Friday, August 6, 2010

it's about time

Last weekend, in an attempt to still the clamour in our minds, we composed a LIST. Out of town family would soon descend upon us to celebrate my parents anniversary.To our dismay, we discovered that we would need to tick off a minimum of six items each day for six days. We jogged on the spot mentally, and sprinted off. We were able to take in stride a few late additions to the LIST, hurtling successfully over them. Tick, tick, tick, tick, half a tick, and then came Wednesday. We had penciled in Ikea in the morning, leaving after the morning rush hour. We parked close to the door and hastened in. We climbed the escalator two steps at a time. We took all the shortcuts to the kitchen area. We honed in on an available computer and logged in to our preplanned kitchen. Ahhh, now we were ready to order. It was just after 11. So far so good. But, staff were busy with others. A wait seemed inevitable. We huddled over the keyboard and moved cupboards around. The air conditioner's frosty breath swirled around our stools. I began to shiver. A bathmat from a display made a shawl of sorts and I clutched it tightly around my shoulders. Time trickled by. A line of stone faced shoppers grew. Twelve o'clock came and went. One o'clock as well. Waiting can be mind numbing, but my mind wasn't the only thing in danger. The host of the kitchen area suddenly appeared at my side with a fluffy red afghan from a display to replace the bathmat. Warm at last. Where's a hot flash when you really need it? Eventually, we were the next in line and our order was checked and tweaked and printed out. Now we were off to pay. We checked our watches. Finally, after two, but nearly finished! "It will take about 45 minutes to fill your order," we were advised. Lunch seemed wise. The pick up area was swamped. Our order was eventually wheeled out on six carts. Packing wasn't straightforward. Strategy was involved, and sweat. At least we were finally warm. We pulled away just after 5. Six hours at Ikea. We had entered a black hole in time. So much for the list.
The wonderful compensation was... time. Time to reevaluate our kitchen plan. Time to peer in cupboards and spin lazy susans. Time to tweak our order and get what we really want and need.
Tomorrow is day six. We've run the race, at a pace I wouldn't want to have to keep up but I'm feeling thankful. The LIST is almost finished. Less than six items remain. What a time we've had.

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