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My Married Life: The Traditional Pilgrimage to IKEA

Today I went to IKEA. Making at least one trip to the Swedish mega-store is an unfortunate part of moving into a new apartment in NYC (even if you thought you already had everything). Fortunately, Holly had flagged the items she wanted me to pick up in the catalog. So instead of the two of us wasting an entire weekend day on it, I decided to bite the bullet and fly solo on a rainy weekday morning.

IKEA is set up to keep you there, wandering in circles until you’ve spent twice as long and three times as much money as you had originally intended. But I was determined to beat the game, so I gave myself one hour to get in and out.

I saw couples in every section I passed. It was always the same -- a poor schmuck leaning on the handle of his shopping cart, trying to keep it out of the way of other shoppers, as his wife or girlfriend slooooooowly considered her options. His eyes (when they met mine) would say, “Shoot me now.” The only exception? Couples that were actually fighting while shopping. I passed one angry thirtysomething guy just in time to hear him yell, “You see, Meredith! This is exactly what I was talking about!”  Meanwhile, Meredith was 15 feet away, calmly picking up a wicker basket, ignoring him completely.

My point? IKEA is no place for couples. I patted myself on the back for having the foresight to practice relationship preservation by going alone…and for making it back to my car in 55 minutes flat. Have you ever been subjected to this type of torture?

-- Jack

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