Mike Dariano

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How IKEA inspired me to feel wealthy

I don't know what the correct definition of 'fan boy' is but I'm certain I come as close to it as possible. If fan boy is a frozen block of ice then I'm that drop of water less than a degree away. My fandom isn't toward Apple though, it's toward IKEA.

There's no catalog - no anticipation of looking at strictly advertisement for some product - that I enjoy as much as the annual IKEA catalog. It's always full of bright, cool, modern, hip stuff that would in no way match the rest of what I have but if I were to start from scratch I would start from IKEA. I would also be single. My wife doesn't like IKEA in the absolute terms but in the relative ones. IKEA makes me clean.

It was a few years into my love affair that I began to wonder what about the catalogs I enjoyed most. I like the furniture, the wall art, the kitchen stuff. But why? What about these things brought out so much more enjoyment? It was the cleanliness.

In an IKEA catalog things are picked up. Things are put in their places. Counters, mirrors, and windows are all wiped clean and the picture frames wouldn't dare to foster a speck of dust. Part of what I liked was that things were tidy. If I couldn't have the macro look, I would have the micro one.

And it works. While cleaning the house is not a pleasant chore and one that I don't do willingly it is one with a nice reward. When I look around a room after it's been cleaned, I enjoy the way it looks. My stuff looks newer, shinier, more dazzling. It looks like nice stuff. I think somewhere in my brain there are tiny chemicals that switch routes when I do this and they're probably the same ones that I get from making a purchase of something from IKEA or eating a chocolate ice-cream cone. In some ways I'm tricking myself to thinking I have new stuff by making my stuff look new.

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