Thank You, Socially-Inept Grocery Bagger Person

A note of thanks to the 16-year-old grocery bagger at the Ingles check out line who felt the need to tell me how “twisted” he got on paint thinner the night before…in front of my children. Thank you for being a cautionary tale that I can hold up to my kids and say, “see kids, you shouldn’t huff household products.”

And to the other grocery-bagger person, the young lady who, on a separate occasion, took several minutes to explain in excruciating detail how she only drinks bottled water, not that crap from the tap. And how she’d like to buy a Brita filter for her sink, but then everyone in the family would use it, even to wash the dishes, which is just stupid, and expensive, and she can’t afford that, to buy filtered water for washing the dishes, so she’ll just keep drinking the bottled water. The carbonated stuff, not that crap spring water. Thank you. Thank you for being a brief distraction from the normal check out line chaos, where my children systematically lick every single pack of gum, magazine, and knock-off Match-Box car in the “impulse buy zone.” Thank you.

Most people would simply mumble, “great, and you?” when I ask, “how are you doing?” But not you, Socially Inept Grocery Bagger Person(s). Not you. You seize the opportunity to really connect with me, a stranger who will be out of your life as soon as you finish double bagging every single item in the cart. And thank you for that, too, the compulsive double bagging of absolutely everything. Not just the heavy items, like milk, but the light ones too. Even the four-roll of toilet paper, which weighs maybe 10 ounces and has no sharp edges. As an amateur who occasionally dabbles in bagging, I’d put the toilet paper in a single plastic bag, but not you. You’re a professional, so you double bag it, going that extra step, using up an entire dinosaur in the process. Thank you. You’re awesome. Never change.

Ikea Is The New Spanish Fly

Is it weird that I get turned on by organization articles? You know, “50 Ways to Color Coordinate Your Closet!” or “Stop Looking For the Peas: Three Ways to Organize Your Pantry!”  There’s always an exclamation point–the most phallic of punctuation marks. Forget sexy coeds, give me a two-page glossy spread of built-in bookshelves organized alphabetically any day.

It doesn’t take a psychologist to figure out why I go gaga for organization. People are turned on by what’s foreign to them, and there’s nothing more exotic to me than order. I have none in my life. Lunch meat is stashed in the couch cushions and dolls end up in the crisper drawer. Recently, during a single 12-hour period, my daughter started a small napkin fire at the kitchen table, my son sneezed in the spaghetti sauce I was making, and I was peed on three times.

So yeah, sock drawers that actually close and have socks in them get me hot. It’s really not that weird, is it? I’m not sure if there are others out there like me. I tried Googling “sex fetish” and “organization bins”—you don’t want to know what popped up. But I am sure that there’s a beautiful place for people like me to go. It’s called Ikea. And it’s soooo dirty.

My wife and I recently ditched the kids and drove three hours to the Atlanta Ikea to buy a new wardrobe. As soon as my 2.5-year-old daughter developed an appreciation for purple dresses, she took over my closet and I’ve been storing most of my clothes in the trunk of the car. Anyway, the new wardrobe is the Asplund: three doors, one mirror, five adjustable stacking shelves, a 30-inch clothes rail, and self-closing hinges…sweet Jesus! It gets me so worked up the Asplund may as well come with nipple clamps and a safe word!

And Ikea is full of shit like this. Entertainment centers with dedicated DVD slots, book shelves with glass doors and mounted lights, dressers with sock dividers. Do you know how exciting sock dividers are? If I had sock dividers, my gym socks would never have to touch my dress socks! How hot is that?

For me, a walk through Ikea is like a walk through Amsterdam’s Red Light District. If only I had the money to truly indulge! I picture my house decked out in organizational bins, cubbies, and folding tables that hide remote controls and magazines. I mean, look at this picture:

Don’t those neatly stacked books and rolling storage bins make you want to rip your clothes off and roll around on the floor? And this picture really gets me going: 

Jesus Christ, are those kitchen cabinets Brazilian waxed or what!

Alas, I’ll have to make do with the Asplund wardrobe for now, which sadly, has already been soiled by my kids who have decided it’s a great place to stuff their Tonka Trucks and play hide and seek.

Dare to dream. Dare to dream.