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Ikea, Mormons and the Striped Polo Shirt

This is going to be like a sitcom with two plots running parallel, and at the end everything merges into one symbiotic mess.  Bear with me until the end, when my train of thought will finally reach the station...

A few weeks ago I noticed a phenomenon dealing with Mormons and striped polo shirts.  I was at the grocery store and was blocked at the entrance by two LDS families.  Two husbands, two wives, and seven children (all boys).  The two females wore nondescript outfits, but the clothes for the 9 males jarred me:

Polos.  Striped polos.  Horizontal-striped polos.  All of them.

The men, the boys and the infants were all adorned in striped polos.  The twins from one family wore IDENTICAL striped polos.  It was like a 'pod people' movie where normal thinking humans were replaced by striped-polo aliens, hell-bound on destroying the Earth.

From that point on, I started taking more notice.  Striped polos were the LDS shirt of choice.  Not all of them wore striped polos, but it seemed to be a good bet that you'd see them in one more often than not...  If the men aren't in suits or a shirt/tie combo, a polo will do.

Fast forward to last week, when I was in Utah for work.  My girlfriend usually has me get things while I'm down there, since Utah has more options for retail and food.

My last Utah trip, I ended up bringing home Chipotle for dinner...

This trip, she needed me to run into Ikea to pick up a half-dozen organizer rods.

If you have never been into an Ikea, lucky you.  They are designed to be lab-rat mazes, and will essentially take you through every single square foot of retail space before allowing you to check out and make your purchase.

Just in case you lose your way, they have these to guide you:

Little arrows on the floor, to guide you from entrance to exit.  From first floor to second, and back down again.

Looking for these rods, I spotted a display using them.  The displays usually have tags like 'this item can be found in textiles' which is exactly where it said to get the rod.

So I walk.

And walk.

And follow the arrows like a good little boy.

The textiles section happens to be the last section before the end of the maze, and of course, the rods were not there.

I began to backtrack.

This meant going the opposite way the arrow was telling me to go.

People looked at me with shock and disgust, like I had just murdered a kitten... YOU CAN'T GO THE 'WRONG WAY' IN AN IKEA.  That's more blasphemous than mowing your lawn on a Sunday...

I go back to the beginning, and scour every section.  Finally, after 45 minutes, I found the coveted rods, and headed back to the exit.

And now that I wasn't blindly following arrows, I noticed something...


Scores of children.

About 2/3 of them were in striped polo shirts.

Above the torrent of twisting toddlers, I noticed a sign.

"IKEA:  Kids eat FREE on Tuesdays!"

It was Tuesday.

....for the love of God, it was Tuesday....

There were at least 3-4 children for every adult, and the food court was the halfway point between entrance and exit.

And I had to pee.

I decided to hold it, because I didn't want to go into a restroom that has suffered the constant assault of little kids.

I managed to escape without losing a limb or getting ketchup smeared on me.  The rods were $21 and change at the checkout, but I felt like I paid a much higher price than that... this trip took about a year off my lifespan.

Lesson learned:  If you go to an Ikea in Utah, don't go on 'Kids eat free' day.  The tornado of striped polo shirts will try to sweep you away.
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12 witty retorts:

Lady Estrogen said...

Stripes - they are the safe style choice. I'm just disappointed that they're all Polo and not The Gap. Nothin' says conservative like Gap stripes.


Adsila said...

Yep, you describe Ikea shopping perfectly. I will go there now and then if I have a full day of nothing to do and looking for a huge place to wander around.

sporkgasm said...

Okay, now I must keep my eye out for the mormons in striped polos. I wonder if it is also a California phenomenon.
Ikea is a frightening place. When I bought my house I promised myself very little Ikea furniture. I only have one table, and my entertainment center from there. That place gives me hives.

Zombies Everywhere said...

I dont think I've ever seen a mormon in anything other than a solid white shirt and black tie. lol.

Brandon from said...

You need to catch them in their natural habitat... think bears in the wild...

Brandon from said...

Ikea is designed to make you spend all your money, or get endlessly lost. It's designed for 'shoppers' instead of 'buyers.' I was a buyer that day, and paid the price.

Brandon from said...

Funny enough, Old Navy has more striped polos than any other store in my area, yet mormons don't go in there. Maybe it's too casual for their tastes??

G said...

I'm sure Ikea was invented by the devil...mass produced individuality served with meatballs are far too tasty to not contain addicitve drugs

Brandon from said...

This means the devil is Swedish, and probably good-looking.

...if you think about it, it makes total sense.

Kid-FreeLiving said...

If IKEA invented the devil, it would be called "The Kookinschtugen"

Thank, Q said...

Ikea has a place to eat? I've only been to one (Dallas, TX), but I don't recall seeing food there. This is weird. So, everyone I see in a striped Polo shirt around here, I'm going to pay attention to their male family members. Thanks, I'm scarred for life.

Nellie Vaughn said...

Hahaha, I've been to an Ikea once, and that was enough for a lifetime.

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