When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas I told her a gift card from Pottery Barn. There were three reasons for this.
#1. It's The Barn. Who doesn't get their hearts a-flutter when the Pottery Barn catalog arrives? The new one is all about indigo so I'm mulling over changing the entire house to an inky blue oasis. With that going on it won't feel like we're in a Prairie Flyover State here, but more like corporatized eclectic charm. The Big Daddy loves corporate. Ask him sometime. When you have a week.
#2. Mom is 85 years old, and though she is very active I don't want her traipsing everywhere for a gift for me so I try to make it easy. For my sisters who are often called upon to do her traipsing.
#3. The Pottery Barn in Kansas City is closing, therefore allowing for anticipated deep discounts. Along with my gift card this equals Consumer Strategerie to get the most bang for the buck.
I went after work to be greeted by 20% off signs for bath towels when I walked in the door.
20%? For bath towels? Who even cares about bath towels and why would you buy them from Pottery Barn? I walked right by that bargain even though we could use a dozen new ones since The Big Daddy ripped one right down the middle the other day and I yelled, "Stop with the vigorous drying!!! Bath towels don't grow on trees, Mister!"
I was on the hunt for a WOW purchase so that when somebody comes in my house and says, "That is really cool," I could say it was from Pottery Barn instead of from the curb barn.
I wandered around and found Christmas decorations for 50%. Okaaaaay, but weren't we over that before it even started?
At one point, a salesperson greeted me and she had the demeanor of a metro chic New York socialite who was forced to work because Grandpa cut off her trust fund. Added to that she talked in low tones. As I lingered over a footstool clad in leather she said, "Just so you're aware, our furniture is an extra 20% off."
And I said, "WHAT?"
"Our furniture is an extra 20% off."
"Oh, okay, but I can't find a price on this."
"Well, you must have overlooked it because it's on here."
"No, it's not on either one."
She looked it over and there was no price and I resisted the urge to say, "Told you so," because she kind of scared me with her cool, detached boredom.
"I'll go find out and let you know."
And I said, "WHAT?"
She left and I dug through the linens in the back of the store that had some serious markdowns. The kind of markdowns that a Christmas gift card would cover. When she came back she said, "It's $299.00 minus the 20%."
And I said, "WHAT!!!!" not because I couldn't hear her but because that was a ridiculous price for a footstool.
"It's $299.00" she repeated, likely resisting the urge to say, "YOU CHEAPSKATE."
I came home with a diffuser, a pillow cover that won't work and has to be returned and a candle holder. There was no WOW purchase, only the realization that Pottery Barn is best done on the knock-off PB couch with a cup of tea where you can turn back the corners of the pages of all those things that make you dreamy-eyed. After a few days of lingering in decorating utopia with the Sundance, Garnet Hill and Ballard Design catalogs, it will get thrown in a basket where it will eventually get tossed into recycling without another glance.........
........and the dream will be forgotten, but when you put a feather in anything you take it to a whole new level.
Pottery Barn taught me that.