We knew that heading out to the brand spakin' new IKEA three days after it opened would be a fairly popular idea, but HOLY SWEDISH MEATBALLS.
About three exits early on the Interstate large flashing signs indicated what lanes IKEA traffic should be in. I sort of thought this was amusing as traffic was zipping along at a regular jackass pace, but then we reached the actual exit and I realized it was no joke. The entirety of the Centennial police force was out, hating their lives and using orange cone glow sticks to bat away their dignity.
Like, seriously; every five feet or so there was another cop decked out in a fetching hot yellow vest with sweat pouring down their face. Or tears. Because really? This is what they joined the force for?
One of the things I've realized in Denver is that when a place is popular or receives a good review in one of the local magazines, it still remains accessible. Snooze notwithstanding.
When I lived in Manhattan should your favorite local sushi place get written up in Time Out or worse, the Times? Forget about it. There's no point in trying. Or, good God, when JCPenney's opened in Herald Square? Oy. That was even worse because it wasn't even just the curious literate faction mobbing the place, it was anyone with eyes.
So, I was a little surprised when we were ushered through a series of traffic cone gauntlets only to watch the behemoth store pass on our right even though all the signs suggested parking was that way. As in, the direction where there is no blue and gold warehouse blotting out the horizon.
We ended up getting spit out back on the main road. Confused, Irreverand Husband and I thought that we'd just been had. Were all the parking lots full?
As we passed cars w/ Missouri and Montana license plates, making me wonder if people had really trekked that far just to visit IKEA, we momentarily thought this was more than we bargained for and we should just head home... but the promise of cheap furniture whose assembly will no doubt test the strength of our marriage was too strong.
We finally found a spot in an office building lot that was whoring itself out for the weekend. Score.
I've seen a lot of mobs in my life; that time I was accidentally in Times Square when Puerto Rico declared it's independence... or wait, that can't be right... I don't know, something happened that was monumental and there were gobs and gobs of humans just spilling out into the streets wearing flags like capes, or when I was at Cedar Point the day the Millennium Force first opened, or when Justin Timberlake was allegedly spotted at Hershey Park the day it was teeming with *NSYNC fans waiting for the concert.
That was all nothing, mere handfuls of interested parties gathering, compared to all the greater Denver-ites who've been poised for this, ready to pounce for over a year, victims of the clever advertising barrage promising an amalgamation of affordable housewares.
In the warehouse's shadow there's a (now) small furniture store, with an inventory consuming merely half the strip mall, ironically called "WOW!"
People streamed past it as the blue and yellow steel testament to human consumerism loomed large. Pilgrims in the quest of promised salvation from the bitter worlds of Pottery Barn and Pier One.
And... we were no different. We recently bought a town house (oh yeah, update! I'm a homeowner!)(I have a mother fucking mortgage!)(Yes, as in MORTGAGE) and have left all 24 boxes of books we moved unopened with the sole intent of waiting for the local vernacular to hum with silly Swedish consonants.
It is now three weeks after the fact and as I sit here listening to my husband and father-in-law's curses and damnations punctuating eerily dentist-like drill noises I still believe it was all really worth it.
I'm getting closer to my dream of having a Beauty and The Beast library...
one Billy bookcase at a time.