Almost everyone has gone through it at some point in their lives.
It's overwhelming. You are flooded with emotions and questions. It is important to remember that you are not alone. The five stages of IKEA have been well documented since the first Swedish studies of the 1980's. The human experience is as old as flatpack furniture itself.
Why is this happening to me? you ask yourself, I can't believe the entire population of my city is shopping here today. The sheer monumentally of the building and the crush of people are nearly unimaginable. You have even mentally prepared. but it is entirely normal to be quickly overwhelmed.
After the initial shock has worn off, usually in the kitchen section, you find yourself in the midst of being carried along by large crowds of people. Where am I? Why did I come here? What the hell does this gibberish name even mean? How am I supposed to get this piece of furniture in my yellow tote bag? Where did I even get this yellow tote bag??? It is normal to be disoriented and confused in these early stages.
Confusion quickly turns to anger as the people adopt defensive postures as "fight or flight" response to the confusion and crowds. You may find yourself lashing out violently at other shoppers with your yellow tote, or venting your frustration in other inappropriate ways. The best way to deal with these antisocial thoughts of slaughtering families with brightly-colored kitchen knives is to take a few minutes rest on the $150 mattresses, concentrate on the lights, and count to ten.
Unexpectedly, at the moment of greatest anger, there is a moment where perspective slips and you realize that you can buy almost the thing you need for a fraction of the cost. Perhaps you never bake, but you might and frankly $3 for a cake display is too good to pass up. IKEA is based upon the idea that if you make the price low enough, people will buy anything. Once you break through to the euphoria stage, your yellow tote will rapidly fill with 99 cent dish towels, flimsy glassware, plush rabbits, coffee tables, and thirty or forty pine wood picture frames. Whatever it is, you say to yourself, throw it in! It's half the price at Target!
This euphoria eventually burns itself out as you become dehydrated and fatigue sets in. The more you look, the more you see the shoddy workmanship and cheap materials. You no longer fight the push of the crowds but let yourself be moved along. Now, you may be regretting some of the things you put in your bag and cart in the throes of euphoria, but you are too tired to take them out. Whatever, you may think, it almost does the job. Numbly you are content to stand still in line since you don't have to look at anything anymore. You grit your teeth and think just a swipe of the credit card and I am free.
Once you are home, rested, you have assembled your furniture, rested again, you sit back and say, you know, this crap is tolerable, but sometime soon I'm going to replace this cardboard crap with something nice.
It's totally understandable.