an expression or onomatopoeia for laughing.
a gathering of friends with the purpose of gossiping, chit-chat
ORIGIN late 20th cent. originally a colloquialism in the LGBT black and latino communities of New York City, made popular by the 2012 Scissor Sisters song “Let’s Have a Kiki.”
From the Scissor Sisters Song, “A kiki is a party, for calming all your nerves. We’re spilling tea, and dishing just desserts one may deserve.” A kiki is staying in and gossip with friends. While some will say they are above gossiping, we here at Transcendence see it as a necessary and beneficial. Gossiping is quintessentially human. However, we here at Transcendence also cannot afford to only focus on one thing at a time. In response I have developed a new from of kiki. The Ikiki. It combines all the elements of a kiki with the utilitarian value of Ikea. The basic concept is simple.
Gather friends that need affordably priced Swedish furniture and am excuse to gossip. (Preferably on a Saturday or Sunday morning)
(Optional, but highly recommended) Find a nearby bar or restaurant and get pleasantly drunk. (We here at Transcendence support drinking responsibly. Uber is you friend.)
Enter Ikea and gossip with your friends while shopping for affordable home goods.
Sober up and drive back with products from Ikea and sense of well being.
An Ikiki solves two problems in one delightful afternoon. It’s beautiful. Some people complain about not having time to meet up with friends. Others have trouble furnishing their home. An Ikiki makes you set aside time for friends while also improving your quality of life through Swedish home goods. Win win! Meandering through Ikea also provides excellent conversation fodder which is an easy segway into gossip. “Kendra, what color side table should I buy? White or wood gain? Also, did you hear that Mark got Veronica pregnant?” “These surge protectors are so cheap! I wonder if Nwakego needs one because her apartment’s and life are a mess!” Want to incorporate food into your Ikiki? Grab some Swedish meatballs and make it into a lunch date! An Ikiki is always a good idea.
My most recent Ikiki was with my friend Laura. We were both feeling down from the week and needed some well-designed, but affordable home furnishings. Feelings of worthlessness is easy buried under pre-fabricated plywood and 99¢ blue plastic bags. Below is a timeline of events.
10:45 Text Laura to confirm that today is the date of the Ikiki. Tentatively set plans to leave at 1PM
10:50 Research bars and and restaurants close the the West Covina Ikea
10:57 Realize there is a Hooters in the same shopping center of the Ikea.
10:58 Laugh at how hilarious it would be to go to a Hooters followed by Ikea
11:01 Decide that Hooters + Ikea is a great idea.
11:05 Receive a text back from Laura with the response “Yaaaasss bb!!!”
11:06 Laugh again at how ridiculous this plan is. Quietly hope that his plan succeeds and doesn’t fail like the rest of you life thus far.
11:10 Nap out of boredom
12:50 Wake up and frantically get dressed, something put together, but comfortable. After all, this is an Ikiki.
1:18 Question how the hell there is traffic on The 10 on a Sunday. Remember that there is always traffic in Southern California and that you are perpetuating a stereotype that is overhyped but somewhat true.
1:27 Have first sighting of the bright blue mecca that is the Ikea of West Covina. Also see the giant Hooters sign in the same shopping center.
1:30 Pull into the Ikea and realized that parking lots for Hooters and Ikea are not connected
1:32 Walk on the large unused sidewalk towards the Hooters
1:37 Approach the Hooters, realize that it’s very likely a converted car wash
1:39 Realized that this is your first time at a Hooters and quietly judge yourself for stooping to this level.
1:40 Enter Hooters with Laura and get seated at the bar. Look around and realize that Hooters is just a sexed up sports bar.
1:41 Notice the couple sitting at a booth behind us. They seem happy and their son looks happy too.
1:42 Further notice that the wife is very pregnant and wonder what drove a couple to go to a Hooters on a Sunday.
1:45 Rene, the very nice bartender, asks if we’re ready. I order a Moscow Mule and Laura orders a Tropical Long Island Iced Tea. (She’s obviously trying to get #turnt)
1:49 Receive drinks. Proceed to sip and people watch.
1:57 Notice that (what appears to be a mom and daughter) come in and order a large amount go wings. Wonder if the wings are actually good at Hooters.
2:07 Ask Rene, the very nice bartender, for a picture in order to document the Ikiki. Frantically explain that you are an art student and not some sexist pig.
2:08 Rene, the very nice bartender, agrees to take the picture, but firsts asks if she should pull her shirt down a little. Say no and take selfie with Laura and Rene in frame.
2:13 Quietly gossip with Laura how sad that pulling down her shirt was Rene’s first reaction
2:17 Realize that we are the judgmental assholes that are barging in and making ridiculous assumptions. Briefly, relate to anthropologists in the 40’s who were questionable and exploitative.
2:21 Pay bill and walk out of Hooters, realize that both of our alcohol tolerances are very low and proceed to Ikea on a wave of tipsy jubilance.
2:36 Arrive at the Ikea. Proceed up the escalator while making extravagant hand gestures. This is our Ikiki. This is our time.
2:39 Print our an Ikea family pass in order to save 10%. We might be drunk, but we’re still money savvy.
2:41 Proceed to explore the wonderful world of Ikea. Gossip about life and consider purchases.
2:57 Realize that we are both a little over stimulated and weak. Sit and gather energy in the the sofa section. Talk about how wide a range the Ikea price spectrum goes. A sad coach going for $120 is next to the high end option that goes for $1500
3:13 Proceed deeper into the depths of Ikea by going into the basement where more goods are.
3:17 Joke with Laura that we are both affected with Stockholm syndrome. Ikea has held us hostage in its labyrinth, but we love it. Stockholm is in Sweden, and we are both purchasing unnecessary items to stock our homes.
3:19 Smugly laugh at how clever we are while while I consider purchasing a 34 piece set of tupperware for $4.79
3:27 Enter the lamp section and realize how cute it would be to have matching baby blue lamps. Purchase lamps.
3:38 Look for the aisle that Laura’s ‘Lack’ is in. Comment on how the name feels appropriate.
3:41 Sober up while simultaneously realizing that Ikea is out of the Lack in wood grain. Settle on white, like you did with your dreams.
3:47 Realize how much shit is in our bags. Buy it all anyway.
3:55 Realize how hungry we are and buy questionable hotdogs on our way out. Laura buys some salt licorice and we both question why that decision was made.
4:15 Arrive back on campus feeling relaxed and properly Ikiki-ed. Take in the oddly cinematic sunlight and leave our separate ways, Ikea goods in tow.
Haul list: A baby blue lamp, four bunches of plastic grass, loose-leaf tea ball, lamp, other lamp that clips onto a headboard, two blue plastic Ikea bags, tart pan.
An Ikiki might not be for everyone, but for my friends and I, it’s the perfect storm of unapologetic consumption, camp, and European design. We here at Transcendence highly recommend trying this out next time you have to “shade that lid and bid adieu to your ennui.” Let’s have an Ikiki!