Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sunny with a chance of meatballs

I know that I've mentioned on more than one occasion that one of my son's favorite foods are meatballs, haven't I? And not just any old meatballs, this kid loves meatballs exclusively from IKEA. Forget those ordinary Italian-style meatballs that you can pick up at any grocery store - they just don't cut it around here. You wouldn't know it to look at him, but this kid is one-eighth Swedish, and has the meatball preference to prove his ancestry.

A few years back I was absolutely horrified to find him sneaking and eating these meatballs straight from the freezer - at least until I realized they were pre-cooked.

Then, I didn't care so much.

What can I say? Isn't it my job as a parent to teach self-reliance? And, who knows, maybe he was teething or something.

Anyhow, Noah has been sadly disappointed for some time now because we just plain ran out of meatballs a few months back and I just couldn't justify driving the 70 miles round trip to purchase a couple of bags of frozen, pre-shaped meat.

That, and I'm a little scared of getting sucked once again into the enormous maze of cool stuff that IKEA has upstairs in its showroom. You know how you walk around that place and see all the amazing ways things are set up and used? I walk into that and pretty soon I find myself thinking:

"Hey, maybe boxy, modern looking furniture is actually pretty cool!"

"Whoa! Wouldn't it be awesome if my kitchen was this sleek and organized?"

Pretty soon I'm writing down aisle and bin numbers of pieces of furniture with names I can't pronounce on a little scrap of paper with a tiny pencil, completely confident my home will soon be as clutter-free and chic as the display room at IKEA.

It takes about 45 minutes of me aimlessly wandering through the store before the panic kicks in.

Yes, actual panic. I swear, the room begins to spin. My heart starts beating faster and I break out in a cold sweat.

Noises become louder. Lights become brighter.




The realization hits me that I am nothing but a lab rat in a giant, decorated labyrinth.

Okay, I can see you're thinking,

Hello? Why can't you just follow the signs and leave the place like a normal person?

Yeah, you'd think that, which is a little judgemental of you, by the way, don't you think?

Because in that moment, I'm like a contestant on The Amazing Race. I'm in such a disoriented panic, I can't read a sign to save my life.

And I'm still a little distracted by all the cool displays.

Seriously, this plastic bag dispenser thingie they sell is pretty freakin' brilliant...

and at just $1.99, it's a smart buy as well!

And once I finally make it through the showroom down the stairs (or elevator, but I'm usually too woozy for the elevator at this point) and barrel my way through the kitchenwares and linens and ugly rugs (dude, what is up with all those ugly rugs?!) and plow past the candles and plants and finally emerge into the open air of the actual stock room itself, I find that I've usually lost that little slip of paper telling me just which aisle I needed to go to find the items I wanted to buy to spruce up my house. And if I DO still have the paper, I usually can't read my hastily scrawled numbers, or once I reach the proper aisle and bin number, I find that the item I want is out of stock, or only available in the one color I absolutely don't want, or is located on a high shelf, and there's not an employee who gives a darn about that within a half mile radius.

I've shed actual tears of frustration at IKEA. More than once.

That's why I don't go there very often anymore.

And because our home has sort of reached its maximum capacity of modular bookshelves.

And I really hate to dust.

But I still really like putting all those shelves and things together, despite their crazy directions, or lack of directions, really.

Yes, seriously. If you need help, you should totally call me. I'm kind of a pro by now.

It's probably due to the fact that I happen to be one quarter Swedish myself...

But back to the meatballs.

Isn't this funny?

Noah's persistence once again paid off because last night we scheduled our dinner and shopping plans around the Tempe area just so we could quickly stop in IKEA and stock up on meatballs.

Doesn't he look happy?! This kid is in meatball heaven!

And we totally scored, because when you bought a certain amount in the bistro section of IKEA you got a free t-shirt!

We're only sad it didn't come in Noah's size.


Maureen said...

I am sure if he keeps eating those meatballs it will eventually fit.

Raejean said...

You crack me up! I love IKEA, but I always leave wondering why I can't get my house to look cute.

The Natrix said...

You are just so freaking talented at blogging that it kills me. Thanks for making me laugh sweetie!

Matthew Taylor said...

When IKEA moved into Utah a few years ago, I vowed never to step foot inside. I've kept that vow, even when Nancy wanted a gift card there last Christmas.

Guess what? You can't get them online, only in the store. Huge dilemma...

She ended up getting the IKEA logo printed on card stock cut down to the size of a credit card, with money paper-clipped to it.

Natalie said...

Matthew, why are you such an anti-IKEA-ite? I'm pretty sure it's not a cult or anything. ;) Come on over to the blue and yellow side...

Ahlquist Family said...

Way too funny! I could totally relate the whole time I was reading this!!

MamaBug said...

You so make me laugh! I've only been to the IKEA here a couple of times. It definitely has that "there's a minotaur here somewhere" feel to it. I love to look at everything though. And, the one time I ate there, it was pretty good.