Hello, readers! And a very special hello to my grandson. It’s his birthday today! Happy birthday, Max. (Confidential to Max: Even though you say all your new friends call you “M-Fixie”, I will still call you Max, since that’s what I’ve always called you). We’ll be celebrating tomorrow night–due to some family members who won’t adjust their personal schedules–with a very nice family dinner at The Olive Garden®. But earlier today, I took Max out shopping to pick out his birthday gift.
Originally, I offered to buy him a new bicycle, since he’s been riding a beat-up old bicycle with only one gear! A nice ten or twelve-speed isn’t that expensive, and I told Max that I would get him one, but he said he didn’t want one. Poor kid is probably too embarrassed…he must’ve sold the beautiful ten-speed Huffy that his mother bought him for his 15th birthday for rent money. It’s expensive living in the city, especially when you’re trying to make a living as a graphic designer and glass-blowing artisan like he is.
Anyhow, what Max wanted for his birthday was some furniture for his apartment. Two of his roommates took all their furniture with them when they moved out, and apparently the two replacement roommates didn’t have anything to “bring to the table” in the way of furniture. Well, I was all set to take Max over to the furniture department at Macy’s, but he wanted to go to I.K.E.A. So I pulled myself away from my computer, gassed up the van, and pointed it in the direction of I.K.E.A. I’m thinking of getting an I-Phone to keep up with this column while I’m away from my computer. What do you think? Have you heard anything about it from anyone who has one?
Now the best part of spending the afternoon at I.K.E.A. was the food. I had a platter of meatballs with sauce, and Max had a salmon fillet. It was cafeteria style, but it tasted fine and was reasonably priced. As for the rest of I.K.E.A.–well, the top floor has a bunch of furniture on display, but you can’t buy any of that. No, when you go downstairs, it’s a huge warehouse. That’s why, back when you’re still upstairs, you write the letter and number of everything you like on a card, so when you get downstairs, you can find which aisle it’s in. And none of it’s put together: You have to build it yourself! It’s almost like Communist Russia used to be, but more bountiful.
I’m going to go on the record here: I just don’t think that that store’s going to last. They don’t even bother to translate the Scandinavian names of their products into English! I can’t imagine that there are many people in the U.S. who are fluent in Scandinavian. At least Max seemed happy with his presents, and that’s what counts. And luckily for you, you have just read my thoughts on I.K.E.A. and can make an educated decision for yourself whether to make the trip. The internet: What did we do without it? ;)
Until next time!