The IKEA post wherein I try not to offend Christians

11 Jan

Once or twice a year, Jennifer uses her aunt up in Grayslake, IL as an excuse to shop at IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer. And thank Holy Jesus we don’t own a cargo van; who knows how much crap she’d haul back down south. Oh, and just to be clear, when I use “Jesus” like I just did, it’s for comic effect only. I mean, it just sounds funny to me. Obviously I know it’s not an inherently funny word. Jesus. In fact, the last time I found myself in a church (not counting a funeral), it wasn’t funny a single time, not even the first. Then after the one hundredth time–Jesus, Jesus, Jesus–I thought to myself man, this chap is really riding this Jesus thing. That was way back when our daughter attended a Lutheran pre-school. She’s a first-grader now.

I woke up Google this morning and asked him about this issue. I found one person who would likely slap me around for exclaiming “Holy Jesus.” This person was answering the question:

Is it offensive to exclaim “Jesus!” as an exclamation, i.e. when something startles you?

This person’s reply:

It is blasphemy. If you are using the name of Jesus to not address Him, like when you are making an exclamation, angry or in disgust, you are blaspheming his name (using it in vain). It’s just like using someone’s mother’s name to express disgust.

And as did that religious public speaker-guy, I’m going to really ride this Jesus thing (at least for a couple more paragraphs). As soon as the name–the concept?–enters my mind and then hits the screen, besides the “funny” feelings, I feel a confusing mish-mash of guilt and anxiety–guilt for having notta-one religious bone in my body, and anxiety over possibly misleading people into thinking I am. Before I move on, I have an important confession about the bones in my body. I do have one religious bone, the stapes bone in my middle ear.

Bottom line here: I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy. I don’t aim to offend.

Okay. Chicago Land houses two IKEA stores, one in Bolingbrook and one in Schaumburg. My wife mistakenly thought I had been to one of these IKEAs when in fact it had been her teenage cousin (son of the aunt) on a 2010 pilgrimage. That’s how her memory rolls, it rolls to the right, rolls to the left and then–plop–right into that soggy ditch of misplaced facts, where what’s real is confused with what isn’t.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t need an excuse to talk about IKEA. No, there’s no toll booths between a thought about IKEA and a statement to me about IKEA. If I could erect a toll booth right in that slot, when she’s about to mention that store, I’d charge a million dollars. Warning, toll bridge ahead . . . and you don’t have nearly enough cash to get through, so forget about talking to Mike about how great IKEA is. 

Here’s a sentence for you. The girls just love to eat at IKEA. I’ve heard that sentence so many times that I’m really beginning to think the girls love to eat at IKEA. One time. Tell me one time and I get it. That’s how my memory rolls. Straight on.

And guess what? Sitting on our kitchen counter–right now–is the latest IKEA catalog. I’m not sure how long it will sit there. Three days ago, when she set it down, she told me something that involved her sister and also mentioned this or that about an earlier edition of the catalog. As of January 11, I’m thinking that this catalog is destined to be handed to her sister. I spend much time in that kitchen and each time I see that catalog I want to toss it into the recycling bin.

It’s not that I hate IKEA either. I’ve just never been to one and I guess I just don’t “get” it. Right? There IS something to “get,” I assume. Cuz Jennifer done got it. I’m actually sitting in an IKEA chair right now. It’s a version of this chair, different color. My feet, along with a cat, are on this footstool. And this lamp is floating above me.

After writing most of this on Tuesday, Jennifer came home and–wouldn’t you know it–found an excuse to bring up IKEA (without paying a toll). It seems her friend, who actually lives in Sweden where the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, is from, wants MY lamp. Hmm, you don’t say?

Another confession to end this post. When writing like this, it’s essential that I exaggerate or I literally will fall asleep at the keyboard. Here’s the truth: J’s memory is fine, mine isn’t spectacular, I don’t really mind her talking about IKEA, and my stapes bone, after all, isn’t all that religious.

If you really want to know, want to put me in a box, though a rather large one, I’m Spiritual, But Not Religious.

One Response to “The IKEA post wherein I try not to offend Christians”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Old Wrinkly Man Writes About Diapers & Death « plum bananas - March 6, 2012

    […] a distraction and interrupts whatever I’m doing, even if that’s just sitting in my Ikea chair reading. It’s appealing to think about the day I can just “go” in my […]

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