Girls Write Out
Thursday, April 13, 2006

I've been wanting a sissel rug for my family room. Pottery Barn has one, but for more than I want to pay, so on way home from the Jelly Belly factory, I thought, "Hey family, let's stop at this big, Swedish furniture box store! It will be so exciting."
Groans ensue and my excitement dies just a little, but I press on -- I'm a writer, I know rejection well.
We park in the parking lot from the dark side (think vying for a spot as if they're giving their stuff away!) Add in a dose of husband's fun comments and more kid whining. Ah, the sounds of shopping.
"But honey," I chirp happily. "The rug might be cheaper here!"
As we park, my daughter throws a five minute tantrum for good measure (she wouldn't want us to think she was into this or anything. And besides, it's always so fun to have passersby stare at you as though you are the worst parent on earth.)
So I resort to bribery, and tell all the kids, "We'll go to Fresh Choice!" So we finally get out of the car, my daughter's red-rimmed eyes showing her discomfort with the entire situation.
We're herded, yes I mean herded into the showroom via an escalator we cannot escape (think salmon going upstream! Only determined people lured with the idea of cheap furniture.)
We get upstairs to all this cheesy, modern-looking crap set in little room vignettes that are meant to make you want to live there. But apparently, I'm too old, because my first thought is, "Am I back in college? Get me a milk crate for my stereo and let's go!"
But here's the thing, the big Swedish box store is smart. They know what you're thinking (that you need absolutely nothing here) and thus, the second part of the diabolical plan ensues. You are now trapped like a U.C. Berkeley lab rat in an experiment of International proportions. Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to get out of the box store. Oh sure, there are little arrows on the floor, but there's a sadistic window-dressing retailer who wants you to look at her work, and by golly, you aren't getting out until you've seen everything. It's like one very big, very nightmarish Open House night at your kids' school without the fine art.

Okay, so IF you manage to get to the "exit" you're back downstairs where there is a huge warehouse like where they put the Ark at the end of Indiana Jones. Upstairs, if you saw something you liked, you were supposed to write its location on a piece of provided paper. Then, the real fun begins. Your SAT score of shopping box style. You go downstairs, and you try to find your fabricated partical board furniture in a massive warehouse. You still have about a mile to get out of the store. With four hungry kids in tow! (By the way, they did have the sissal rug but it's made for a Manhattan size apartment, not a real house.) We manage to get out the front door, and my family breathes a sigh of relief, and gives each other high fives feeling as though Nepal lies beneath us. We did it! Pottery Barn is feeling like a real bargain at the moment.

P.S. I just got home from Nashville, and I have my first copy of "A Girl's Best Friend" it should be out soon!
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 8:24 AM  
  Comments (11)
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At 11:20 PM, Blogger CaliGirlDCE25 said...

Kristin.... if you're talking about Ikea, I feel your pain! The one in Bloomington, MN is ginormous! Right across the parking lot from my favorite mall on this continent: The Mall of America. MMmmmm... As much as I love the mall...I could do without the ginormous Swedish box store... hahaha

At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you not like Ikea?! It is one of my favorite stores :)

At 2:13 AM, Anonymous alisa said...

Kristin the snob doesnt like IKEA. ;)

When I was younger (12 years ago) I had a bookcase from IKEA. I had that thing for 10 years. As a long as the fake wood items dont get moved around a lot, they can be gems. :)

At 2:35 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Alisa, I have lived my Ikea days. Here's the great thing about getting old, you can buy real furniture. LOL Yeah, you get lines on your face, and you have to dye your hair, but you're sitting on a real sofa. LOL

Annie, I was in Minneapolis last night, catching my flight back to California. I LOVE your airport, I always stop there now instead of Denver because of the great coffee and shopping while you wait. Plus, you get your exercise because your connecting flight is usually a mile or so away.

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Suzanne said...

I don't like Ikea either, it is furniture just waiting to fall apart. But the main point of your story, what I want to hear more about is the Jelly Belly Factory! A dream tour for me second only to visiting with Ben & Jerry in Vermont!

At 11:57 AM, Anonymous alisa said...

Oh I dont think Id buy a whole house full of IKEA items. But we did decorte the youth room at my church with it. :)

By come Kristin, you can be a bit snobby - I'll let you blame it on age.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

LOL - I'm with you, Kristin. My IKEA days are long over. Give me something with umph to it. :o)

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Afdowns said...

Kristin- seriously you said EXACTLY how I felt in that store! I just needed some kitchen chairs, for Pete's sake!! The arrows are just torture. And then the chairs looked like they belonged to elves in Santa's workshop!! I can't forsee myself ever going again, if I can help it.
And let me say I LOVE your books. Ashley Stockingdale made me laugh until I cried! I can't wait for the new Spa Girls- already pre-ordered from Amazon! :) Thank you!!

At 10:15 PM, Blogger CaliGirlDCE25 said...

Glad you like the MSP airport K! Funny thing... I fly in and out of there so often, that I could probably walk that mall blindfolded! hahaha... did you know they have a Starbucks in baggage claim? it's OUTSTANDING! but the giant Ikea's only about a mile I'm kinda glad that I can't see it from baggage claim...that would ruin the ambiance.

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Jamie said...


My fiance is threatening to use my IKEA bookshelf that I assembled myself as firewood!

Anyway, I'm reading the last of the Ashley S. triology; I stopped at Barnes and Nobles when I was suppose to be wedding dress shopping.

I must say, I do love reading your books. Have a blessed Easter.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Can't wait to read A Girl's Best Friend!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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