You've heard of Stockholm Syndrome, where those held captive start to feel empathy and sympathy toward their captors- even going so far as to defend their actions.
Well, the Swedes have recently given us another, albeit lesser known syndrome: Ikea Syndrome. Like those who are afflicted with its well-known cousin, Ikea Syndrome sufferers develop a sympathetic bond towards that which holds them captive. They want to spend time with their captors, eat with them, drink with them, and even exercise with them by walking the hundreds of twisting, turning miles of aisles it takes to finally free themselves from the confines of the bright blue building.
While in the store, you can tell who has been afflicted with Ikea Syndrome. Watch them move about the display model of the 23 square foot apartment- they almost tremble with anticipation of finally one day owning such a space and perhaps becoming one with the giant Swede. Watch them pull out their measuring tape to see if both of those huge boxes will really fit into the back seat of their car. Check out what they are wearing- is it yellow? They wear yellow not because they work there, but to honor those who do.
Those who suffer from Ikea Syndrome will go to great lengths to learn the lingo of their captors. Listen to them talk to themselves in a faint Swedish accent. (They always talk to themselves because they shop alone. To bring along a shopping buddy would compromise the integrity of the Ikea experience. If they had a shopping buddy, they would constantly be sighing and saying things like, "It's an Ikea thing, you wouldn't understand...") They know the difference between a Limhamn and a Liatorp so you probably shouldn't ask them to point you to a sofa, they will just cock their heads and stare at you like a little bird until the Dioder in their head lights up and they realize you want to see a Klippan, a Kivik or perhaps even a Karlstad.
Ikea Syndrome sufferers often don't even realize they are starting down the dark path of affliction. Everything seems fine until one day they find themselves thinking about Swedish meatballs- without even being prompted by a television commercial. Soon after, they start making plans to decorate their kitchen in a charming blue and yellow combination. Eventually, they weave the words "flat pack", "self-assembly" or "lingonberries" into every conversation and by then it is almost too late. They have been seduced by the clean lines and organizational utopia that is Ikea. The new Scandinavian Syndrome is upon them and it might just require some therapy to break free.
Remind me to get some pictures up here soon of my new couch. It's an Ektorp.