Thankful Thursday: Ikea

I don't even like to shop.

Still, last week I found myself trapped in the dizzy march of the Ikea maze. Sandwiched between screaming toddlers and dawdling adults is not my idea of a fun Saturday morning. Shopping in a concrete warehouse, under fluorescent lights, is really never a good time.

Except when it comes to paper and pens, I don't like a lot of choice. And Ikea, the behemoth of affordable housewares, offers choice after choice after choice. Smart design, clever ideas. And cheap! It's all too much. Saturated with sight and sound, I started snarling at youngsters (those who hadn't been plopped off at the kiddie corral) and glaring at shoppers who were inexplicably having fun.

When my husband not-so-gently asked if I had brought a book and pointed to an empty table in the cafe (Must everything involve food? I snapped), I jumped at the chance to escape the circus.

There, in the din of consumer overload, I wrote. Page after page in the loopy scrawl of the slightly mad. The rant turned inward eventually and slowed to a less charged pace. I wrote and wrote. Hours later, when the shopping was over and the car packed tight, I had written, rewritten, and polished a poem (one which had absolutely nothing to do with consumer waste, screaming children, clueless adults, or food court stench).

On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for Ikea — for driving me over the edge and into a poem.


It's Thankful Thursday, a weekly pause to appreciate the people, places, things (and poems) in our lives. Joy contracts and expands in proportion to our gratitude. What makes your world expand?