Now, Bossy knows what you’re saying. You’re saying Tell Us Something We Don’t Know You Jerky, since Bossy has already written about Ikea here and here and here and even here.
But what Bossy never told you is that the very first Ikea in America was built on the outskirts of Bossy’s very own city in 1985. And one of the first people through that sliding door was Bossy and her boyfriend.
Bossy’s boyfriend back then was much older and already had an apartment of his own, decorated in a style Bossy likes to call, Early American Piss Wicker. Piss Wicker meaning that nearly all of his furniture was made of wicker — coffee tables, hampers, mirror frames, chairs — and every ounce of those interlaced branches had absorbed the odor of the cat box.
Bossy was delighted when one day her boyfriend announced he wanted everything in his apartment to be either Black or White. Bossy wasn’t delighted by his rigid schemes which carried over into other areas of his life like, Will Only Wear Solid Color T-Shirts Without Logos, but Bossy was delighted that the piss wicker could be propelled out the second story window in the general direction of the dumpster.
So through the Ikea sliding doors Bossy and her boyfriend went that day in 1985, and hours later emerged with carton after carton of black and white pressboard that filled every inch of the Mercury Capri.
Bossy eventually broke up with that boyfriend, but her relationship with Ikea continued. Bossy’s experience with Ikea products reads like the glossary in the back of their catalogue. Bossy has purchased and built sofas and upholstered chairs and coffee tables and kitchen cabinets and hutches and bed frames, and she’s jammed hundreds of downy comforters into splashy duvet covers.
Bossy and her mother used to joke that they should stand in the Ikea parking lot and rent themselves out to people who needed expertise in putting the furniture together — and then someone started this very business and made millions of dollars while Bossy and her mother flogged themselves with bags of frozen Swedish meatballs.
Not to mention: if Bossy had a dollar for every Billy bookcase she has built, she’d still be very poor and maybe she wouldn’t have Carpal Tunnel syndrome, but you know what Bossy means.
She means she loves Ikea.
natalie saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 8:43 am
we just built some billy bookcases! we needed something for all those books we sent back from turkey. all those books that are still on a boat somewhere between there and here. there are 4 billy bookcases of various sizes and shelf widths in our loft just waiting to be filled. i love ikea!
Little Miss Sunshine State saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 8:49 am
I’ve got it! Ikea can sponsor the 2009 Bossy tour!
I’ve been to Ikea exactly once. Anxiety Attack. My daughter had to buy me an Ikeascream Cone on the way out.
Cathy D. saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:18 am
Amen, sister, although I am late to the IKEA party, and 150 miles away, I am a total convert.
Blog Princess G saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:20 am
I love IKEA too! My hands are still hurting from putting together this week’s purchase: two Expedit shelves.
MariaV saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:33 am
My home is decorated in early Ikea and I love it.
Gigi saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:42 am
Ikea is great! My only complaint is that I can’t get in and out of Ikea in less than three hours. Ikea= Black hole in the space/time continuum
kristin saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:49 am
I appear to be the only person under the age of thirty who lived on her own and has never been in an Ikea. I feel like I should go to one (never mind that I have NO IDEA where the closest one is) just to fit in. Then again, who wants to be ordinary?
Mandy saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:50 am
Do you believe I have never stepped foot in an Ikea. They just built one in Cincinnati and I pass it on my way to work.
I’m not sure I am ready for Ikea. I’m a looker and a browser. I may have to pack a lunch.
Jennifer saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:51 am
I used to live near an IKEA.
Now I don’t.
I am sad.
kerry saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 10:00 am
when we go to Ikea, it’s for hours. Hours.
Half Assed Kitchen saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 10:46 am
I like Ikea too. Almost as much as I like Target.
Cat saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 10:57 am
I’m have mixed IKEA feelings. On one hand, I’m constantly amazed at their engineering and design abilities, but on the other, I’m a little like LMSS in that I’m all anxiety attack because it is always so packed with people in there.
MarathonMom saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 11:11 am
IKEA gives me panic attacks because I feel like a rat in a maze. Problem with IKEA is that it’s hell to get their stuff home unless you drive a Hummer. And most 20 somethings graduating from piss wicker usually don’t…
Cheri @ Blog This Mom! saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 11:16 am
wendy saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 11:27 am
I’m going to Ikea this weekend. I “heart” Ikea. And Target. Tho the food is better at Ikea.
smaragdalge saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 11:30 am
How can you live with all these chemicals in your furniture, towels and more? Ikea means severe reductions in average wages and child labour and more – ever wondered why Ikea products are so cheap?
Kelly at The Glass Dragonfly saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 12:09 pm
I have never had the Ikea experience….except, well, via Trading Spaces and I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count.
Amy in NJ saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 12:10 pm
I grew up in your area and Ikea is my happy place! I used to live within 4 miles of that store and would go in on days when I felt meh and let the bright colors and cheerful lighting scheme lift my spirits. Now i live in NJ within 10 miles of a different Ikea and I still go there when I need a lift!
Amy in NJ saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm
Kristin: either Long Island or Brooklyn, but there’s always online ordering!
Bridget saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 12:17 pm
Every time I’m inside IKEA I want to kiss it with tongue. Which is probably why I’m not allowed to go there unsupervised anymore. IKEA does not take it lightly when you lick their furniture displays.
Liz C saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 12:19 pm
I moved near my first IKEA 10 years ago and can’t get out of there for under $500. I try to go only once a year. They will deliver within a certain radius, at least at my store, and if you’re buying lots of furniture it’s the best $75 you’ll ever spend.
Then you can invite Bossy over to assemble it for you! (I wish!)
And BTW, everything in the universe is made of chemicals. Go figure,
Maggie Garcia saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm
One of Nanny Garcia’s Favorite Things: the pink hair in the photo!! I ALWAYS want to do that, but my hair falls out if I even look at it funny.
dexter saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 1:05 pm
When Bossys ex boyfriend moved to Orlando, he made me go to Ikea and ship stuff to him. We were both thrilled when Ikea opened in FLA
KD @ A Bit Squirrelly saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 1:07 pm
That reminds me, I totally need to go to IKEA
Reeb saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm
If any Ikea-assembly-phile wants to come to Washington state for an assembly-athon, (enough with the oddly thrown together words, Reeb!) you could do it for a good cause beyond your personal living room. Ikea wonderfully donates scratch and dent cartons to NW Furniture Bank, which furnishes homes for people in my area who are starting out anew: coming out of abusive situations, the streets, etc. Very cool. http://www.nwfurniturebank.org/
Lisa saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm
Coastal Nest and her husband very nearly and ALMOST had to divorce after our first trip to said store. (Seattle, always packed, always)
He hates feeling like cattle going through the shoot. I believe PDub has a reference this week.
Self, however, loves it..althought its about 2 1/2 hours away.whaaaaa!
Cactus Petunia saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm
I used to travel almost 400 miles round trip to go to IKEA. My daughter and I would hop in the car at 7 am to get to the Seattle area when the store opened, and we wouldn’t get home till at least 10pm. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at IKEA.
I once drove up there on New Years Eve with a friend who was almost 9 months pregnant. She shopped me off my feet, and then went to a party when we got home.
Now we have one in Portland, where I can pop over for Swedish meatballs or 500 GLIMMA votive candles whenever I want.
The Domestic Goddess saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 2:07 pm
I heart IKEA. The husband does not Heart IKEA. But we HEART the IKEA swedish meatballs so we get to there lots and lots.
amy saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 2:09 pm
I love IKEA. When they opened the store two beltway exits away from me a couple years ago, I joked that I was going to have to set up direct deposit. From my employer straight to IKEA.
Maybe I’ll go there this afternoon.
Rochelle saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm
We’re finally, FINALLY, getting an Ikea in Colorado. I cannot wait until that glorious day.
Amanda saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 2:38 pm
My husband and I think nothing of driving 600 miles round trip to Chicago to do our shopping. In fact – we just finished our brand spanking new IKEA kitchen!!!! It was so worth it…. If only St. Louis would wake up and get our own IKEA.
Dee saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm
Note to Mandy – they have a restaraunt / cafeteria with pretty good food for cheap. No need to pack a lunch but you may want to bring a compass!!
Dee saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm
And a boy scout to help you use it!
jen saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 3:18 pm
Mandy, don’t pack a lunch! Get the lovely salmon plate at IKEA. Three kinds of salmon, a little salad, a big hard cracker-bread-thing AND this totally awesome lemon-dill dressing.
Maybe a pack of M&Ms for later. Cuz if you do the entire store in a day, you WILL get hungry again. Trust.
sugarpie saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm
Ikea is sort of like Madonna-I try not to go too often but when I do there’s usually something or other of interest. You may not want it around forever but an hour or two is okay.
Great lighting and dishes.
Our Ikea in Houston still has lots of Hurricane Ike damage to its exterior. If Ikea can’t get workers, how the hey are the rest of us supposed to recover?
KarenT saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm
My name is Karen and I am an IKEAholic. I was just there two week ago. I will go again soon. My problem is so bad that when I watch HGTV I can recognize all the IKEA products used (but I can’t name them, maybe there is hope).
Have you checked out the IKEA Hacker blog?
Raz saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm
IKEA has overtaken Britain. They’re everywhere. Which is brilliant for me, as if I put all my favourite things into a day, making flatpack furniture would be in there somewhere. There’s just something so satisfying about it… and it’s such good value! And it’s all Swedish!
Bush Babe saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm
Bush Babe thought she and Bossy were soulmates. She can now see the error of her ways.
BB HATES IKEA. Not so much all the wonderful things IN Ikea. Just being in Ikea with all those wonderful things. Too much stuff. Too many people. No exits in sight. Can’t breathe.
When Ikea finally goes online I will love Ikea. *crosses fingers and toes and prays like crazy*
Camille saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 5:56 pm
I had no idea IKEA had been around so long—I thought they were new-ish.
Side note: In Belgium (where I nannied), French speakers pronounce it “EE*kay*uh.”
Mr Farty saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 6:56 pm
I bet more people would visit IKEA if it wasn’t so crowded. No, wait…
Amber Lee saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm
I’ve never been to Ikea. I don’t know what Ikea is. It sounds fancy.
alana saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:10 pm
@Karen T. – thanks for pointing out the Ikea Hacker Blog…yet another thing to waste my time on as I will try to assemble at least one thing I see there.
@Amber Lee – IKEA, not fancy, but fancy-free!
And yes, I too am an IKEA-holic but sometimes get frustrated with the disposable nature of the furniture.
Helena saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 9:51 pm
Thank you, Bossy, for boosting the Swedish economy!
Do you like ABBA as well?
Emily saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 10:08 pm
Ikea is a VERY dangerous place for us. Back when we actually could spend money we’d drop at a couple hundred in there at the drop of a hat. So I do stay away except when absolutely necessary. That said, we bought a great mattress for my daughter last year as well as a very durable coffee table for only $75.
Bird on the Wire saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 10:57 pm
I WISH I had an Ikea in my country.. I’d be best friends with it…
Fairly Odd Mother saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 11:08 pm
I’m an Expedit bookcase gal myself; we have three already and I am contemplating a few more. When I say this, my husband groans, since he is the one assembling my little squares of heaven.
And, taking the kids to Ikea is like a field trip for them. By the time I get out of there, though, it’d be cheaper for me to have taken them on a real field trip, like to a museum or something.
Rikki saysJanuary 15, 2009 at 11:09 pm
Can Bossy (and Bossy’s friend Martha, who I see is clearly a fan) come to Illinois and help me redo my kitchen?
I’m serious…I need help. I will provide vats of wine and a nice comfy couch to sleep on! 🙂 Think about it…
kate saysJanuary 16, 2009 at 1:30 am
i knew that BOSSY was the yin to my yang. i have been to idea twice. in my whole entire life. and from ikea? i have purchased only rugs and stuffed animals. because some assembly required=intimidating as heck.
Say What? saysJanuary 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm
Mandy: I have been to the one in Cincy – you don’t need to pack a lunch – they have a cafeteria! You can get an IKEAlunch! Oh and if you need a guide, let me know – I need to make a trip over there in the near future.
I am with bossy on assembling the furniture. Can I join bossy and bossy’s mom in the meatball flogging? Then I will prepare said meatballs while you run inside for the lingonberry jam…
Maryjo saysJanuary 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm
The prices are great, yes, but I absolutely could not figure out how to put the pieces I purchased together. First of all the desk came with the wrong assembly instruction booklet, and I could not get the Billy shelf to stand up straight. They were for my daughter’s apartment at college. Literally crying with frustration I called my son and he said just leave it, he would come down and put them together. We downloaded the proper instruction booklet and he was able to get it done. She now has a great desk and bookcase for an unbelievable price, but the putting it together thing has kept me from ever venturing back. The fact that you considered doing that for a living makes me feel like a real idiot.
Reeb saysJanuary 16, 2009 at 8:50 pm
When I lived in Houston and worked about 1/4 mile from Ikea, I had a strategy for getting in and getting out without getting overwhelmed. I went in the back door. The “exit-only” door. Then I scooted the wrong way past the checkout counters (and nobody stopped me.) That put me in the land of Bins of Cool Little Things, which was my target. So I didn’t have to look at all the impossibly perfect room settings that they meander you through for the first 2/3 of the one-way route that is (or used to be) the Way of Ikea. I had the option of going at off-times, too, so it wasn’t claustrophobic for me. This flies in the face of spending a whole day there with your pal, but is effective if you simply want to just peruse and/or buy things.