So Thursday last, I ventured into Ikea for the very first time. It just opened the day before, so the excitement and buzz about it was still strong. My wife, no stranger to Ikea (she's visited others), was making her second trip in as many days. Many people had told me it was not a store, but an experience. Now I understand. For the three other people in the entire world who haven't been in one, and to get this out of my head, let me share my thoughts.
My wife, bless her heart, wanted so much to prepare me for this. I did not wish to have my visit tainted with any fore-knowledge. I wanted to jump in blindly and immerse myself without a clue. She allowed me this to start. Within 15 seconds upon entering, I turned to my knowing partner (smiling like the Cheshire Cat) and said, "What the hell!?!" She knows I am really a big-picture guy and this was not going to be any fun if she did not give me the lay of the land. And even with her apt description, I was still befuddled. She told me it was like a maze. First you see how the products look in the top floor showrooms, write down what you want, then the bottom floor you pick it up. This was helpful to a point. But here is how I describe it.
You are one of the Israelites freed from the slavery of Egypt. You and the hundreds (thousands, even) of others are on your trek through the wilderness to the promised land. At first, you are not sure you want to go. Then the Red Sea parts (doors open) and you feel like this will be a great journey! You then begin your 40-year trek of meandering through the wilderness. Some complain that they really didn't want to leave their homes (mostly guys). Some complain they are tired and must rest a spell (mostly kids). But almost all complain they are hungry. Never fear; God has provided manna. Halfway through your visit is a restaurant. Still more meandering. Then there is more meandering. Still more complaining, but no more places to rest. Then finally you spy the promised land (checkout). But first, all the items you wrote down must be found. After some recon work (the Israelites sent out spies, too.), all items are aquired and you have finally made it through.
Now if all that stuff will fit on the camel, you are good to go!