Friday, November 23, 2007

I Will Shop No More Forever Or The Battle For the Plain White Plate


Upon returning from New York, I was a little busy. First up: the dreaded first-day-back-from-vacation at work, which turned into the dreaded first THREE days back. I had to attend two after-hours events, on top of dealing with jet lag and very little sleep. The weekend was no respite, but was spent in mad “company and Thanksgiving dinner prep” mode. I spent a day cleaning the house, an evening schlepping the food, a few hours finding and washing the china and crystal, and a RIDICULOUSLY. LONG. MORNING. SHOPPING. FOR. SIX. PLATES.

We needed a few plates to supplement our china-for-eight, since we were having twelve for dinner and had finally pitched our old, tired, not-even-good-enough-for-goodwill dishes. First stop: Target. Had a long list of necessary household items to buy, and wanted to try out the cute Method mop thingie (that ultimately disappointed), so after visiting our rug dealer, we headed up to the Tar-Jay. Got everything on the list, except the plates: all of their basic white casual dinnerware was completely cleaned out. Big surprise.

Next stop: Pier One. Right around the corner from Target. I remembered P1 having a decent selection of dishes. I remembered incorrectly. Candles? Check. Martini glasses? Yup. Crap for your walls? Tons. Dishes to eat off of? Not so much. D. and I found a plain white dinner plate that was acceptable, stacked six or so up in a pile, and discovered inconsistent, uneven edges that you could see a mile away. More waves than a tsunami. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Forgetaboutit.

Third stop: Macy’s home store. On their “biggest sale of the year” day. Semi-huge mistake. Found some simple, elegant and nicely made (i.e., consistent) dinner plates, salad plates, and humongous cereal bowls. We got the last six dinner plates they had in the store. Whew! Somehow, we were able to hold all of our new dishes in our four arms and headed for the checkout line. We chose the wrong line, as we always do, and stood in it for thirty-five minutes while my hands turned numb.

Did you know that at Macy’s, the checkout person (ours was the slowest in the history of the planet) has to put a dumb little sticker on each and every item that you purchase? Did you know that they take approximately fifteen seconds for each item? We had eighteen, and by the time he stuck the fifth label and slowly scanned five plates, we had been in line for forty-five minutes. We grabbed his stickers and started sticking the rest of the plates and bowls ourselves. Finally he finished ringing us up. Luckily, someone else wrapped them, or we would still be there, and our guests would have had nothing to eat for Thanksgiving.

The nice wrapping person then offered to carry them to the parcel pick-up door so we could avoid carrying eighty-five pounds of dinnerware through the mall to our car. Unfortunately, she fell on the way and smashed one dinner plate to bits. Various Macy’s staff people spent about twenty minutes checking over each plate and searching for one to replace the broken one. There was no other such plate in the store. Now we have six bowls, six salad plates, and five dinner plates.

Figured I’d order the remaining plate on line. Nope. They don’t carry that particular one. Just in the store. Fine. I ordered six additional plates of a similar style so I could have six that matched. Oy! I am staying out of stores for the next six weeks. I cannot handle it, and I don’t have the time to waste just to buy more crap!!

1 comment:

Professor J said...

What an ordeal! I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. Mostly hate.