Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Worth an afternoon in Philly

Sunday, August 5, 2007
How far would you go for matching furniture?This is a question I had to answer yesterday. About a week ago we bought a dresser from Ikea to match our bed and nightstands. For some reason we didn't think to measure before we made the purchase and discovered that the dresser was to big for the space we were putting it in. We decided to head back to Ikea and see what else they had that would be a reasonable replacement. We looked at the dresser that was the next size smaller (6-drawer instead of 8). It was discontinued in the finish we needed. We looked at a dresser of similar style but the finish was too different for our taste. We looked at a wardrobe in the same finish but decided it might be impossible to move once assembled. We considered closet organization (which was far more expensive, at least by Ikeas pricing). And after all of this decided to just go home.Upon returning home we did some quick online searching for the 6-drawer dresser. As luck would have it, there were 30 of these dressers in stock at the Philadelphia store. So we called to see what our options were. They would not transfer it, and because it was discontinued would not hold one for us until we could get there. We decided our only choice if we wanted matching furniture would be to take an impromptu road-trip to Philly for the afternoon.So, with that we packed up the car with a box of cereal, a bag of Goldfish crackers, and a bottle of water and hit the road at 3:45pm. It's only a 2-hour drive to Philadelphia. We arrived at Ikea at 5:45 on the dot. We found our way to the self-serve furniture and the correct aisle/bin where the dresser was supposed to be. NEAT- it was on sale for $159 instead of $219 on account of its pending extinction. However, there were only two boxes on the shelf, both ripped open, and both were box 2 of 2. Josh went to ask someone and returned with a concerned expression. The dressers were there, however they were up high and could only be retrieved after the store was closed. If we wanted to wait around until closing at 9pm, we could have the dresser for $109 instead of $159. Was there even a choice? We had driven two hours, if we left we would probably never get our hands on a dresser that matched.James, the kind associate, gave us suggestions about how we could kill 2 and half hours in that part of Philadelphia. We decided on a bite to eat at Chick-Fil-A, a walk through Target, and a walk through Best Buy. That got us to 7:00. We spent the rest of the time sitting in all the little rooms in the Ikea showroom picking apart what we liked and didn't like about them. I think we even picked out a scheme for our own living room.At 8:45 we made our way back down to self-serve furniture to find James. He promptly made a call - "That couple from Baltimore, they're back" he said. When he hung up he walked us to the registers, had a little chat with the guy who was monitoring self-check out and then waved us to the next open register. He put in our special price and sent us over to the Swede Cafe to wait with our receipt. We stood there from about 9:00-9:40 watching customers pass through with their "final selections" and associates buzz around tidying and closing things down. As the lights around us began to turn off, we saw in the distance a cart being pushed by James who was running toward us with it. He came to a skidding stop on his sneakers and presented us our cart with a bow (no joke). We shook hands, thanked James, and James thanked us, and then we were off.Pulling out of the Ikea parking lot at 9:45 we decided the day hadn't been half bad. It wasn't a long drive, we got to have our fill of south Philadelphia- diminishing any need to return to the city, the Ikea staff was more than obliging, and we got our matching dresser. "Tell me you love this thing," Josh said. "It's perfect," I told him. And we decided that made it well worth an afternoon in Philadelphia.

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