It was Labor Day weekend and the stars aligned so I could experience IKEA for the first time in my life. I can say without question it was the most diverse place that I’ve ever travelled to.

640 different languages were spoken on Saturday from the hours of 12 to 5 pm in that Swedish mirror maze. I spent 5 hours with people who frantically searched for an end table that would complete their lives. At 12:25 pm, I had a flashback to 1992; I was 8 years old. We had an above-ground pool growing up and we’d all walk in a circle in that freaking pool until the current was so thick that we could free-float in a majestic circle.

When the flashback ended, I was in Stoughton, MA getting swept upstream towards the kitchen department.

There were literal arrows on the floor pointing towards what I could only guess was some domesticated Promise-Land. It was like being on vacation in someone else’s home but you couldn’t sit down anywhere and there were so many strangers. It would have been OK if I could have sat down in one of those nice living rooms but Tonya and Bob were invisibly bumping me towards the checkout line. That wouldn’t have been so bad if I knew I was actually in the checkout line. I was an IKEA virgin and couldn’t understand the intricate system. We were snapping pictures of items and all I could think was BUT WHERE ARE THE ACTUAL BOXES? but I didn’t say it out loud because I didn’t want to be judged by the veterans.

The current dumped us off in a warehouse and I started to panic because we had no boxes and all I knew was I didn’t want to lose my spot in whatever line we were in. It was Lord of the Flies and I was in no position to lead.

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I find myself in these situations a lot with my fiancé and I’m not sure what it all means.

My first and only time to DisneyLand was with her and it was Christmas vacation the day after the Rose Bowl. ABSOLUTE MADNESS. I read on Google that it was one of the busiest days ever. Total ride time was 21 minutes. Total wait time was 6 hours. The boat in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride broke down a little bit and I felt so happy that I was getting some extra seat-time.

I digress.

So we’re in the IKEA line and my calculations tell me the wait-time is approximately 3-5 business days. It was real pandamonium in there and a brilliant business strategy from the Suedes. Make everyone feel like it’s a life or death situation. I remember holding onto the carriage so tightly because I didn’t want to go back upstream, down the elevator, up the elevator, back through the stream and possibly miss the opportunity to find a box containing 45 pieces of our dream dresser. I was so scared that I threw in a few dish sponges (the ones that suction to the sink) just to feel like it was all worth something.

I turned to Adriana and told her I’d go on the run for the mystery boxes but just before I made my Supermarket Sweep dash, fucking Tiffany cuts us in line. I snapped a photo of her because she deserves to be shamed.

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If you know who this woman is, please call me.

Tiffany and her mom-jeans won this one but I was determined to at least come away with the TV stand of our dreams: one that measured exactly 50 inches wide and 14 inches deep. I zigged and zagged through the crowd, checked the aisle number for a match, and what the hell!

The whole compartment was empty! The busiest weekend of the year and they can’t even keep the shelves stocked! Some lady who thought she was being nice told me–and I’m not making this up–

“you can check online to see if it’s in stock.”

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I looked for some arrows on the floor that would direct me out of the situation and none were found.

We left that IKEA with 20% of our list and 80% less of our souls.

Never again.