Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

IKEA, what’s up?

November 16th, 2007

Hello, fellow shoppers,

I finally went to the new Portland IKEA.

It was scary. But I did get a new bed and a box of cookies out of the deal, so that’s something.

First of all, I felt a teeny bit carsickish driving out there, because, you know. It’s all the way out by the airport. Which, if you drive my way (the right way), from North Portland it only takes about 20 minutes from our place. (Out Columbia Boulevard, turn down that one street, boom, you’re there.) But if you drive my husband’s way (you know him? Hockey God?) then you take another way (the wrong way).

Himself: “I know the way — I’ve lived here awhile, you know.”
Me: “Yeah, twenty years. That’s nothing. I’ve lived here my whole life. Go my way.”
Himself: “You drive next time.”

His way? South on Interstate Ave., jump onto I-5, then I-84, then go the one way, then the other way, then way over there, and by the time you see the big, glowy yellow ‘n’ blue IKEA sign it is almost the middle of the night and you’re feeling a little oogy.

And that’s before the Swedish meatballs and gravlax arrive on the scene.

We parked the car a long way away. (“Where’s long-term parking?” I wanted to ask one of the clerks.) We blinked at the bright, bright lights, took the stairs and headed to the furniture section — wait, it’s all the furniture section, isn’t it? — but it wasn’t there. I stopped for a 7-up but the nice restaurant lady told me, sorry, no to-go cups.

“You can try the bistro downstairs!” Oh, the bistro, of course. I guess you’re supposed to have the full European dining experience and not grab and go. So back downstairs we went. We took the elevator that time — my son is nuts for elevators and escalators. No bistro and no bedroom furniture. What? Just pillows, stuffed animals, storage bins, pillows, stuffed animals, storage bins. All in a dizzying array of red orange green yellow purple red orange green yellow purple. Black and white black and white. I started thinking maybe I have that sensory-overload freak-out syndrome.

“Christmas ornaments?” I ask Hockey God.

“You said no tree this year,” he points out. Oh, right. We’re moving.

Back upstairs. We let the kids play on all the kid furniture and fantasize that they had good parents who allowed them TVs mounted from the ceiling in their bedrooms. At some point we found fancy Swedish kid scissors, a pack of two, and two packs of markers for the little hooligans. Bright colors! I’ve never seen so many bright colors in my life. We said goodbye to the chairs with their Marimekko-style patterned cushions, the large, overstuffed sage-green crocodile, the wooden toys shaped like animals. It’s America! No, it’s Sweden’s fault. Too much is never enough.

Jeez, OK, by now I had figured out why I was hyperventilating — Marimekko. It brings back all my repressed ’70s memories — avocado green and orange everything. The hostess caftans, the throw pillows, the “willfully wild” everything. Urp. Key party, anyone?

We found a bed frame, the Malm. We have now joined the ranks of sleepers across the world enjoying the beauty of particle board and attached matching nightstands. My husband loaded up the goods from the Self-Serve Furniture department. The clerk, who owns the same bed, gave helpful tips on assembling.

A pair of teenagers arrived to ask, “You got that Malm bed, in black?”

I found the bistro and purchased two 7-ups, filled half with ice — one for me, one for my equally-carsick daughter. We bought a ginormous box of Dubbla Chokladflarn cookies. (Is that a real word? It does not sound real. They could call anything by wannabe-Swedish names here and I’d be all, sure, sounds good.)

“So. Asian theme,” I told Hockey God, when we were back at home, the kids giddy and running laps from all the 7-up and cookies, and he was (what else?) assembling the bed.

“Swedish,” he said. “We now have a Swedish theme.”

Sure, Asian-Swedish. I’ll buy some hideous ’70s throw and fifty pillows and call it good.


  1. Elizabeth says

    I guess some people just like the freeway. I call that crazy, taking the freeway from N Portland to IKEA! But then, having been once and **only** once, I call going to IKEA crazy.

    November 16th, 2007 | #

  2. wacky cousin says

    Oh, I SO Love Ikea. How can you be unhappy with furniture you assemble yourself? It’s like Legos for adults! The Toddler loves Ikea, all the people stop and say how cute he is and he can try to charm cookies out of them. Oh, and my mom, she wants to live at Ikea. That way, she could redecorate every week and nobody would complain.

    November 16th, 2007 | #

  3. WackyMommy says

    I love Columbia Blvd. It is my freeway.

    Wacky Cousin,
    Hello, how can it not scare you, walking in that place? How can you avoid buying the baby 8,000 squishy stuffed toys?

    November 16th, 2007 | #

  4. melissa lion says

    Columbia is the right way to go. Also, between the two of us, I keep reading himself’s blog title — more hockeyless war. I kept checking out his banner and being really confused. I mean if this guy wants a hockeyless war, what’s up with all the hockey stuff. I have a small girl brain. What can I say.

    November 16th, 2007 | #

  5. WackyMommy says

    melissa lion,
    Thank you for backing me up. I’ll print out your comment (just that first sentence) and tape it to the dash.

    Also, I know just what you mean. It confused me at first, too.

    November 16th, 2007 | #

  6. megs says

    I want to live at Ikea too. But then my living room is orange…(plaster…faux orange, gold, something or other). And tell Hockey God to take Columbia to 82nd..Takes 10 minutes.

    November 17th, 2007 | #

  7. mommyoftwins says

    Oh, so that’s why DH wants to go to Ikea! DH hates shopping, it’s absolutely unheard of for him to want to go, much less to want to buy furniture. We still sleep on a mattress on the floor after eons of marriage. Hockey God must have shared quite the positive Ikea story.

    November 17th, 2007 | #

  8. WackyMommy says

    Heh heh heh. Have some meatballs for us!

    November 17th, 2007 | #

  9. Jayne says

    Hi. I was googling for the recipe for chokladflarn and came across your website here. I bought 2 huge boxes when I was in Sweden this summer because I adore them. They sell them at all the stores in Sweden. mmmm. They are real Swedish cookies, I guarantee. I don’t have an Ikea close here so I hit it hard when I’m in Sweden. I end up buying more suitcases while I’m over there. haha.

    I found some recipes for the cookies, but they’re in Swedish so I have to have my husband translate….plan to make them for Thanksgiving. (Hubby is from Sweden.)

    November 18th, 2007 | #

  10. Mallory says

    That place does so look like a 70’s flashback. They have fabulous toys for kids, I have to say. Very crunchy granola. Do you know I have been to the Ikea in Oakland and Seattle but not to our very own Portland Big Box of Swedish Love? Gotta get out there.

    November 19th, 2007 | #

  11. becky says

    Real World: IKEA (nsfw language)

    November 19th, 2007 | #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.