Friday, May 04, 2007

Don't Go In The Barn

Do not go to Pottery Barn Kids on a Thursday at 1 pm.

I thought it would be a quick 30 minute trip to pick up a gift.

I have never been more wrong.

The place was crawling with kids. And moms. And strollers. And people buying things for kids and moms. And strollers. Cribs, chairs, clothing, bedding, bags, books.

What else do you find in a Pottery Barn you might ask…..well, it’s a place filled with overpriced, expensive frilly things that you probably don’t need to be buying for your….one year old? This is a kid’s store, right? These people do know that children, especially young children, tend to be the most destructive species on the planet? And all of the nicey nice bed sheets, crib bumpers, and curtains in the world won’t make them any less likely to try to pull those $400 curtains down to make a cape.

I watched a man drop over $350 on some bedding for a boy’s room. Seriously, dude, your kid will barf on that, pee on that, take the scissors to that, and then in about a month he’ll outgrow that. What’s the point?

But I wasn’t here to question why most people in the store were buying things for kids that kids would never use – no I wasn’t here for that. I was here for a reason.

To buy a friend a gift. She’s about ready to pop out a baby girl. We used to work together – up until last Friday – and I used to like her – up until this Monday when she sent me an e-mail that said “I’m at home, watching Oprah, in my pajamas!”

Delete.

The clerk printed out her registry and handed me a two page list. What they didn’t list on this list was the fact that this list was printed in Sanskrit. Seriously. Nothing made sense. Exactly what are hanging butterflies and exactly how are they different than a butterfly mobile? And how, or why, would a newborn know the difference?

I gave it my best, to locate the items on my own. I started by looking for the spring meadow crib sheet. At first I did the obvious – look for anything with the word ‘spring’ on it. But the sheets were much smarter than me. There were more than a few versions of spring-something sheets.

So then I looked for something that looked like a spring meadow. But even that was tricky because the whole store had literally barfed up spring – pink, blue, green, yellow – and it was a baby store after all so everything looked like a buggy, flowery meadow.

I admitted defeat, and found a clerk. Who was helpful, but not really, because it came across as fluffy and pandering which are two of my least favorite characteristics in people. I prefer short and to the point. Find me the sheet, and get me out of here.

She found some portal in the store that I completely missed and wouldn’t you know that was exactly where the spring meadow sheet was found.

Or was supposed to be found. Apparently they had the boy’s version but not the girl’s. Which got me to thinking. Who would buy a crib sheet for a boy called spring meadow?

I’ll tell you who – the same people that brought their screaming toddlers to the store to just play in the first place.

Yes, there had to be about 20 of them. Not really. Maybe 3, but they made as much noise as a gaggle of geese so it might as well have been 20.

The moms were those super skinny stylish suburban moms that screamed I have too much time! money! so I am forced to be at this outdoor shopping mall in overpriced stores on beautiful days with my best friend who looks just like me – oh, and my kids.

The kids were playing, the moms were looking at things while trying to control their children in the most unsuccessful way. As in, the child throws a play spatula and the parent says “we don’t throw things”. Well, we just did throw something so what do you think about that?
Back to the sheet. So I’m standing there with the clerk trying to locate the spring meadow girl’s crib sheet. When she couldn’t find it, I saw myself tying her up with the butterfly mobile. Then dangling the hanging butterflies from her head.

I looked down at the registry but everything that looked like a good option was already purchased and the remaining items were online only. I was not walking out of this store with something – a gift, a gift card, a misbehaved child – something that I could box up and throw a bow on.

At that moment, it sounded like the (pottery) barn walls just caved in. It was actually the misbehaved children that had knocked over the play kitchen. So finally I get it – about the barn – it’s filled with overpriced toys that promise to deliver a bigger bang when they fall. Let’s all get in line for those now.

So then the mom yells at the kid (we do not tip things over), she picks up the kitchen and puts the kid in his stroller and wheels him out. Don’t they know those toys – at that price – are not for playing with, are just for show?

At this point, I am thinking this is the most effective birth control method out there. Spend 20 minutes in the Pottery Barn on Thursday at 1 pm and you will have no desire to use your reproductive organs for the next 20 years.

The clerk then said something about calling on a radio to another secret portal hidden within the store where they not only stash the spring meadow crib sheet but also half the staff that will locate the hidden spring meadow crib sheet. It’s a very cryptic, secretive barn.

The other half of the staff was trying to help the line of about 100 women that had formed at the register in the time I had been there. Great, it took me forever to get here and now it is going to take forever to get out of here.

It must have been my lucky day. Not really but let’s pretend like this was the best thing that happened to me today when another clerk showed up with the girl’s crib sheet. Oh sure, it was cute – bugs, butterflies, the whole meadow theme. But it didn’t seem like enough.

So I tried to find something else. Of course, the overzealous, overhelpful, spent a little too much time in the barn clerk suggested a wash mitt. Yes, yes, a butterfly to go along with the spring meadow theme and all. She said she had just the thing. A moment later she arrives with a pink thing on her hand that she pops in front of me face.

DEAR GOD someone keep that away from the children. Especially the small ones. Smack in front of my face was the most bizarre bath time butterfly puppet I had ever seen. Bright pink terry cloth with squirrely eyes and sappy wings. It had a touch of psychosis and a look of manic frenzy in it’s bug eyed face.

Perfect, yes, yes, I’ll take that.

Throw that in the box, too. Wait, maybe just the bag. The fun factor for bath time would multiply exponentially with that thing on my hand so I might just want to keep that one for myself.

I stand in line to purchase my psychotic puppet and crib sheet, and a day later the clerk is neatly tucking them in the box. And a day later I am still waiting. Oh please, just put the puppet in the box. Put the sheet in the box. Today. Please. Put the puppet in the box NOW.

So, consider yourself warned, do not go to the Pottery Barn Kids on a Thursday at 1 pm. And if you find me later tonight, standing in the shower, talking to myself with a schizzed out puppet on my hand - please don’t ask (we do not ask the crazy woman why she is playing with a pink bath puppet), it’s just been one of those days.

3 comments:

Alicia Par said...

You survived. I am proud of you grasshopper, I mean, butterfly.

Imagine... people do that kind of crap for FUN. Frequently. I shudder.

Jenny G. said...

Okay! I have a 2 year old who does have Pottery Barn sheets! I know it is nuts but I couldn't help it. They are too cute. It really is for me not him. But honestly, you will learn when it comes to shopping for kids, use the internet!

Sue A said...

Ohhhhh, it only gets better with Pottery Barn TEEN!!! Jenny, I hear you about the internet thing, but being at home only does a little to minimize the pain of spending 2 hours on pbteen.com looking for comforter sets for 2 13-yr old girls who are as different as night and day. I guess the real benefit is when evil stepmom says "I am NOT spending $150 each on a comforter that you will hate in a year", and the only people to witness the reaction are equally evil dad and nonjudgmental dog.