Yesterday, Joe and I had to go to Ikea. It wasn’t for the best reason, unfortunately — our janky washer ate one of our sheets, and we wanted to get a matching replacement. However, instead of getting bummed out about having to run an extra errand, we decided to partake in one of our favourite couples activities: IKEA dates!
“But wait,” you say, “IKEA is just a housewares store. Aren’t you just going shopping like a normal person?”
No, my friend. IKEA dates are a little more involved than a quick trip into a furniture outlet. In our version, at least, you go through the entire store: the showroom, the marketplace, and the restaurant. And you look at and comment on basically everything. You know, when I write it down, it sounds really, really boring. But it’s not. At least, I don’t think so. Why do I like it, anyway?
Start off strong with some food
This is actually a new part of the IKEA tradition for both of us. In fact, until recently, I had no idea that eating at IKEA was popular. But now Joe’s hooked on that cider, so it’s a requirement! Everything is reasonably priced (of course), though there’s nothing I’m consistently super pumped to have there. I’m still prone to grabbing a Tim’s coffee on the way over.
Products that fit my early-twenties lifestyle
When it comes to housewares at this point in my life, the budget is small and the bar is set pretty low. In that sense, IKEA suits me perfectly. In fact, Joe and I bought (and put together, thank you very much) a FJELL bed frame a few weeks ago, which was in the six hundred dollar range. We felt very fancy. It has under-bed storage and a real headboard and everything! Then we looked at the prices of bed frames at your typical furniture store and almost had a heart attack. Suffice to say, we’re happy with our new bed for the foreseeable future.
I also love that the products are very easily grouped together, both by name/product line and by colour. Honestly, finding a matching wood veneer is the limit of my interior decorating capabilities. And that’s okay with me.
So why is this date-worthy? Well, it’s a nice feeling to be able to say to your partner, “I like this. It matches our budget and our other furniture.” So those times when you’re at IKEA because you actually have to buy something, it saves you some stress.
Making it fun
I find that IKEA is a lot more fun when not spending the entire time “on a mission”. If you take the time to notice the little things in the store, I think you’ll find a lot of little things rather funny. This is the true joy of IKEA dates. Here are some of the things we pointed out today:
Of course, you had to be there to find most of this funny. But that’s the point!
Speaking of making IKEA dates fun… have you seen the IKEA puns video on YouTube? Here, watch this. I’ll wait.
This is the kinda thing I’m talking about.
Sure, we can’t afford to buy a massive TV storage cabinet or redo our kitchen (or even own our kitchen in the first place). But it’s nice to be able to point out your likes and dislikes, even when the actual purchases or renovations are years away. To be fair, we’re one of those weird couples without an aversion to talking about the future. And since I’m pretty goal-oriented, it’s nice to have an idea of where I’m going so I know how I’m going to get there, and so I have something to look forward to.
So what did we accomplish on our IKEA date today? We got the sheets we were after, a couple of picture frames (to maybe, finally frame our diplomas?), and a toiletry bag for our vacation this coming Friday (post on that forthcoming!).
Are you a fan of IKEA dates? How do you make the most of the mundane?