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May 15, 2004

ikea is its own punishment

Posted by dogpossum on May 15, 2004 7:04 PM in the category domesticity

so we went to ikea. even though we hate going there, we hate victoria gardens and we were both sleep deprived.

but we finally managed to buy a couple of chairs to let us seat 6 round the dining table. at $28.50 each, the only ones who luck out are those chinese kiddies who sacrificed their eyesight for our bullshit entertaining priorities.

we also purchased...

a lamp (The Squeeze loves lamps, and i must say i encourage this love: i am obsessed with Light since i started fussing with the cameras that litter our house);
a desk for me (mine is too high and causing shoulder ache), which will need to be exchanged tomorrow as it lacks a keyboard drawer - 100% essential, i feel;
a cheap-arse mat for our loungeroom floor;
a huge pine coffee table - not the chic 50s inspired (or preferably 50s original) i had envisioned, but bought, goddamn it. The Squeeze is wondering how he could have lived without a coffee table prior, and has moved everything he owns to the loungeroom, where we are camped for The Duration;
4 super-large glasses;
a new cutting board to replace the skank-ridden one i'd carted through four sharehouses since i moved to melbourne;
some fancy halogen light bulbs (more Light);
and The Mother bought some useless crap, in keeping with her role as crap-magnet.

we have to go back tomorrow to exchange the desk. it will no doubt be another awful experience.

we also bought a vacuum cleaner. from godfrey's, not ikea. and from a very nice man who was sorely disappointed by our complete lack of interest in Features or Heads. we only wanted a reasonable Suck, though we quibbled over cloth v paper bags (The Squeeze, in his charming ignorance, felt that no bag at all, or even a cloth bag would be best. prior experience encouraged me to push for the option of paper or cloth). now our house will be cleaner, though using a vacuum cleaner will not by any means involve saving labour - everyone knows that white goods (and their lesser, greyer brethren) are designed to prolong domestic tasks, and so reduce the amount of hours spent Sewing or Working or Looking at the Intynet.

our trip to victoria gardens was as hellish as ever - a mass of fukked up transport issues, bullshit service, confusion, frustration, physical exhaustion and sensory overload from all the bright colours, the horrid acoustics in the foodcourt and the abba overdose.

we were further enshitted by:
- the ikea lady stopping us taking photos of The Mother in her red shirt in various chairs, or of each other (oh, ikea is lovely for Colour);
- by squeezing all this shit into a hatchback;
- by having to leave the carpark to get to the ikea pick-up, and then returning to the carpark to go buy some lunch.

at one point i had to get out of the car (i was driving), lower my head and use all the dirtiest swears i know as my sleep-deprivation, sensory overload and over consumption caught up with me, making it impossible for me to untangle my seatbelt from the flatpackages which had The Squeeze pinned in the backseat.

we felt we had to stop off at Filou's on lygon st for amazing french pastries and berry pie. so we did. there was no other way of salvaging the afternoon. Goddess bless Filou's, Goddess bless.

when we got home The Squeeze went into a construction frenzy, assembling chairs, table, lamp et al, and the house now smells of plantation beech/pine. i've varnished the chairs and arranged our new purchases attractively throughout our home.

can i just state, for the record, that victoria gardens sucks, and that ikea sucks. majorly.
despite it's helpful little community service display pushing the trams in the foyer (as you leave the damn place), the arsholes won't let you take trollies outside their little cordoned off area. nor are there any taxi ranks at vic gardens that we've yet found. so good luck getting your humourously named, flat packed, plantation whatever back to brunswick on the tram, kiddies. it's really only feasible to go buy shit at this place if you have a car. a car with a large, clear space in it.

so the display in the foyer is no doubt designed to install a little warming glow in departing middle class tossers (and dinky young groovers) who are left feeling that it's terribly nice that the tram is so handy, and isn't ikea wonderful for encouraging us to use it? all this as they toddle on out to their saabs or vw golfs.

the lack of bags nearly brought The Squeeze to fisticuffs, when, faced with 2 chairs, a table, another table, a lamp and a whole slew of little bits of crap, the check out chick refused to give him a free bag to pack all said little shit in, despite the ridiculous amount of dosh he'd just handed over. if i'd been there, i'd have suggested the check out chick get her arse out there to help him carry all that crap out to the car (sans environment-destroying, yet handily revenue-generating plastic bag, of course) one by bloody one. but i was fukking around with the car. and the bullshit pay-parking system.

while i am all for reducing (recylcing, reusing et al) and am infuriating compulsive about keeping and reusing plastic bags, jars, boxes, etc, avoiding buying stuff that needs lots of packaging, and SCOFFING at the little plastic bags in the fruit shop, while i lug my backpack of veggies to my bike (and panniers), there are times when i feel selfrighteously smug swedes totally need a big fat kick up their socialist arses.
especially after they've taken pains to stifle The Squeeze's creative instincts not only with the camera thing, but also with pointed comments about his interpretive dance response to abba in the shelving section.
arsholes. fukking arseholes.

i am not buying all this lefty good will. all these low prices are not (despite the friendly little signs everywhere explaining that the lack of useful staff to carry fukkinheavy flatpacked shit is part of Keeping Costs Down) a result of carefully managed labour and packaging decisions in-store, but are actually the direct result of assembly and production operations in countries that do not have child labour legislation.

and i have to add: don't think you can make it round that goddamn rat-maze without going to the toilet at least once. and don't think there's a shortcut through all that shit to the toilets. there's not.
nor should you be foolish enough to believe there is a way to circumvent all this consumer frenzy encouraging store layout - all instructions from smiling swedes will be useless, all helpful signs will be wrong.

ikea sucks.
but god, there's no way a dink couple like us will escape without buying something in a primary colour, or a plantation wood.

Posted by dogpossum on May 15, 2004 7:04 PM in the category domesticity