I've always considered IKEA to be a special type of Hell. A soul-sucking mix of everything I dislike about current society and my own weaknesses, alongside an impressive display of creativeness and inventive minds. The very real danger of coming out with hundreds of times more than ever needed (if you ever even really needed anything before you went in) is the result of the effort of an army of designers who successfully appeal to the gatherer/Diogenes in all of us.
It occurred to me that we now browse through huge generic department stores in much the same way as we have for a long time browsed these flea markets. But with one important difference - variety. Yes, there's a huge amount of product variety in an IKEA store but the products themselves are all exactly the same. My IKEA wooden spoon will be exactly the same as yours. Whereas in a flea market you're almost guaranteed something unique.
It's almost all junk at the end of the day but what you're offered is a much broader playing field upon which to express your own individual taste. A spoon is not just a spoon and does not only serve the bowl-to-mouth purpose which places like IKEA have assigned it.
There is a reason to think twice before entering IKEA and if your soul isn't worth fighting for, start with your cupboards.
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