Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Whilst shopping at Ikea (or the story of the #hipsters)

Well, Labor Day has come and gone... which sort of signals the end of summer.  But this is not a sad, reminiscing type-post: I'm not sad.  Summer is wonderful... and this one came complete with beach time, splashing in the pool, adventures in the woods, camping and more... but fall is around the corner.  Fall means Fuegerfest, and cooler temperatures, and boots, and pumpkin flavored things and... that is all very good.  So, happy-day-after-Labor-Day-and-beginning-of-fall-to-you!

This is not about that, however.  This is about yesterday.  This weekend marked the 4th Annual Jaquez Labor Day theme party, and this year's theme was #ZombieApocalypse2013 (the official party hashtag).   There were zombies, survivors, an amazing theme cake, some flippy cup action, jello shots, the Re-Mix to Ignition, some "Free Miley" chants followed up by dancing to "Party in the USA"... and more.  In short, it was a great time!  We're already looking forward to the announcement about next year's theme!

On our way home from the party yesterday, we decided we'd do an Ikea run since our basement man cave/playroom/SOON-TO-BE-NICEST-ROOM-IN-OUR-HOUSE is headed toward completion and we're in need of furnishings/decor/etc. from the Swedish king of reasonably priced items in those categories.  So, we arrived at Ikea at 11 a.m., eager and excited about the adventure that awaited.

First of all, yesterday was FREE FOOD day at Ikea.  (It was also Labor Day - so you go figure how many people were there.  5 point 9 million, or something.  A day off work + the enticement of free food = just too much for most of suburban Chicago to resist).  Basically the gimmick was that you could eat as many Swedish meatballs and other delicacies served up in the Ikea cafeteria as you could fit in your stomach, and, so long as you were spending $150, they would subtract your food bill from whatever you spent when you checked out.  And DUH!  Who goes to Ikea to spend less than $150?  I would venture to guess that you don't set foot in that store (it's not worth the trouble) if you're buying a few hand towels and a picture frame.  So anyway, we started our adventure with a stop in the restaurant section.  We ate our hearts out (I even ate some delicious chocolate cake!) and then we started checking things off our list.

So... I live in Iowa.  The Land of Cornfields.  A land that is peacefully oblivious to trends until they arrive here 3-5 years later.  Most people drink Busch Lite, and if they're feeling classy, maybe a good 'ole Potosi (from a nearby brewery in Wisconsin).  I'm not making fun of us.  I AM ONE OF US.  AND I'M PROUD OF IT.  I'm just trying to explain why I was really blown away by the infestation of hipsters everywhere I looked.  Is this a thing?!  Is this "trend" coming soon to Iowa?!  Because I hope not.  The most pretentious thing I've ever seen was the guy with the half shaved head, SIPPING ON A HEINKEN while strolling through Ikea with his emaciated girlfriend, discussing whether to buy a chaise lounge or some other stuffed chair.  I mean, really?!  I wanted to drink a beer at Ikea, too... but for entirely different reasons.  (It seemed like a semi-appropriate way to cope with the aforementioned).  Is it because I have kids now, and no time to keep up with all the effort that the hipster lifestyle entails, that I just don't "get" it?  Or was I never cut out for it anyway?  Other questions I have:

(1) Why are you wearing a plaid shirt with skinny jeans and boots in 90 degree weather?
(2) Did you get lost on your way to a hippie music festival, or why are you wearing that band around your forehead, sister?
(3) Did you paint those spandex pants on just for this furniture shopping excursion?  Or is this is an everyday look?
(4) From where can I, too, acquire a vast collection of fedoras? 
(5) Prior to going out in public, do you find an old "vintage-looking" t-shirt, rumple it up, roll it in the mud and then wear it out?  Is that part of this trend? 
(6) How long did it take you to grow that crazy pedophilia-like mustache?
(7) Are denim studded shirts/shorts/vests SERIOUSLY coming back?  Like, for real?  Like early 90's denim clothes with silver studs in them.... they are coming back?  From the grave?  WHY?!

Let me just say, that with respect to (4), I have to admit that I love hats, and I do want to know if there is a place where I can, for a relatively small amount, purchase 1-2 fedoras.  But I digress.  If you know the answers to any of these questions, please let me know.

I won't bore you by regaling all the details of our very long (but very successful) trip to Ikea, except to say that if I never see the inside of that store for the next year or so, that will be just fine with me.  I do, however, need to share the following tangent with you.  At the culmination (or what we thought was the end-but that's another story for another day) of our shopping adventure, John ran out to get our car to drive over to the loading area.  I waited with the kids and all of our packages.  So - picture me... sort of tired, sort of hot/sweaty, baby strapped to me in his carrier, pushing a rolling dolly-style cart with a bunch of crap (and my toddler) piled on.  And remember: every hipster and his girlfriend are there, too, so there are very few open spaces for us to park in and load up our things.  It's taking John a while to drive back from the parking lot to the unloading area, and I am promising ice cream and other treats to Jack so that he continues to sit calmly on the rolling dolly cart.  And while this is going on, I happen to notice hipster couple with a tiny box the size of my arm standing in an open spot, arms around each other, making out like it's that scene from Armageddon.  The girl is wearing one of those leather strap hippie headband pieces (similar to this), a battered old t-shirt that has a typewriter on it (of course), and a studded jean jacket (like so).  And her mustachioed boyfriend (I seriously just googled "hipster mustache") keeps stroking her hair and kissing her... all the while bogarting this one open spot that could have been used by my husband.  Now, my dear husband, being the defender of all things right and good, with a clear head and an eye for swift justice, sees these two canoodling and starts to back into the open spot, hoping they'd get the hint... LIKE... MOVE your skinny asses and your make-out party to the nearest bench, please.  Better yet, pick up your tiny box, walk to your restored Mustang, and be on your way.  Instead, the hipsters turn ever so slowly around, as if in slow motion, really, and mustache man holds out his hand, flips the bird to my husband, and goes "Bro! Bro! Dude! Dude! This spot's taken, dude.  Sorry."  Each word took about ten seconds too long, drawn out in such a way, that, had I not been within view of my two impressionable offspring, I might have gone over there and said something about how annoying this was.  So - my husband drove away from the spot... and hipster girl backs up, and with a force I did not anticipate after watching her lackadaisical, mellow, hipster-ways, sort of run-leaps and high-fives the mustache guy saying, "Good job, baby!" ... as if the two of them had really done something important for humanity.  Ok, score 1 for the hipsters.  You DID totally and selfishly hog that parking spot for yourself.  

So that, my friends, is the story of my weekend.  A zombie apocalypse party... followed by a zombiehipsterapocalypse at Ikea.  Hope you had a good one, too.