Last weekend, Shawna and I went shopping for a rug to go with our brand new tile (Author’s Note-Ha!Â We have new tile!).Â Anyway, we had a great system picked out for our rug selection, namely that Shawna would pick something out, and I would pay for half of it (Author’s Note-Shawna will deny this, but that’s because she is a liar.Â Just ask her.Â She’ll deny that she’s a liar, as well.Â Proves my point, don’t it?).
Back on topic, we searched several stores and quickly decided Austin is a terrible place to shop for rugs.Â Luckily, we remembered the new IKEA store that had recently opened in Round Rock.Â After agreeing that shopping there would not make us yuppy scum, we hit the highway and headed to the store.
I should mention at this point that I can get claustrophobic.Â It’s not crippling or anything, but I despise crowds, elevators (unless they’re empty), and most closed in spaces.Â Most times, this condition is completely under control.Â Other times, it will cause a freak out.
Like last weekend at IKEA.
Returning to our little cautionary tale, we found the IKEA store easily.Â You can probably see the fucking thing from space, so spotting it from I-35 wasn’t such a challenge.Â We navigated the sprawling parking lot with ease and within moments found ourselves inside the store itself.
And the problems started.
See, the IKEA store must have been designed by Nazi scientists or something.Â Instead off being laid out like, I dunno, a department store, it’s laid out like a reasonably priced and vaguely chic in a really contrived way museum exhibit.Â One path winds its way through the roughly 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 square foot space.Â Travelling through the bedrooms will take you to the living rooms, past the office chairs and toward the bookshelves.Â Any attempts at a short cut lead you into a trap, like the Living in 379 Square Feet display (Author’s Note-Apparently, you can fit a lot of IKEA stuff in there, as well as fourteen cub scouts, seven politicians, and a baby elephant.).
After about thirty minutes of winding down the IKEA path, we didn’t appear to be any closer to the exit.Â We’d already discovered that IKEA ain’t exact Rug Central, and we just wanted to go home.Â Every turn, however, just took us deeper into Satan’s own furniture outlet.Â Soon, I was sweating, shaking, and blinking hard in an effort to fight back approaching tears.Â Everything was closing in on me, all shiny chrome and pastels.Â I have seen Hell, ladies and gents, and it looks like cheap Swiss furniture.
So, I’m starting to walk through the store faster and faster, my breath coming in gasps and chokes.Â Once or twice I stop and comment on something while I attempt to calm down, gain my bearings, and search for escape.Â Shawna probably thought I was crazy for going ga-ga over the cutting board display, but I was desperate at the time.
As things grow worse and worse, I consider punching an IKEA employee.Â Surely security will then escort me outside, probably in stylish handcuffs that are available in the kink section.Â Why it never occured to me to simply ask one of them toÂ lead me outside is beyond me.Â I can only imagine I was beyond the bounds of rational thought.
Then Shawna pointed at a sign.Â “Look, another shortcut.”
I started to cry a little then.Â I couldn’t take another tease of freedom.Â It was just too mean.
Then I saw another sign.
I nearly ripped Shawna’s arm out of the socket as I charged through.Â Magically, we were back at the front of the store, staring at the glass doors.Â I saw actual sunlight.Â The parking lot looked like Heaven.
Shawna led me into the sunny afternoon, and we put IKEA behind us.
There is a moral to this story.Â What is it, you ask?