So this Sunday we move in and slowly start to make it ours. Well, ours and Ikeas. How did anyone on a limited budget furnish a place before Ikea came to be? I remember when I was little, we had this three piece lounge set that (sorry, Mum, Dad, and Grandma) could really only be described as absolutely disgusting. It was a weird goldy yellow colour, and was kind of...full of itself looking, inasmuch as a lounge set can be. Funny thing is I'm pretty sure everyone's going to be able to imagine it perfectly from that description, even if nobody else has ever thought of a sofa that way. There is genuinely no better way to depict it. Anyway, the reason we had this is because my parents were quite young and moderately poor when they married, and so Grandma and Granddad helped them out by giving them this lounge set. Although I don't know if 'help' is the right verb here. Encourage works better. As in 'encouraged' them to work very hard so they could buy a new one as soon as humanly possible.
I'm being unfair. This was during the late '70s and early to mid '80s, and for all I know, that three piece set was the envy of all their friends. It died a sad death in the late '80s, thanks to an awesome game that my brothers and I used to play, where we would run from one end of the hall to the other at top speed, before flipping over the arm of the couch onto the seats. We were three skinny kids, but we still managed to break those springs pretty irreparably. We were told off, of course, but rather half-heartedly. I think it would have been a much more...decisive telling off if it had been a nice sofa, say. Or any other sofa in the world, actually.
Anyway, my point was that Ikea didn't exist back then, but now, happily, it does, so H1 and I could go and spend lots of money there the other day (I should qualify that - lots of money for Ikea. Not for pretty much anything else) and organise all our nice new stuff to be delivered to our nice new maybe apartment this Sunday. It was the best Ikea trip I've ever had (and I've had two now) thanks to the fact that it's in Brooklyn and the easiest way of getting there is by water taxi (easily the best type of taxi). It wasn't too crowded. We found everything we wanted, even though we had to pinch a couple of bowls from a display because they didn't have enough in the 'marketplace', and H1 tested every bed on display by jumping in. And every time someone laughed. As if nobody else ever does that. Which obviously is just not the case.
This is, surprisingly, about the full extent of the shopping I've done in New York to date (excluding, of course, the daily assault of the grocery store). The only other things I've bought that I can think of are an umbrella (when it rains here, it rains with intent. Drizzle is not a word invented by New Yorkers) and a vegetable peeler (I'm a little embarrassed by how much I like it, actually). I've gone near shops, and even into some shops, but haven't really felt any need to buy anything, for a few reasons. Our current stuff is everywhere in the corporate apartment of doom, and I'm loath to add to it. The only things I've seen so far that I really truly love are a pair of highly impractical shoes, which usually would be on my feet by now, but common sense won out (hello, ageing! How are you?) and an autumn weight coat. It's 32 degrees every day, and will be for the next month and a half, I hear. I can't fathom ever needing a coat again. The final reason is that in the list of things I will never do, ever, standing in line to shop comes top. There is nothing I want so badly that I will stand in a ten metre long queue to own it (you hear me, Abercrombie & Fitch and Apple on Fifth Avenue?) Other people in New York will. Quite frankly, I don't understand the mentality of those who will. It disturbs me on the same level that sales disturb me on (I have nothing against discounts, but I have lots against queuing, pushing, shoving, and mess. Why do sales always have to be messy?)
And while discussing the mess thing, onto a much more positive note. I lied when listing earlier what I had bought, as (this is exciting) H1 and I also bought some coathangers (ok, not that, bear with me) from this fantastic place we discovered (although I don't think it's a secret) The Container Store.
For two people who aren't greatly enamoured of mess, The Container Store is the greatest store on earth. We could have spent hours in there. All we bought were the hangers, but we had great fun wandering the two (two!) levels, imagining exactly how we could kit out the maybe apartment so it is wonderfully, totally organised. It was blissful. I can't even portray the general fabulousness of The Container Store.
Oh hey, ageing, you just keep showing up, don't you?
I might think about queuing to get into The Container Store. Luckily, I don't think I'm going to be tested on that anytime soon. It's not a tourist hotspot.