Monday, May 19, 2008

Why I Snarled in Bed Bath and Beyond

Yesterday Chris and I decided we would put the final touches on our wedding wishlist and go register at Bed Bath and Beyond. We had gone to Target last Friday and had a fun time with the scanners, going around and trying to find some fun and slightly ridiculous things to scan so people could have a little fun while shopping for us (if they choose.)
As background, I originally resisted going to Bed Bath and Beyond because I think it is a snooty place and I've never bought anything from anyone's registry there (mostly because it seems like everything is over fifty bucks and I was so poor during college, etc...) However, their return policy is one of the best I've ever heard of, and so we were compelled to try it out, with thoughts of 8 un-returnable toasters dancing in our heads, spurring us on.
So we go in, and the dude is nice and all, encouraging us to register for things we don't need because we can get free gifts just for registering for them. However, the problem was that most of the free gifts we didn't need either, and that was one of the first things that started making me a little bit upset: need vs want syndrome is fine, but this was don't need/don't want vs FREE syndrome.
When we were finally set loose, I was alright to let Chris go a little crazy with the pots and knives, because having a husband who will cook is enough of a reward for me, in this instance.
It was when we got to towels that I started getting agitated. I looked on the self-proclaimed "Helpful Checklist" that Bed Bath and Beyond had provided for us, and saw that they think we should all invest in three sets of towels per person per bathroom. I was already thinking to myself, "What a racket!". But when I saw the little part of the checklist that read "decorative finger towels" and "bath sheets" and "bath mats" closely followed by "bath rug", I started getting really, really angry. Like, oddly angry right in the middle of the towel section. Chris tried to ask me what the heck was wrong with me (in a loving way, of course), and I started snarling at him about people starving in third world countries and I'm being compelled to buy a "f***ing decorative FINGER towel?" I did not really cuss, I think, but I mouthed it, which is really just as bad.
The rest of the time passed rather uneventfully, despite a mild disagreement regarding fine china, but I was left wondering why I am such a crazy person sometimes when it comes to the stupidest things. I've had a few days to think it over, and I've come to a tentative conclusion, which might sound crazier still, but there you go.
One of my spiritual gifts is perceiving, see. When I get into a consumer-driven, high-cost environment like Bed Bath and Beyond, there might not actually be a dude there pressuring us into $400 crockery sets, but the spirit is there. The whole place is saturated with it, and so you'll recall I snarled that I was being "compelled" to buy things, even though there was no salesman there? That's what I mean! I felt it just as surely as if some slick, suited man was there spouting facts and figures at me.
Don't get me wrong, I don't really feel any less crazy, but at least my craziness has a half-baked reason behind it. Stupid consumer-driven culture that I willingly participate in!


Kevin J said...

I live alone and I can, and do laundry on a very frequent basis. My bath towels and sheets are always clean but believe it or not, I have thought many times how I'd like to have different sets of bath towels. Then, like you Cass, I usually stop and take a quick inventory realizing how ridiculously blessed I am for the home I have and the conditions I live in. Suddenly the same bath towels that I've used for I think about ten years now seem wholly adequate.



Megan said...

Regarding towels: always have enough so that by the end of the week when you go to do the washing, and put your dirty towels in, there's always enough clean towels to last you until the washed ones dry.
Rob and I only have 4, and we use 2 per week each, so you can just imagine! If we had 8 then we wouldn't have this problem :)