Ass Man because he can't hear what I'm saying but HIM knows I'm complaining about HIM.)  There was a massive injection of deja vu at that point because it dawned on me that the last time we went to Ikea, the exact same thing happened at the very same part of the store.  (Not the chair buying or the lack of a flat cart, but the fact that I didn't cut off someone with a wandering cart, singing, 'Oh, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.')  (He drives like this but I recently just started closing my eyes while he's behind the wheel.)

The event of the battle of supremacy was escalated when HIM allowed twenty other people, with carts, onto the elevator with us, in an elevator meant for maybe three people with carts.  I fought back by allowing the other 19 people, with carts, to get off before us.

When I pointed out how similar this was to the last visit at Ikea, HIM and I had a good laugh.  (Which is why we're still married after almost three decades.)

Anyway, next time the lesson is to get a flat cart, and let HIM drive it.

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