Friday, May 16, 2008

What Happens When Daughters Become Their Mother's Mothers

A Fairy Tale Of Momentous Import

Once upon a time there was a country bumpkin who went to the city. When she arrived she gawked at the tall buildings that seemed to touch the sky and the high bridges that spanned the wide rivers. She was amazed at the Bart and marveled at the tram. She was so excited that she couldn’t contain herself. She burbled and squeaked her way through the day and generally annoyed the daughter who agreed to take her shopping. But most wondrous of all was the moment she hit the first floor of IKEA! Cue the harp music and turn up the lights, we are about to ascend to Nirvana.

Yes, dear ones I have learned that there is a place where all good housewives go when they seek their final reward and it is linens, dishware, and all things bright and shiny. It is back in the corner and around the large wall where only the most informed shoppers know to look for the best of all that the code of shopping has to offer the hunters and gatherers of today’s society. The second floor of the palace of all things do-it-yourself, is a wealth of ideas tapped by the home and garden shows but the first floor, ahhhhh, now that is heaven.

For example, have you ever wanted to find those short little curtain rods that turn on a hinge and look so cool with a narrow panel of curtain falling to the floor in puddles. Well IKEA has them! Yes, and they are not expensive. I was hyperventilating as my eyes took in all of the ways in which I could drape my newly painted living room in fabric supported by polished nickel hardware. Such dreams…such hopes…such good prices!

I was so excited I flitted like a butterfly down aisle after aisle with my giggling daughter trying to keep me contained. Our mother and daughter roles had suddenly reversed and my daughter/mother was trying to keep me from smearing glass ware with my sticky fingers and slobbering all over the flooring material that was only 69 cents a square foot. At one point she insisted I sit down because I was embarrassing her. I was embarrassing her?! But she was right, I needed to pace myself. I needed to regroup and make plans.

As I sat waiting for my mother/daughter to look in another direction, I pretended to act as if I had calmed down and was ready to be rewarded by being released from my time out. Just when she thought it was safe to remove her hand from my head and her eyes shifted away from mine, I was up and running for the thermal blankets, pillow, and shams. She couldn’t catch me. I was full of the joy of middle aged acquisition. My children are all out of the house and on their own and I no longer need to shop for countless pairs of socks and underwear for one of my little darlings. “I am free to shop for meeeeeeee”, was my heart felt song of glee. I wax poetic.

Finally, when I became too weak and dehydrated to run any longer, my daughter caught up with me and led me to the check out stand. I groused about how mean she was to take me away from the toy store of the big girls and under her breath she cursed me for those hours I spent on the mini-trampoline building up my physical stamina with which to face middle age. She slammed her credit card into the machine, paid for her purchases and as she made her way to the store exit, I trudged down heartedly behind her as she pushed the cart.

It was then I made my final IKEA discovery: YELLOW BAGS are not to be taken out of the store. Although IKEA gives you plastic tape measures and tiny pencils with little scraps of paper to take you through your shopping experience and back to your car, the best thing about the entire shopping experience was the YELLLOW BAG. It was made from Tyvec, the stuff builders use to wrap around buildings before siding is nailed up. Tyvec is tougher than anything and has the tensile strength of a space suit. The bags are bound with blue handles and I wanted the one I used for my first IKEA shopping experience. It was precious and I wanted to hang it on my wall right next to the puddling draperies.

I swear, the snippy chick who guards the exit to make sure that no one takes a bag out of the building must have read my mind! She swooped in on me, pointed at our cart with her long boney finger, and like some demon from Hades shouted, “These are only for use in the store”. I was crushed, mortified, broken, and annoyed.

But I will return. And I will shop without my daughter. I will take my grandchildren with me and I will feed them sugar and give them lots of the cinnamon roles that are sold at IKEA. They will create a distraction and I will get a YELLOW BAG. OOOOOHHHHAAAA! Turn down the lights Clyde the party is over... for now.


Val said...

Oh My!!!!!! This is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time! You must write a book!

Can I go to IKEA with you and the grandchildren? I would love to run amok, amok, amok with you!!!!

Loved, loved, loved this!

Misty said...

Hey Az,
Me and mom laughed so hard when we read this because your experience was just like me and mom's first time at IKEA! Mom even had Dave read it and he said hmmm does that sound like someone I know? We loved it. Keep writing because it is a gift you have!

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