Shaken to decor

Lezlie Lowe remembers, hates and adores Ikea.

You love Ikea.

You totally do, because if you don't, you have no taste and you know it. You're tacky. You lack all sense of design, and probably, you own a beige floral print sofa with a pleated dust ruffle along the bottom. You do, don't you? I knew it.

If you love Ikea—and most of you, I'm sure, do, because clearly you are folks of refinement and discrimination—you are on the tip, my friends. You crave order and elegance and a spot of jazziness in just the right place. You are Stylish. Yup, capital S.

And you are salivating like a dog, waiting for Ikea to open in Halifax. You even joined that Facebook group, "Bring IKEA to Halifax, NS," didn't you?

And it's because you dig versatile home furnishings (futon, anyone? sheepskin rug/blanket/accent piece?) and you are Euro. So so Euro. Not hairy-armpit Euro, though. Not grimy air and dog-poop-in-the-streets Euro. No. You are Ikea Euro. Clean and comfortable and tidy Euro. You are Scandinavian. Organized and neutral. Oh, wait, that's Switzerland. Anyway, whatever. Who cares? You're so workin' it with your Euro ways.

So I hate to drop a bomb here (uh, jeez, that definitely doesn't sound neutral), but has it occurred to you that Ikea is just one big, monstro-sized dollar store?

I realize that the need to get Ikea back to HRM (yes, yes, there was a store in Burnside in the '80s; it had a heartily disappointing kitchenwares section that was mostly woks and camping cutlery) is the single galvanizing movement for the under-40 set in this city. But for Pete's sake, people. It's BiWay. Only bigger.

Swedes, I'm sure, are mocking us. Because, I mean, they'd have to laugh so they didn't break down and cry over the entire world imagining them actually living with all that disposable Ikea furniture, in a pressboard paradise, Allen keys and mini-pencils and paper measuring tapes filling their tidy Swedish toolboxes. Ikea to Swedes must be like Anne of Green Gables to Prince Edward Islanders, or Wal-Mart to the entire American nation.

And speaking of that giant of corporate commercial evil, Ikea practically out-Wal-Marts Wal-Mart. You'd better wipe up that lingonberry syrup soda you just sprayed all over the floor and think about it. Ikea's goods cost less because the company buys in bulk (they plaster the news on well-designed posters all over their designer-beige aircraft carrier-sized stores). There are no windows in Ikea. There is one exit and it's the same place you enter. And good goddamn luck finding it once you get in. You practically don't have to leave anyway. You can toss your kids in the ballroom, find the "restaurant" and buy all the cheap meatballs god ever wanted you to devour. You'd never dream of eating meat-anything at the Zellers cafe. But Ikea pastes on the adjective "Swedish" and you plop down and gorge yourself.

And you'll do the same with the pillows and bookcases and lamps too, when Ikea makes its triumphant return to HRM. Because eventually it has to. And it will be a stampede for Grack and Frack, Benno and Vistofta and Luftig Hoo. (I bet you can't even figure out which of those names I made up, can you?)

The line-ups. I can see them forming already. And, duh, yes, I'll be there too, breaking all my rules about big-box worship and stomping on my self-righteousness about the evils of disposable culture. Why? The same reason I'm sitting here at this minute, waiting for the 2008 Ikea catalogue to thump its glorious way through my mail slot.

Because it all looks so goddamn gooooooood.

Send your lingonberry recipes and fake Swedish words to

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