Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Just Can't Contain Myself

ByeBye Pie mentioned in her post today that she and her husband spent approximately 33 million dollars on bookcases. I'm guessing that they must have gone to that mecca of suburban consumerism, the Container Store. I went to the Container Store with my husband once. Let me mention here that I was, at the time, 40 weeks pregnant with our fourth child. As in, very pregnant, in a don't-mess-with-me sort of way...

Anyway, there we were, looking for bookcases or some such thing (because at that point we still had just about zero furniture that we hadn't found at the apartment dumpsters on moving day). I was a tad disgruntled to find that each bookcase/shelving unit cost approximately gazillion dollars, but I was still willing to investigate the possibility of spending our children's college educations money on crappy furniture. Or, at least, my husband was, because he was tired of living in a house filled with dumpster specials....

What pushed me over the edge was the realization that, on top of the exorbitant prices it asks for bookcases, the Container Store charged extra for what they termed accessories: such, um, non-essentials as shelves, say, or the hardware to hold up said shelves. In my opinion, this practice is akin to selling a dress and charging extra for the sleeves. Or a car, and charging extra for the steering wheel...

I can't help but feel a little bad for the saleswoman who enlightened me on this matter.

So we left (sans bookshelves, of course). Larry still claims I embarrassed him that day. I claim that the Container Store is the one who (which?) should feel embarrassed, blatantly ripping off customers like that. Sheesh. Or maybe the customers should feel embarrassed, for falling for such a pricing scam...

So we went to the local fake diner instead, where he fed me ice cream to placate my troubled, frugal, pregnant soul and we sat and listened to the woman in the booth behind us regale her companion with a detailed description of her last C-section. It was that sort of a day.

The End

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20 comments:

  1. Thanks for sending me to ByeByePie, very funny. I don't think we have Container Stores here. I've never been in one. What's wrong with Target? Or Ikea, for those people lucky enough not to have to drive at least an hour to get to one. (Almost worth it for the cinnamon buns alone.) Anyway, my house if full of crap right now and I'm pondering posting on Freecycle that people can just come take whatever they see that they like, because that would be easier than me figuring out what needs to go and bagging it and posting it and/or dropping it off somewhere. Just come and take, wouldja?

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  2. The Container Store is absolutely ridiculous--though I do love to wander the aisles before heading over to IKEA where I can actually afford to buy something.

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  3. I have to say, we have Elfa shelving from the Container Store in four rooms of our house and it is divine. About 100 times better quality than the Ikea shelving I tried to get away with. I'm talking wall-mounted stuff, not bookcases. The beauty of the Elfa is it requires really minimal drilling into the walls for mounting and you can change up the configuration of the shelves at any time.

    You design your own layout, then you buy everything separate. So, yes, the screws and mounting brackets and yada yada are all separate, because it will depend on how you configure the design.

    It was pricier than Ikea, but so worth it. And easy to install for a family of so not handy people.

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  4. i have not yet ventured into a container store. thank gah.

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  5. I love Pie she cracks me up and I came to you through her.

    I am way too frugal for the Container Store. In fact I don't think I've actually been in the Container Store in over 5 years. Just wouldn't be prudent. I also stay out of Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn. My style is more Salvation Army and the Thrift Store.

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  6. It's almost January. Let the container frenzy begin.

    I was a tad crazed at 40 weeks, so I know exactly what you're talking about.

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  7. Yes, I feel badly for anyone coming across my path when I'm 40 weeks pregnant. People should just smile, say how beautiful you look and you hardly seem 40 weeks at all, and go about their business!

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  8. I have never been in a Container Store, but visited their website because they're no where near me at all. My visit online didn't last long. I am too frugal for that stuff. It would be cheaper to buy in-stock kitchen cabinets for what I need. Till a year ago, the closest Ikea was 6 hours northwest. Now there's one 3 hours south.
    And I don't need to be pregnant for the evil to leak. I have two insurgent teenagers, one is just short of starting his own jihad in the household. The dark side of me is constantly fighting to see daylight.

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  9. Bookshelves are so freaking expensive. I just don't understand it. I'm forcing my husband to learn to make them, so that we can sell them on Craigslist and become MILLIONAIRES.

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  10. I have never heard of the container store, however, we do have an Ikea not too far from where we live. I don't see the point in buying expensive furniture. Kids will color on cheap furniture as easy as they will the nicer stuff.

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  11. And I bet Container Store bookcases also have saggy shelves.

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  12. The Container Store makes me panicky; not just for the expensive shelves, but also because I want to be organized and can never figure out what to buy to get organized. If I knew what I needed to store and in what kind of container, I'd already BE organized.

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  13. I made a trek to Ikea the first time I was (hugely) pregnant. Dragged my parents and my husband, too. Let me tell you how much fun that was; apparently they are not as fond of Ikea as I am, and while I was the one with the enormous belly and the swollen ankles, they're the ones who complained. The. Whole. Time. But, at least we got some great (cheap) stuff (including a bookshelf).

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  14. I went to the Container Store. Once. I wasn't pregnant, but it *was* the weekend of my 40th birthday: I was on a surprise shopping spree weekend with the women in my entended family (both sides), my husband was deployed, and I'd been drinking free cocktails.
    I still bought nothing.

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  15. Really? What's at the container store that you can't get cheaper and better at Target?

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  16. Awe, so sad. I hate The Container Store too because I admire their merchandise and hyper-organization products but I can't afford them. I stick to the IKEA bookshelves or the ones from Target.

    Kudos to your huz for knowing just what you needed.

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  17. The people from whom we bought our house re-did two of the closests with Elfa. We did the third one with the Home Depot cheap versions, which work just as well. I have to say, though, that all the clean, cute packages at the Container Store make me drool and tap into my dreams of having a organized, clean, Real Simpe-sort of house with everything in its place. And that will never, ever happen.

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  18. My dad make really neat built in shelves, with adjustable spacing on the shelves. I just buy the materials and give him the measurements. The next time they come visit, he installs them. We only have one set so far, as the last several visits he has been rewiring, insulating and hanging drywall for me. 100 yr old farm houses are so much fun.

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  19. I've never been to one--thanks for the tip! I shall now never go...and happy belated Chanukah, SC!

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