Friday I went to the happiest place on earth: the Bodies exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
No, not that. Though Jason and I did venture out to see that controversial little display Friday evening. (More on that later.) No, the happiest place on earth (or at least my little corner of it) is the new Ikea store.
I was skeptical. I'm not much of a shopper. When I go into a store, any store, be it clothing, grocery, or even (I know I'm not a typical female) a shoe store, I just want to get in, find the specific thing I want, and get out. I don't browse. Much.
When I heard the news reports about people camping out and lining up a day in advance of the opening last month of the West Chester Ikea, I laughed. It's a furniture store, people! Why would you get that excited over the opportunity to roam a space the size of six football fields and spend hundreds of dollars? On furniture that you have to come home and put together? But now...I get it.
Imagine a store so big that you need to be handed a map when you walk in the door, packed full of attractive, incredibly affordable, and downright clever things for your home. Things you don't even know you need until you see them and say, "Where have you been all my life, twenty-dollar solid-wood shoe organizer?"
They have showrooms for every room in your house. Displaying everything you might need for that room, from large items to knick-knacks. And storage is the emphasis. If you live in a smallish house like we do, with available closets already stuffed, this is nirvana.
I was well-behaved, I am proud to say. I went with one thing in mind, some sort of small wooden storage unit to go on the dining room wall spot vacated by the potato-and-onion-bin of death. And on a final walk-through of the self-serve warehouse part of the store, the part where you actually load up with all the swell things you saw in the showrooms, I saw the perfect piece at a perfect price. Of course, it had to be assembled by the hubby, but he completed the project in the time it took him to consume one beer, so it wasn't too bad. Other than that one item, I restricted my purchases to a desk lamp for the kid and some eco-friendly bulbs. Though I do see another trip in my future.
And next time I think I am taking the kid. The kiddy-room showrooms were like playgrounds. They had a kids' loft bed with a kiddy-size built-in couch underneath it. Yes, a couch! I know!
Shopping may have just become fun.