Slice of Life 17: Hide and Seek at Ikea – It’s a Thing
By Janice Ewing
You never know what you’ll hear on NPR. In this case it was BBC news, on NPR. Anyway, between pieces about the tragic flooding in Malawi and the closely-watched election in Israel, came an interview with a thirty year old Belgian woman who had organized a huge game of hide-and-seek for adults at her local Ikea store. Her age is relevant to the story, because when the interviewer asked what had possessed her to want to do this, she explained that, at age twenty-nine, she had had a sense of “getting old” and had created a list of “thirty things to do before the age of thirty.” Somehow, adult hide-and-seek at Ikea, which has taken place before in various locations around the world, made the list. Apparently, the specific store in question got wind of the plan and approved it, but Ikea is not longer sanctioning the games within their stores (preplanned or not) for obvious safety and legal reasons. In the spirit of research, I googled ‘hide-and-seek at Ikea” and found numerous articles about the phenomenon, mainly focusing on Ikea’s current firm stance against it. Oh, well.
I thought about why this story was so intriguing. Yes, it was a refreshing break between accounts of human suffering and political tension, but there was something else. I think it was the idea of completely re-envisioning a space, from an assortment of material goods for sale to an exciting and creative place to play. Children do this all the time. Maybe we don’t have to hide inside of a Swedish cabinet to rediscover a sense of fun in our surroundings. I’m wondering what I might look at through a different lens today.
* This “Slice of Life” post is part of a larger blog series, hosted by the blog site, Two Writing Teachers: A Meeting Place for a World of Reflective Writers.
Janice Ewing is an adjunct for Cabrini College and a co-director for the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project. Janice co-facilitates PAWLP’s “Continuity Days” and this blog. She is an avid reader and writer, and especially enjoys writing poems.