Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Furniture Shopping: Then and Now

We went to Ikea over the weekend to get some new furniture. I thought it was interesting how different furniture shopping is now compared to when I was a boy.

A long time ago, there were 2 things that I hated the most: furniture shopping and plant shopping. And it seemed like we did both of these things every weekend for as long as I was a kid. When we went furniture shopping, we went to Levitz, and it was B-O-R-I-N-G! First of all, the whole place was a big boring warehouse. First, we'd look at a bunch of boring couches. Then we'd look at some boring beds. Then maybe some boring tables. Then back to the boring couches. Not. Fun. At. All.

Compare this to the boys' experience at Ikea. First, we check them into this play area. There's a big ball pit that they can jump in. There's things to climb on, including the world's biggest wooden shoe. There's a coloring station. There's a movie (with couches!). And the coloring station was right by the movie, so you could color AND watch a movie. When Mrs. BigKat picked them up, she knew immediately that they had a great time running around because LilKat2 was drenched in sweat. After playing, they got to eat lunch at a cafeteria. LilKat1 got macaroni and cheese, and LilKat2 got a PB&J with a fruit cup. They both even got their own orange juices. And the best part was that they got to sit at a table right next to the window. The Portland Ikea is right next door to the Portland airport, so they got to see big huge jets fly overhead every few minutes. How cool is that? Oh yeah, they also got chocolate cake.

You want to know the highlight of all my trips to the furniture store? One time, my parents let me get a candy bar from the vending machine (yay...). I didn't know what to get, so I got a Big Hunk. I didn't know what a Big Hunk was, but it had a brown wrapper, which is the universal sign for chocolate. How could I go wrong?
Well, if you've ever had a Big Hunk, you already know that it may as well have been called a Big Mistake or maybe even a Big Lie, because there is no chocolate involved in it at all. Just a big pile of chewy (and not just gummy bear chewy or even salt water taffy chewy, but more like steel belted radial chewy). Now, I'm not positive that this next part actually happened, but I have this vague memory of 'losing' the Big Hunk somewhere in a boring couch (which in all honesty, was a smart call by me because if my parents had found out that they bought me a candy bar and didn't like it, it would've drastically reduced the likelihood of future vending machine purchases...but again, I'm still not sure I actually did this. Although, My Friend Who Lies (MFWL) seems to believe that I did. Not that he was there or anything, he just likes to think the worst of me).

But I'm not bitter about any of this. Really! I very much appreciate the ability to do furniture shopping without having to drag around bored, complainy kids. Maybe we'll just start going here instead of to the zoo.

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