Ride the IKEA bus! | Events

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Ride the IKEA bus!
Ride the IKEA bus!

I grew up in a town in Central Maine where there were exactly 2 shopping choices- JC Penny or Sears. Comfortable, practical, affordable... The kind of places you might prefer to shop if you were looking for clothes that were "roomy in the seat", had a "reinforced crotch", or at the very least fit the description of "sturdy". I used to page through my mom's Vogue magazines longingly and daydream of the high style life that people in real cities got to experience. 

I knew even then that Maine was never going to get a Chanel, but my brain insisted that there had to be some sort of small town alternative for products that were attractive and still in a mom-friendly price range. 

It would never happen while I was living under my parent's roof, but shortly after college, I would discover Target, and it would blow my mind. 

Maine is pretty much always the last to get anything fashionable, and Target was a revelation. High design, low prices. I could buy beautiful sheets and cups and Q-tip dispensers for almost Wal*mart prices! It was clean and well lit, even their plastic bags were kind of sexy! It was the perfect model. Why weren't there more places doing the same thing? 

And then, I discovered IKEA. Everything that was beautiful and right about Target, but EVEN CHEAPER, and in furniture form. 

Where else could you get a whole sofa for $250?" alt="<--break->" src="http://bangor.wcsh6.com/sites/all/modules/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif">

There was only one major problem with the the tempting fruits of IKEA... they weren't anywhere near Maine- and they didn't ship. Oh, and I don't drive. 

I first conned a friend with a minivan to take me down to the one in New Jersey when I needed to furnish my first apartment on pretty much no money. And I know that everyone makes fun of IKEA furniture as being a particle board crapfest, but I still have all 3 of the pieces that I bought back in 2001 in my current apartment (and they are all still cute and functional). Sure, cheap furniture is always a gamble, but even if it's gonna crumble into dust in a year or two, I'd rather have it be attractive while it's in my life. It's gotten better over the years, but back in the early 2000s, any piece of furniture at an accessible price and location basically looked like THIS. No me gusta!

Through the years, I would lust and drool over their website, or have luckier metropolitan friends pilfer catalogs for me on their trips. I would go to IKEA and actually be able to buy things bigger than an overhead bus compartment maybe 2 more times between that first trip and now. And that, is SAD.

Well, I don't want to be sad anymore. I know I'm not the only soul on the peninsula without a car, or a roofrack, or a friend with a truck who is willing to let me borrow it for a whole day... Now that we have an IKEA as close as Stoughton, MA, I decided that what Portland really needs right now is a spring cleaning, tax refund spending, BYOB road trip to IKEA for some serious furniture shopping.

So, I chartered a bus. (Which actually sounds a lot more complicated than it really is).

I also rented a 17' box truck and found a kind soul willing to drive it back from Massachusetts so that everyone on the bus can buy a mattress or a sofa if they want to.  There will also be in-flight movies, and I'm even working on getting fantastic bus-snacks from local companies like Little Lad's Herbal Corn & Lemon Sting soda from Green Bee.

Now all I really need are 40+ people (we can seat over 50!) who wanna come with me. The cost is less than a round trip to Boston on the Greyhound, and a whole lot less sketchy

But even more important than that, after a long day of hardcore shopping, nobody will have to spend an hour in the ice cold parking garage attempting to strap a dining room table to the roof of their Ford Fiesta with that terrible and totally ineffective IKEA twine (and then still have to drive 2+ hours home on the Mass Pike). 

If I can't fill up at least half the bus by April 8th, I will have to cancel the whole trip- so don't mess around (and force me to do the IKEA bus dance of shame). Tickets for the April 23rd maiden voyage are on sale Eventbrite as we speak. So come on! Let's all eat meatballs, buy coffee tables, and party like it's on sale for $19.99.

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