02 March 2011

Necessity is the mother of all acquisition?

*editor's note:  Foul language may be found below.  You have been warned

An official address change with the United States Postal Service warrants a deluge of flyers, coupons and special one-time-only-move-in offers in your mailbox.  I don't see how the USPS is going broke - they should be raking it in with all the selling of personal info they've got going on.  Stamps schmamps - they've got the mailing list industry nailed down.

Today's bundle of useless mail included a coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond for 20% off my entire purchase. Whoa!  Hold on there B,B & B!  You don't want to be giving away the whole store in one go like that.  With these kind of discounts you'll be finding yourself in the chapter 11 line right next to the Post Office.

Oh, wait. I forgot.  Bed, Bath & Beyond is ridiculously overpriced.

Moving on.

Let us then change focus from bogus bargains to Bed, Bath & Beyond's handy NECESSITY CHECKLIST which they thoughtfully included along with the coupon.  Their suggestion is that I get all I need in one shopping trip, taking advantage of their generous coupon at the same time, thereby outfitting my home AND saving money (though possibly bankrupting myself) in one fell swoop.  How thoughtful.

But let's review their version of necessity, shall we?  If you need to get a beverage or use the bathroom, now might be a good time, because this list is LARGE.  Go ahead, I'll wait.............


Since the NECESSITY LIST took up an entire 9x11 page, I will alter B,B & B's format a bit, in the interest of saving space (Why? This is the internet!  Isn't space infinite?  I dunno, I am the daughter of depression era parents and saving is always good.  Even if it is the saving of virtual space in a limitless cloud of ether that exists only in theory and possibly on a quadrillion microchips across the world if my limited understanding of this weirdo alien technology known as the world wide web is accurate.)

My comments will be in bold, but I think that will become obvious quite quickly; an ad exec for the home furnishings industry I will never be. On to the list:

-drapery panels
-drapery rods & finials
-roman shades
-wood blinds

REALLY!?!  I am in an apartment so the windows are already covered with basic blinds.  But even in a house the only real necessity would be cheap sheets tacked across windows to keep out the sunlight and the gaze of your Nosey Nelly neighbor.  The rest is just luxury.  We don't NEED six layers of window treatments do we?

-carbon monoxide detector (Wha?!?!?)
-shelving units
-drawer organizers
-garment bags
-garment racks
-shoe racks
-smoke detector
-storage boxes

Don't the drawers themselves actually function as organizers? Like socks in this one, undies in the other?  And garment bags?! What kind of wardrobe do they think I have?  I keep all my gowns in cold storage downtown.  Duh!   And Garment racks? Wait - I thought closets had that covered.  You have a closet, you put stuff in it. What do you need the racks for?

-air purifier
-broom & dustpan
-iron (Don't burden yourself, Downey Wrinkle Release and a dryer will suffice.)
-ironing board (See comment above.)
-ironing board cover (ibid, or whatever.)
-laundry basket
-step stool (As a short person I am in full agreement.)
-trash cans
-utility shelf set (I don't even know what this means.)
-vacuums  (We need more than one vacuum? C'mon!!!!)

-air mattress (necessity only if you do not have a bed.  If you do not have a bed - Bed, Bath & Beyond is probably not interested in having you as a customer.)
-bed ensembles
-duvet covers
-fitted sheets
-flat sheets
-pillow shams  (Shams are NEVER a necessity and often a nuisance.  Am I supposed to sleep on them? Or remove them before going to sleep only to put them on again in the morning?  I never had a handle on the shams sham.)
-pillow cases

Correct me if I am wrong but don't items three through eight actually fall under the umbrella of item two? Bed Ensembles.  And hello? The word ensembles?  Feck off you pretentious farts.  I don't even have ensembles that I wear, I'm lucky if my socks match.  My furniture certainly does not get an ensemble.

PILLOWS & PADS (Really?  This is a separate entry from bedding?  Really?)
-bed pillows
-featherbed (This SCREAMS luxury, not necessity.  But maybe that's just me.)
-mattress pad

-bath towels
-bath sheets (Aren't these just glorified bath towels?)
-hand towels (Do we really need three towel entries?)
-shower curtain
-shower curtain rings
-shower curtain liner  (It really is a crime these three things are not packaged and sold together.)
-tub mats
-shower head (You should probably go to the Home Depot for this.)
-soap dish
-bath rugs
-shower organizer (Pray tell, exactly what organizing must one do IN THE SHOWER?  Can't one just clean oneself and call it mission accomplished?)
-space saver (I am calling bullshit on this generic list item that could mean a hundred different things at B,B & B.  In fact, since you aren't sure which whizzbang they mean, you should probably buy one of each.)
-bath hardware
-toothbrush holder
-tissue holder (OR you could be satisfied with the box the tissues ALREADY COME IN!!!)
-wastebasket (Not to be confused with the trashcans entry under CLEANING.)

-bedside lamp
-desk lamp (What if you don't have a desk?)
-floor lamp
-floral arrangements (This on a NECESSITY LIST?)
-folding chairs
-folding tables  (Folding table & chairs are necessities only if you are hosting a baby shower, or my family for Thanksgiving.  Otherwise, go get a kitchen table - you'll be fine.)
-framed art  (Necessity my foot!)
-kitchen cart (I have been rendered speechless.  A kitchen cart makes the MUST HAVE list?)
-wall shelves
-media storage  (Bah! Shoe boxes work fine.)
-snack tables (Different than a folding table how?)
-table lamp  (Again with the lamps?)

My take on this portion of the NECESSITY LIST is that Bed, Bath & Beyond simply listed every piece of furniture they sell.  Just count yourself lucky they don't have chaise lounges, retiring chairs, fainting benches or chifforobes.)

DINNERWARE  (Never fear, we are more than halfway through.  But you better go grab another shopping cart.)
-coffee mugs
-dinner plates
-pasta set
-salad bowl
-serving bowls
-serving platters
-soup/cereal bowls
-hostess set

Ok, there is not much I can say about this portion.  This stuff really does come in handy.  But what exactly is a pasta set?  And a hostess set?  If I don't know what something is do I really need it?  And if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it do they still need a snack table?

-cookware sets
-fry pan
-grill pan
-roasting pan
-pot rack (Notice how they include things to hold the things you are buying from their NECESSITY LIST on the NECESSITY LIST?)
-tea kettle

At first glance I thought I spotted an unforgivable omission.  What about a sauce pot?  I can make my pasta in the stockpot but where will I heat my Ragu?  Then I realized that item #1 should include a sauce pot.  Actually, item #1 should include items 3,4 & 6 as well, thereby rendering their inclusion on this list redundant.

CUTLERY (Not to be confused with dinnerware or cookware.)
-knife block set
-steak knives (Often included in a knife block set, n'est-ce pas?)

-hand mixer
-stand mixer
-toaster oven  (Both a toaster and a toaster oven?  Really Bed, Bath & Beyond?  I think you're just trying to squeeze an extra thirty bucks outta us poor suckers.  "But Honey, they say we NEED both!")

Overall reaction to this section?  All nice to have but I own two of the above seven and I make out ok.

I can't even touch this one.  I am getting weary of B,B & B's hard sell.  Trust me when I tell you this portion of the NECESSITY LIST includes damn near everything else Bed, Bath & Beyond sells that has not already been included on the list.

-basic drinkware
-wine rack  (I tried a wine rack once.  Couldn't keep the wine around long enough to justify a rack to hold it.  I'm betting many of you are in the same boat.  Skip the wine rack.  Top o' the fridge works fine.)
-wine glasses
-beer mugs

My version of the GLASSWARE list would read as follows:

-dish cloths
-kitchen rug
-kitchen towels
-over mitts
-pot holders

I'll let you in on a little trade secret, pot holders can and will double as oven mitts for no extra pay.

-napkin rings  (I CALL BULLSHIT!! I am calling it loud and hard.  I am calling it from the rooftops, the mountain peaks and standing on top of your chifforobe.  Napkin rings are as much of a nuisance as pillow shams.)
-placemats  (See above.)

And that concludes the list of what Bed, Bath & Beyond considers to be necessities in your home.  I don't mean to offend anybody with my anti-consumerism rant.  I appreciate a beautifully appointed home as much as the next gal.  Maybe even more so.  The truth is I used to have all of the above, AND MORE!  Now I am just bitter and angry that I have to go about acquiring it all again to achieve my slice of American Dream Pie.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go add a pie-server to my Bed, Bath & Beyond shopping list.



Anonymous said...

You're so funny and obviously have been out of the usa for too long AND have way to much time on your hands!!! If you're not going to use the coupon, please mail it to me.........I'm sure there is something on that list I do not have but I need!!!

Anonymous said...

One of my former students' (from last year)grandparents OWN B,B and B. Would you like me to relay this information? LOL.

Absolutely LOVED this post and you must, must, must be a published writer. You. Are. Amazing.