AK: “When are you ever going to blog again?”
Me: “I just posted yesterday!”
Also Me: “When am I ever going to sleep again?”
Still Also Me: “You have to post something today. Post now, sleep later.”
Today I got to visit a couple houses of insanity, each made further insane by the current season. The inimitable Pier 1 Imports and its evil cousin Bed, Bath, and Beyond. In the former, I was searching for holiday placemats specifically. In the latter, I was searching for a secret Santa gift.
Let’s start with Pier 1. This store has a very unique atmosphere. I’ve tried to figure out what uplifting, empowering message they are trying to convey and the best I’ve come up with is: “There are many things you can buy in this world, some are cheap, some are not. Here’s as many of them as we could fit inside this building.” I’ve never been to a true “bazaar”, but because bazaar is so phonetically similar to bizarre, I envision that Pier 1 is similar to a bazaar. Shopping there makes me feel like I have ADD. It’s impossible to get through the store quickly, because there is always something somewhere attracting your attention. And at the same time, because you can’t focus on any one thing, you want to get out of there because it’s so overwhelming.
So, thank god I found some decent placements within the first two minutes of walking in. But as I was standing in line, the ADD hit me and I had a thought of a product I knew they sold that would be a nice stocking stuffer. I broke out of the line and walked the store, looking for this item. I never found it. After checking out, I found I had spent almost 20 minutes in the store. How the hell did that happen?
Later in the evening, the GF and I went to BB&B. As we were walking the parking lot to the store, the power turned off in the entire plaza. That’s not a good omen. We stood outside the store for a minute or two and determined this wasn’t just a small power blip. So we moved on to another shopping plaza and came back later. Power’s back on; we’re good to go.
The atmosphere in BB&B is slightly different than Pier 1. They are both packed to the gills with shit, but the difference between the two would be, Pier 1 is “chaotic” and BB&B is “claustrophobic”. BB&B is nicely organized into departments, BUT, there’s a whole bunch of shit that doesn’t fit into any standard department. That stuff goes in the aisles. It’s everywhere! The specific thing I am looking for is one of those aisle things, I assume, because it would be classified as a “beyond” product. I have to walk all the aisles, which is a misnomer, because there’s only one aisle that loops the store. So, I make a loop around the store and constantly dodge other people’s shopping carts. Like Pier 1, the aisles are organized utilizing using the excellent sorting algorithm, “shuffle”. There’s no rhyme or reason to anything, which means you have to look at everything.
Don’t get me wrong, I love treasure hunting. Ross, TJMaxx, Bealls Outlet, even flea markets. That’s all fun. But when I want something, I want to be able to find it quickly. And neither of these stores are made for such precision.
And as it turned out, the product I wanted at BB&B was not stocked in store. It was online-only. Which makes you wonder why retail stores are having such a hard time against online shopping. I really wonder why.