Lights Camera English!

Take 20: Trip to IKEA

I love IKEA. It’s like a fairground for adults.

I love wandering around the spaces they create. Especially the tiny ones. It’s like walking through one of their magazines.

I’m always amazed by how much they can get in there. They can turn 25m² into a family paradise. I could quite happily live in one of those. I mean, I imagine it would feel smaller when they added the missing walls. But I guess it would be more private without all those people wandering through 🙂

I love all the little stickers that say “open me” on cupboards. They contain all sorts of everyday stuff that somehow feels special because it’s so neat and tidy. I always feel compelled to touch every table, move every chair, open every drawer, feel the softness of every cushion, and check that the shower curtain does actually slide along the shower curtain rail. I’m always disappointed to find that the TV doesn’t turn on and the faux toilet doesn’t flush, but I still get a lovely warm feeling of comfort as I saunter into the various different living rooms that the Abbeys in parallel universes are living in.

I feel like Alice in Wonderland exploring the worm hole.

But tell me; how many people do you know actually live in a perfect little corner of IKEA? Who do you know keeps everything on picture-perfect display? And then puts all the things that aren’t perfect in little boxes and baskets lining the walls from floor to ceiling? Whose immaculate set of cooking utensils sit majestically against a pristine backdrop of colourful tiles? And who, I mean, WHO needs that many compartments in their sock drawer? And where are you supposed to put all those cushions when you want to go to bed?

IKEA doesn’t sell furniture. It sells a little dream; the perfect home (that somehow always seems to smell of gingerbread). It isn’t really about real life, it’s all just a lovely illusion. Another dream for us all to chase. And we chase it. Right after some strangely delicious lunch, we all head downstairs into the madhouse to consume what we hope will bring us a little closer to home perfection. And in some ways, it does.

I guess it would be better to meditate on the idea that home is in our hearts and the furniture we surround ourselves with doesn’t reflect us as people…

…but where’s the fun in that?

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