Well, yay. I got home from a shopping trip to Ikea with N and found that I had been visited by Dr. Virago, Combat Philosopher and New Kid on the Hallway. Also an email from the good doctor. I felt a little like Sally Field at the Oscars twenty years ago, after she won her second statuette for "Places in the Heart" - "You-you LIKE me! You like me! You really like me!" Actually that would be a little over the top, when all I am trying to do it fit in, but you get the picture. My fellow bloggers are a lot more restrained than I am, and they gave me a warm welcome and some helpful advice. So back at ya, colleagues: tomorrow I'll learn how to link, and then I'll really be on my way. You'll be proud.
So guess why I was at Ikea? Bookshelves, of course. I keep the majority of my books in my capacious office in one of the lovely Federal buildings at Zenith University, but N works for an urban university where six or seven people share an office. And these are the people who really have permanent jobs. The contingent faculty meet their students in coffee shops or on stoops. I dunno where they keep their stuff. Probably shopping carts stolen from Ikea.
Anyway, since we sold our fabulous urban apartment last February and N moved here to live with me full time after many years of living in some kind of peripatetic sin, her books have been in boxes in the living room (which hasn't really functioned as a living room because of the boxes of books.) We had elaborate built-ins installed, which were finally completed last week and we realized instantly that there was nowhere near enough room. So off to Ikea, where for a fraction of the price we paid the carpenter we can finish the job. This is a good thing, since when Extravaganza came over last week I said, "Have you noticed the living room is starting to come together?"
He said, "Have you NOTICED that I haven't said anything about those ugly boxes piled up in front of the window for six months?"
At any rate, Sunday is the worst time to go to Ikea in terms of crowds, but the best for people watching, since very large families go and bring all their collateral relatives and it all feels very Global. I always end up steering the cart, which, as we moved through the market place section became filled with all the lovely little things you forgot you needed until you saw them. "Oooh! A travel coffee cup! Mine broke last week!" "Six tea lights for $3.00? A steal!" "Aren't we out of orange cocktail napkins?" But also because of this I am constantly losing Miss B, who is famous for cutting through the crowd in a way guaranteed to lose all but the most dedicated stalker. Her best move today was shooting through a space between two elderly people on wheeled walkers. Tiki Barber couldn't have done better.
As we were loading the large, flat packages of Billy shelves onto the second cart I obtained in the Warehouse, N said, as she always does, "Do you think this will all fit in the car?" Because I had now added a large fluffy green plant (19.99) and a decorative pot, and a lamp to replace the one that only turns off when you pull the chain horizontally. "Of course!" I said, as I always do. Because everyone knows that God (and I mean this interfaithfully and atheistically, people) loves Ikea and extends Her special blessings to those who shop there. Then we stood in line for about 45 minutes, which was fine because you can buy hot dogs for .50 and ice cream for a dollar, and we had a lovely snack the likes of which we would never eat at home because I believe firmly in Organic and Free Range foods.
And it did all fit. So now, as extra incentive not to write this week, I have five book cases to assemble and level, two end tables to put together, so that all of N's books, now in tottery piles on the living room floor, can be alphabetized and shelved. How fabulous is that?
I am Claire B. Potter, Professor of History and American Studies at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT. My blogging ethic is neither to name or to accurately describe individuals unless I am writing about a public event, or commenting on information already published about that person in a reputable source. Unless I note otherwise, situations, pseudonymous people and professional dilemmas described here are fictional. Uncivil or mean-spirited comments toward me or anyone else will be deleted, as will advertisements for products or services disguising themselves as comments. The Radical can also be found at her Zenith faculty page and at Cliopatria; scholarly and public writing can also be found here. The banner photo was taken from this page.
It's Gay Pride Month -- And Who Is Gayer Than J. Edgar Hoover?
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