14 Hours and 454 Miles

On Saturday I set out with three of my sisters for my third road trip in the span of three days. We made a snap decision the day before to test our sisterhood in a way we never had before. We were going to Ikea.

Ikea is the place where relationships go to die.

If you have ever made a trip to Ikea you already know about the stress that comes from it. If you haven’t been to Ikea and don’t believe the hype is real I highly suggest you read 17 Ways IKEA Will Test Your Relationship and then come back and resume reading this post. The store is a maze (and you absolutely must follow the one way signs). Everything is beautiful. You will go looking for one thing and come out with 10 (or 20). They have everything you could possibly need (except shower heads). Just make sure you know with 100% certainty you know what you want from the showroom by the time you make it to self serve (or you will have to take the 2-3 hour trip through the Showroom and Marketplace mazes all over again).

Somehow the relationship I have with the three sisters I ventured to Ikea with managed to survive the shopping experience. We all bought way too much stuff, yet somehow managed to fit it all into the back of my car for the trip home (when you drove 4 hours to get to Ikea and you are standing in Marketplace looking at something with a price tag of $0.49 you just don’t say no). You also don’t say no to food from the Swedish Food Market on the way to the car (thankfully we got food at a restaurant on the way to Ikea or our 3 hour trip would have gained an extra 1-2 hours in the cafeteria).

We left our college town at 9am with one thing on the shopping list: I needed a TV stand (budget $200). Having witnessed my parents near divorce in the Ikea showroom in Chicago 15 years ago I knew better than to go in blind and did some preliminary searching online the day before before walking into the showroom. I had my search narrowed down to two pieces (I ended up buying something completely different after forcing my sisters to entertain the ‘what about these other 5 tv stands’ debate). As we walked from Showroom to Marketplace I was dreading the thought of having to work our way through the maze again so I could determine what I was actually buying and grab it from Self Serve (I had broken the first rule of Ikea shopping: KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU GET TO SELF SERVE). Rounding the corner into Self Serve one of my sisters told me to “look up” and right there in the middle of Ikea on a packed Saturday afternoon I practically screamed “Praise Jesus” as I looked up to see the demo models of the two pieces of furniture I had been debating between (I have officially lived in the south too long when I yell “Praise Jesus” in the middle of Ikea).

The promise of $3 bottles of wine at Trader Joes somehow got us through the scavenger hunt that is looking for all of the optional and interchangeable parts in Self Serve. One of the downsides of living in Tennessee is the lack of wine in the grocery store (at least for another 6 months) and so the promise of cheep yet delicious alcohol only 2 miles away was far too strong of a temptation. Because are you really a sorority girl if you drive all the way to Georgia and don’t come home with 9 bottles of wine?

Ikea is the place where relationships are tested.

For the first 10 hours that was the motto of our trip. We would hold it close, remember it often, and remind each other that we would still love our sisters when we got on the road back home. I however would argue the real test of a relationship is the 4 hour drive home from Ikea. I HATE I-75N out of Atlanta. With a burning passion. I hate it even more in the dark. At one point I pulled over to the shoulder and threatened to leave a passenger on the side of the road in the middle of Georgia simply because she was talking (when I get road rage I become a total bitch). I’m not proud of that action, however neither am I proud of the State of Georgia for not providing a left shoulder on the Interstate (which makes for an absolutely terrifying drive with traffic, lack of light, and noisy passengers).


Now that we are home I am glad we made the trip. I look forward to the future assembly of my furniture (which thankfully I won’t be doing myself). I loved Atlanta and I can’t believe this was the first time I was seeing the city from outside the airport (the size and beauty of the skyline alone left me wanting to stay in the city indefinitely). Hopefully a second Atlanta trip will find itself in my future this semester (hopefully not because I need to make a trip to Ikea for missing parts because I have yet to open the box from my BESTÅ). Regardless despite the short temper I had during the end of this 14 hour trip, I’m looking forward to the next few on the calendar.


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