A Happy Place

via Daily Prompt: Candle

“Which one do you like?”

He jerks his head away from inspecting the fake plants as I hold a deep-red scented candle under his nose.

“This is ‘Sweet Berries’,” I say, then swap to a gray candle, “And this is ‘Calming Spa’.”

He dutifully sniffs, pauses, then shrugs and smiles.

“Both are nice. You choose.”

“Okay! ‘Sweet Berries’ it is!”

Then I skip away to return the gray candle to its shelf, while he goes back to the fake greens, deciding which of the deceiving plastics is deemed worthy to go home with us.

This is one of our happy places — IKEA. From admiring the cleverly-designed showrooms, to measuring tables and testing couches, to falling prey to pretty knick-knacks like scented candles and storage organizers. Sometimes, we just roam through and end up at the restaurant for Swedish meatballs, salmon, and dark chocolate almond cake. Oh, and the occasional ice-cream after the check-out counters.

It’s not just us. I know of at least a few other couples who call IKEA a happy place too. Why is it so? What is IKEA’s secret formula that so appeals to lovebirds young and old?

Maybe there’s just something about shopping for a house together. IKEA’s aesthetic display of bedrooms and kitchens suggest that one’s dreams for the future can indeed become a reality. Maybe it’s in the very inspecting and deliberating — regardless whether it’s a bed frame or scented candle — that is the outworking of two minds learning to communicate and compromise for the good of both.

Maybe IKEA just found the right formula for being the right space for two hearts to come together for a common vision. In this case, the vision is not about having sleek furniture in a house. The vision is of building a home —  which is the real happy place.

Habit tracker: Week 2/4; Post 3/5

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