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Ikea. The end.

By Melinda Mawdsley

Near Park Meadows Mall sits one store seemingly taller than the rest. It has its own road signs and parking garage because it’s, it's special.

Ikea. Say it with me. I-Key-Uh.

Rachel and I recently went to Colorado Springs for several days of work training. We learned a lot; it was a great weekend of informative workshops, la, la, la.

THEN WE DROVE TO DENVER AND WENT TO IKEA!

We both love Ikea. I think it’s the sheer size of the place, with its huge parking garage, directional arrows around the showroom and weird Swedish words for everything.

It’s not a shopping trip. It’s more like an adventure, where buying stuff is nowhere near as fun as looking.

I actually was there for four, small white plates. Rachel was there for, actually, what were you there for, Rachel?

Rachel: Um, Flugelflags? Skjorns? I had vague notions about replacing the set of red, plastic bowls to which I'd lost all the lids, but it was a very vague notion. I was there mostly to wander around aimlessly and feel COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED.

In a good way, of course.

That's the thing about Ikea: Normally, I will go to great and bizarre lengths to avoid shopping, but I'm drawn to the Swedish behemoth. Is it my love of cheap stuff? My affinity for self-assembly? Am I just a sucker for weird Nordic undertones and a hint of the Arctic? Maybe.

All I know is, you fit inside their shopping bags. I will repeat: THIS IS A PLACE WHERE MELINDA MAWDSLEY FITS INSIDE THE SHOPPING BAGS.

Melinda, discuss.

Melinda: It’s true.

I left this bag behind, per store rules, but I bought the 59-cent, blue replica at checkout. I also got my four, small, white plates for like $10. I don’t remember the actual price because I was too busy carrying my bamboo.

Please, Rachel, tell everyone about the bamboo.

Rachel: I didn't even KNOW we needed bamboo (I also didn't know I needed a bathmat, and yet I have a new one at my house this very moment). But we did, it turns out. Who doesn't need one of the most prolific members of the grass family in her home? And guess what? Bamboo is an Ikea thing!

They have shelves of it, single bamboo stalks in little plastic water containers. In fact, there's a whole system (there's always a system at Ikea, which is another reason I love it): The bamboo is arranged near the 89 cent mesh bag of rocks and several simple, austere glass containers, into which go the rocks and the bamboo. It grows aquaponically!



Needless to say, we were mesmerized. Straight bamboo or curly? Curly, obviously. We carried our single bamboo stalks like scepters as we exited the store, and fretted over whether they'd be OK in the car overnight (they were). I'm now obsessed with this bamboo, trying not to go all Lenny from "Of Mice and Men" on it.

So, thanks, Ikea! How's your bamboo doing, Melinda?

Melinda: It's great! Just like Ikea.

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