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For seven bucks, who cares what the pattern is!

September 2, 2007, 2:53 PM

I went shopping on Saturday, and I had a blast. I went down to Potomac Mills, where I did some furniture shopping for work at Ikea, shuffled over to Casual Male for some odds and ends, and then went perusing the Outlets at the mall itself.

I have now been to Ikea enough times that I know what’s going on. Not like that Memorial Day trip where I was totally overwhelmed. I’ve got it down, yo. And the Woodbridge store is an exact duplicate of the one in College Park.

This time, though, I was going by myself. No problem. So I picked out the stuff for the office in the showroom, crossed through the “marketplace” without looking, and arrived at the big warehouse where you actually grab your furniture. Yippee. I had no difficulty with the boxes, but then steering was a problem. Usually, when I go to Ikea with someone, I drive the flat-cart from the back, and they steer. Since it was just me, I had to push and steer all at once, from the back. So imagine this if you will. All four wheels turn on this thing. Thus it can move in any direction or spin on the spot. Personally, I think they should have welded the back wheels to make them non-turnable, since that would make it far easier to control, though some maneuverability would be sacrificed. But it would be worth it. Still, I can’t drive these things. The weight of the furniture and my inability to get a good handle on steering would have made it a difficult move to the checkout. Thankfully, I was able to flag down an employee, who helped me get to the checkout.

Checkout, no problem. I went through self checkout, and at Ikea, it’s Fastlane by NCR, which I could run with my eyes closed, since that’s the same self-checkout system used by the Future Fascists of America, aka Wal-Mart.

Then I had the furniture delivered to work. Next time I see that will be Tuesday.

Then Casual Male was a wash. They hadn’t gotten their entire fall collection in yet, and the stuff they did have didn’t send me. I couldn’t see myself actually wearing any of it to work.

And then Potomac Mills was a sight to behold. Hundreds and hundreds of factory outlet stores, all under one roof. That mall is long, let me tell you. I wonder if that mall’s a mile long from one end to the other. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was.

Still, the mall was fun. I went to Books A Million, I played an arcade version of Deal Or No Deal, and I also found my sleep number. Considering I just bought a bed, though, I’m not in the market for a new mattress.

I had the best shopping at the JCPenney outlet, where they had clothes at low, low prices. I went through shirts upon shirts upon shirts, but couldn’t really find anything I liked that I would want to wear to work (the goal was clothes for work – I have plenty of casual). The other problem was that they went from obviously casual straight to suit, without much in between. We’re business casual, which JCPenney seemed to lack. But I did find these fleece lounge pants that were just my size. And they cost $6.99, which to me is a bargain that’s not to be passed up. So I bought two of them. The pattern was “winter camouflage”, which I’m not too keen on, but for $6.99, who cares. Especially when these are going to be worn primarily around the house.

Then going home, I took the scenic route. Route 1 through Alexandria and Arlington past the Pentagon, then over Memorial Bridge (I intended to take the 14th Street Bridge but missed the turn), up 18th Street NW, around Dupont Circle, and then up Connecticut Avenue all the way into Maryland. It was like driving the Red Line to Shady Grove, as we went past Dupont Circle, Woodley Park-Zoo, Cleveland Park, and Van Ness-UDC.

And getting home, I was out like a light. But I had fun, and I got a lot accomplished, and that’s what’s important. And then the furniture arrives at work on Tuesday.

Web site: Wikipedia on Potomac Mills. Sadly, the giant sign shown here is now gone, and no sign presently exists at this location.

Song: I played so many songs on my iPod this evening... where do I start?

Quote: Not a bad day!

Categories: IKEA, Shopping