With the back of the van empty we head to IKEA for a nice Sunday’s drive.

I have done this so many a time, tooling around all the loveliness * sighing * and * groaning * (in the most innocent sense of the word) at all the tidy kitchens.

This time is different.

First of all, we are in and out since Mr. C is in tow.

Secondly, we are actually kitchen-remodel people. You know when you see that couple—those empty nesters—with those cutey-little rimmed glasses giving labels half a glance as the husband leans in saying, “what do you like best honey?”

Or worse, that young couple. Too young adorable couple. She, sporting a slight resemblance of a baby bump, rocking a pair of hot mama maternity jeans. And he. I don’t recall he exactly but she is definitely with him.

Picking out her dream kitchen to feed her baby pureed peas in. Oh; but I ask, has she earned it?? Has she suffered, has she longed for this long enough??

That was us!

Well, somewhere between the two.

Which type of wood?

Dark and earthy oak, light and fresh beech, or a bit of a yellow pop with the BIRCH….?

We stand in that isle side-by-side with every bit of our 16 years and 3 quarters of marriage underfoot and agree.

We simply agree on the BIRCH. That’s it.

I skip to the kind worker and pronounce the good news. In a congratulatory tone she confirms our wise choice and starts our BIRCH order.

There is a pause and her tone takes a turn—something terrible comes out of her mouth.

“We do not have any birch in stock…. [click, click, enter, space ] Nor in the warehouse.”

But… but…

“…let me check Chicago….”

“Oh, they ship from Chicago??? How much would—”

“No, you’d have to drive there. But hey, it’s Superbowl Sunday, you’d have no traffic.”

My brain: “I am going to ask Ken to drive to Chicago!!!!????? I am going to drive to Chicago???”

I murmur; beech is fine….I guess.

The man who stood for us walks by, “wait for what you want…. or you’ll regret it.”
[He is trying to uphold us to the vows we had just made—a very touching moment actually.]

My brain: Don’t you think I know that?? Who asked you??? Mind your own business!!! Man!!!

I say, “thanks friend (I never did catch our witnesses name), I hear you. I know that would be most ideal…”

Sinking into my shoulders I reach for the closest sturdy butcher block surface and grab on while I take this all in for a bit.

This is really happening.

How naive I was to just think I could walk down that isle all nilly-willy and get what I want today.

“Oh, when I said we didn’t have that in stock, I meant the 4 foot section, you could pay $20.00 more and get a 6 foot piece for that section.”

Rapid brain wave: WHAT THE -*-%-???

Yes, we would like very much so to do that as in right now.
We will take it.

All of it.
Do whatever you have to do to get us the BIRCH right now.

It is ours. I see others looking at it. Please mam, hurry.
I like the BIRCH.

That little BIRCHzilla moment ends up being a blessing.

I guess I don’t just like the BIRCH.

I love.


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  1. Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh good Lord Ms. IKEA lady – the heart failure, the emotional roller coaster!! Thank the heavens for the 6 foot piece of saving grace!

    (Although a trip to Chicago does sound fun…)

    P.S. I love it too!!

  2. Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I laughed so hard….and wiggling in my seat “Oh! I’ll go to Chicago!” …. can’t wait to see the BIRCH!

  3. Emily Haataja
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I realize now that a road trip could of been it’s own blessing! With pals!! Ah man!

    (and Mr. C?? Oh boy.)

    In the isle at IKEA that option just was not crossing my mind. I need to get some tung oil on these babies before install (unless we want to live in basement 4ever??)

    4ever is an exaggeration. I know.

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