To celebrate Father’s Day, Steve had the traditional manly meal of Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam…okay, so he didn’t get a big steak and baked potato. That’s because Steve was a really good sport and agreed to spend his Father’s Day at Ikea with Jennifer Lynn and me.  He really is a great husband. However, he said that next year, we’re going to a gun show on Mother’s Day.

The trip to Ikea-land was prompted by our recent move. We’re starting to shop for couches to replace our lumpy, cat hair-imbedded ones that we had in our house in Petaluma but are far too large for our 1600 square foot condo. I thought the slightly miniaturized Ikea furniture might be a good fit for our downsized living space.

Of course the first thing we had to do upon arriving at Ikea was head up the escalator to the cafeteria. For a little more than $11, we got 20 meatballs, an elderberry cupcake, soda, cardboard-like crackers, soup and mystery juice. They imported the meatballs but I think they forgot to import any sort of flavor with them.

As patient a shopper as Steve is, he was worn out by the time we reached the desks and we still had at least another mile of yellow-and-blue brick road to follow. He said what Ikea really needs is a bar where guys like him can retreat for lingonberry beer while their wives and daughters debate the difference between the Bladvass and Smörboll duvet covers.

Whenever we go to Ikea, I feel like an extra in a zombie movie. There are masses of people shuffling along looking like they are being controlled by some outside force. “Must find Tjusig rack. Must find Tjusig rack…” I bent over to look at the price on a rug and when I looked up, I swear I was looking into the face of the undead. The man’s face was slack jawed, glazed eyes, sunken cheeks. His wife must have been sucked into the black hole that’s called the Marketplace days ago, never to be seen again.

But back to the couches…the couches at Ikea are the first ones that I can sit in and have my feet touch the floor. While that’s great for my 5’2” frame, Steve said that if he sits down in one, he might never get up. We’ll have to look elsewhere for a couch but Jennifer Lynn did come home with a set of colorful new curtains and throw for her new room and the price was barely into double digits.

On the way out we happened upon one item that we couldn’t pass up: fried onions that literally called out our name to us. Well, almost our name.