Shopping Has Morphed

What is the difference between a coverlet and a quilt?  A quilt and a bedspread?  A bedspread and a duvet?  These topics consumed my quiet Sunday morning as I struggled to find a good look for the master bedroom.  Life used to be so much easier, less complex.  You bought a bedspread.  End of story.  You used blankets instead of comforters….often times there were many blankets on the bed when bitterly cold as Paso can be.  The weight was thrilling.  Cold sheets became warm as you huddled under the mountain of blankets shivering.  Electric blankets?  That was before electric blankets.  If you were sick, you might have a hot water bottle on your feet to ward off the cold. 

Now in our age of plenty, there are dust ruffles, comforters, shams (sometimes it feels like a sham), extra pillows for heightened decor, duvets, quilts.  Electric blankets have come and gone.  And so it goes.  All this caused me much confusion and bewilderment when attempting to buy some things on line, without benefit of touch.  No walking from the comforters to the throws.  Oh, my I neglected to mention the throws. 

Exasperated and getting bored, I finally put together an ensemble and when I hit the cart icon, $559,95 appeared.  Oh, my.  That was absurd.  So, I wandered off to other websites and tried to recreate the look.  Navy blue duvet, or was it coverlet?  Two down pillows, one down comforter…to force feed into the duvet, and a throw with a multiple of colors for, well, some interest.  $225.45.  Much better.  Hit send and in a few days, my bed “clothes” will arrive via UPS or FedEx.  Free shipping to my door of the skinny house. 

Rayman needed a connector for the sewer line.  Decidedly less troublesome.  It is one part.  It has one design.  $5.  Only no free shipping so off I went on Amazon, searching for kitchen gadgets that I needed to run up the bill for free shipping.  Hope it all arrives before our “gray” water tank fills up in TDH.  And while I’m at it, don’t you think Amazon is the perfect name?  Navigating the Amazon takes on additional meanings. 

Living in Morro Bay and by extension, San Luis Obispo county, there is no Ikea.  In Portland, there is an Ikea conveniently located next to the bridge that spans the Columbia River and takes you to the state of WA.  Right in the middle of the bridge, heading north, WA greets you to their fair state.  The red tape must have been a doozy.  Two states meeting in the middle of a river.   I’d be interested in THAT story.

But I digress.

Ikea was where we spent hours Saturday.  It is an enormous blue building.  A city block perhaps.  We arrived early to beat the crowd.  Our effort was a total failure.  The place was packed mostly with young people shop, shop, shopping.  The place has a restaurant where you can dine on Swedish meatballs.  While shopping, there are maps of the store showing you which way to walk.  The massive second floor is set us with total rooms using Ikea products.  The massive first floor is where you find your merchandise, Aisle 25 bin 4, for instance.  You load it on your big cart and head for the registers.  It is amazing.   While viewing the rooms, you get ideas for how their products look.  Then you figure out what you want or need or both.  And that is where the rub comes in.  We traversed that first floor many times trying to make decisions on things we wanted or needed.  It was as time consuming and confusing as my time on the web, Sunday, a.m.  After about 3 hours, we had on our carts:   1 full length mirror, a very small kitchen cart with a wood top, a chest of drawers, 12 wine glasses, a tiny wine rack for the pantry so the bottles can luxuriate on their sides, and a partridge in a pear tree,  Oh, and a big canvas picture that will adorn a wall somewhere.  $500.  Oh, plus $50 to deliver the loot, did we want it tonight, the clerk asked?  This outfit has all the bases covered.  When we went to pay, Rayman asked the cashier if was always this busy.  “No.  This is the busiest day of the year.”  We know how to pick em is all I can say.   Click the link.

After paying up, we pushed our carts over to the Home Delivery line.  While waiting, I espied a couple eating frozen yogurt on a cone.  That is when total hunger overcame me.  So, I told Rayman as he was paying for the delivery (yes, a separate charge transition) that I would go and get us each a cone.  Great, he agreed.  There was no line for the yogurt so there I was with two cones and my grocery-type smaller cart, juggling my purse, my wallet, and my curiosity.  What was taking so long?  Why was he still at the register of Home Delivery?  Somehow, I managed to get back to where he was and that is when I learned that the cashier had hit a wrong button and the machine froze up and she had to wait for the supervisor to clear the transaction.  I handed him the half melted cone of yogurt and headed for the car with my cart which held things that would fit in the car.  But I could not find the car.  Where the heck did we park?  It had been so long, the memory was being severely tested.  So I wandered.  While searching I ran into another lost woman which cheered me up.  She explained that she always parks in the same place except today she couldn’t find a spot.  There we were…both in a spot.  So as I licked my yogurt the search continued.  At long last I did find the car.  But where was Rayman?  As I was loading the things into the back of the Ford, my phone rang and it was Rayman.  He was looking for me…and the car.  I looked down the aisle, and there he was phone to the ear, scratching his head.  What a time at Ikea. 

It seems the cashier couldn’t find the supervisor as she was in a meeting and hadn’t told her underling of this development.  So she had to page another supervisor.  It took 20 minutes for the Rayman to escape the cashier’s station.  And get this, they are coming tomorrow between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.  Really. 

Such is the world of modern shopping. 

When I was a kid, shopping took place at the rummage sale held annually in the Guild Hall of the Episcopal church.  My grandfather used to say that my grandmother, whom he often referred to as “Mrs. Schumck” ( I have no idea why and at my tender age didn’t appreciate his humor/sarcasm) would take her junk to the church to donate and come back with new stuff equal to or greater than the things she donated.  Mrs. Peterson of Peachy Canyon fame and quite the soprano in the church choir, made donations that were always desired as were Mrs. Kohlweck’s.  They had good taste and everyone knew it.

The other method of shopping was to wander into the Mercantile.  It was a store that carried clothes, material and patterns, drapes, kitchen stuff.  I’m sure there were many other items in the store, but I only recollect the material and patterns part of the store.  That is where my grandmother bought her items that would be transformed into the clothes for me and her and my mom.   It was a very entertaining process, going to the Mercantile.  Often times my grandmother would be armed with something she intended to return.  That was a hobby of hers.  She was always buying something, dragging it home.  Suffering from buyers’ remorse, she would return it.  The ladies behind the counter probably laughed about it.  “Oh, look, here comes Birdie Dresser with a bag.  You wait on her.”  The other woman undoubted said, “No, it’s your turn.”  Squabbles may have ensued.  It could be trying.  Apparently what they thought of her didn’t bother her a whit.   She just kept buying and returning. 

There is some buyers’ remorse in me and I am sure it is learned behavior.  Ask Rayman.  He will tell you.  Why I’m suffering from it right now.  Was navy blue the right choice?  Should I have opted for that quilt?  And what about that silverware?  OMG, the silverware.   Unlike my grandmother, I try every way I can not to return things.  It can be very difficult.  I’m proud to say I plan to keep the skinny silverware.  It matches the house…skinny.  And it will be a constant source of opinions, speculation, and conversation.  That’s not so bad, now is it?

Must close now.  I’ve got a dish pan that the dinner plates don’t fit into and I must return it.

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