Wake in the late morning (after sleeping in, of course, since it is a rare work-free Sunday) and decide that you’re going to brave IKEA today because you just have to have that new chandelier. Share your idea with your Urban Idiot partner. By some miracle, he doesn’t freak out nor suggest that you’re on crack.
Decide that a stop at Lowes for new blinds and some shoe shopping should also be accomplished in one drive. Plan your attack. Urban Idiot Kid suggests a lunch at McDonalds. Add that do the list.
Do fish water maintenance which takes now a whole hour, measure windows (top and bottom because they’re not at a 90º angle and you, thank God, learned a previous lesson), make IKEA list, forget the list, get into the car. Realize that the only thing you ate so far was a Greek yogurt and that you forgot your cup of tea as usual. Rest of your Urban Idiots are well fed, the little one even has the foresight of bringing a bag of goldfish for the car ride. Which he consumes on the way to Lowes and spreads powered cheddar cheese all over the back seat. Vow to never allow flavor-blasted cheddar goldfish in car again (yeah, right!).
Split up at Lowes with one going to get blinds, two going to investigate tile. Fall in love with everything glass, Italian, and expensive; lay out tile patterns on the floor and discuss. UIKid lays out a classic brick subway tile pattern, you attempt to talk him into a modern horizontal stack. Mentally figure out tile cost in your head, but keep that to yourself. Pick up some lawn waste bags because in your mind you’re a super woman that will be trimming the seven foot tall rose bushes tonight as well. Attempt to load the car. The blind boxes are too long so you lower the seats and prop them up with a sofa parasite (aka a square pillow) that now permanently lives in your car just for that purpose. Drive toward home very slowly, or at least at the speed limit.
Do some very successful shoe shopping on the way. You’re now starving.
After popping back home to unload, you arrive at McDonalds. It’s a remodeled one with digital menus that keep changing and you can’t find what you want. What you end with is not what you ordered and you’re missing another order of fries, but you’re starving and don’t care that much to go complain because you want to get to IKEA. Discretely watch a couple sitting outside, who are covered head to toe in expensive biking attire but are consuming an enormous high-calorie McDonalds fried lunch. Wonder what’s the point of spending money on biking equipment if you’re going to clog your arteries anyway…
Finally head over to IKEA. You choose Bolingbrook because A: it’s closer, and B: it’s smaller so there should be less screaming children. Run into construction on the way, of course. Find the parking lot only 2/3 full, park in the family parking area because your kid is with you.
You need Lighting, but you start at the top and walk the entire two floors because you have no clue where Lighting is. Pick up a couple of small items on the way. At some point realize that your neck is all stiff again and no longer working, so instead of cornering like a Mercedes around people you now corner like a Mac truck by taking extremely wide turns. Finally locate Lighting (which is on the bottom floor, closer to the entrance) only to discover that your chandelier is nowhere to be found. Find a sales person hiding in a corner and ask for help. You’re told that your light sold out in one day and they’re not getting any more any time soon, but Schaumburg has 15. Tell the other Urban Idiot that the light is sold out. Both start having a déjà vu, because last time you needed something at IKEA, you ended up going to both in one day to get what you wanted. You look at each other, then you ask what time it is.
On the way out of the parking lot, about 500 feet from the IKEA front door, you encounter Urban Idiots in Training, who are attempting to shove a large chair back into the small trunk opening of an old sedan. There are four of them, all male, attempting the task. They're blocking a turning lane. You mentally wish them good luck, as your UIHusband lays course toward IKEA #2.
In exactly one hour you drive to Schaumburg IKEA, find the chandelier (this time asking where the Lighting section is first), get the couple of items you picked out in Bolingbrook but didn’t get because standing in a check-out line would have wasted your traveling time, buy the meatballs, check out and leave. You now have a migraine. Your UIHusband pours himself a nice smooth golden beverage in a crystal glass when you finally come home. Your UIKid tells you: “Thank God we’re home, now I can relax!” You check out gas prices because all this driving ate more than a quarter tank and you will need gas to take your kid to school this week.
At some point, before Slurpie takes his usual dinner spot on the chimney, the blinds will go up. The chandelier is left in the box on the dining room table. It’s in a million pieces and you’re leaving that task to the Ukrainian contractors who, at some point, will have the unfortunate task of hanging it up 20 feet in the air.