Sometimes a couch is just a couch. Other times, it is inspiration.
One of the major themes of our time in Atlanta, besides cancer and traffic, has been IKEA. When we moved here last July we had no furniture. And I don’t mean “no furniture” like how Jaimie says she has “no clothes” even though she has enough to fill 12 closets. We had “no furniture” as in “I hope you don’t like sitting.”
So on our very first day in the ATL, that’s where we went. Jaime was thrilled. She was like, “Yay! We get to eat at IKEA!” I was like, “I don’t want to have lunch at IKEA,” to which she replied, “That’s too bad because we’re having lunch and dinner at IKEA.”
IKEA might be Jaimie’s favorite restaurant. Right behind Zaxby’s, Panera, and Spring Roll on the corner of King and Calhoun Street in Charleston. At first I rolled my eyes at this little quirk of hers, but now I have a different view. I love that she loves eating at IKEA because it is insanely cheap. Which is good because cancer tends to not only thin out your hair but your bank account as well.
So our first day in Atlanta we got to IKEA at like 11am and didn’t leave until about 3 in the morning. We spent roughly $2,000. I spent the next week of my life screwing together Addes and Henriksdals and Vardes. By the time we were through I was so delirious I would have supported Trump’s travel ban if it included Swedes. “You and your Melltorps go back to where you came from!”
My view on the store has softened. I like my Holmsund couch. I think my Arkelstorp coffee table ties my living room together. Since that first trip we’ve been back about 10 times, and now every time I’m there I just feel this overwhelming urge to nest.
Which brings us to this Saturday night.
I had rehearsal that afternoon and the theatre was right next to IKEA. I texted Jaimie that we should go there for dinner. She was beyond excited and looked beautiful. She had smoky eyes and a yellow dress. I thought about how lucky I was as we we grabbed our cafeteria style tray and headed for the meatballs.
After dinner we walked around the store. There among the cabinets with little drawers inside them, we started talking about life. The future. What we wanted. Where we wanted to do it.
My whole life I’ve been chasing things. People, places, jobs. For the first time I was hit with this overwhelming urge to stop and build.
Maybe it was the cancer.
Maybe it was the lingonberry sauce.
Maybe it was that I feel like I’ve lost control and want to take it back.
We held hands as we walked through the kitchen displays and the living room sets. Dreaming of a future this disease wants to take. I felt more determined than ever to beat it.
Thank you Extorp sectional sofa.