This particular spree all started last Wednesday when I finally made my way to Hogg Hardware to pick up my second gas hose (not shown) for my (still) new barbecue, to replace the one a pesky rodent chewed up just for the heck of it (%$#@$&). They gave it to me at retail price—which was a nice gesture—and I could have left it at that, gone home, grilled a few things on the beebeequeue, hung out with Fritz, had a beer, but no. I started wandering around the store as I always do because there’s always really good stuff at Hogg’s and God forbid I should miss anything.
I’d barely gotten properly started when suddenly I saw a woman smiling and waving at me emphatically from several aisles away. I couldn’t clearly see who it was and I couldn’t pretend I hadn’t seen her at that point, so my first instinct was to jump for cover—behind a shelf, into a garbage bin, a flower pot—anything so she wouldn’t see the state of me and start asking too many questions. I was somewhat relieved when I realized it was M, a very friendly/motherly/talkative stylist I’ve worked with on a few shoots. She took a good look at me and she just stopped talking and gave me a big loooong hug—the kind you give to someone in mourning—which is initially what she thought was going on with me. So there we were standing between aisles 1B and 2A (dishtowels and bowls) and then there was this pregnant silence which I understood to be my cue to say something, and I’d barely got the word out—burrr…..—when she said “oh don’t worry about it, everyone in our industry goes through that, you just make sure you take care of yourself” and assured me I would be fine. Our chat was turning into a long conversation so I suggested we go for coffee at a patisserie nearby when we were both done with our professional shopping. She was doing research for a photoshoot and she still had to go to Pier 1 just next door so I offered to join her there when I was done. And thus began my 2-day shopping spree.
First stop: oh-so-pretty rags. I’d been coveting these dish towels for weeks but kept holding back because how many rags does one person need? Also they were kind of expensive for dishtowels but a real steal for such works of art—plus, a portion of the price was going to a great charity organization—then, M walks by and says “those are really gorgeous… you should get them!” Say no more, it’s a done deal. I have a newfound respect for dishtowels now—especially when they’re this pretty—and still they manage to work just as hard as the plain and the ugly ones. Carry alls… I’m starting to get quite a collection at home but I’d forgotten to bring one that day and so made for the carry all section. Bambi! I almost resisted because I thought I’d look silly walking around with Disney characters but I caved in and got that too.
Pier 1 Imports
I went to join M at Pier1 where some side tables were seriously flirting with me, so I retreated back to the ground floor which is entirely devoted to candles. I smelled so many of them that I did serious harm to my sense of smell, even though they had coffee beans on hand for just that sort of problem. I mostly wanted to leave at that point, but then M pointed out a table which was filled with more candles, on sale at a steep discount and interesting-looking too. I grabbed a couple of red ones (see top pic)—it’s such a vibrant red, and ended up taking a couple of green ones too— didn’t like that colour so much but I thought they smelled better. This was impossible to determine for sure what with my nasal cavities on the fritz. M was looking at these cute little glasses—also on sale—which had these cute red fish painted on them. I was going to grab one or too (so cheap!) but then, with The Story of Stuff still fresh on my mind, thought it best to leave them there—Which of course is when M says to me “Pick your favourite one! I want to give you a small gift”. She wouldn’t take no for an answer either, and truly, seeing that little fish makes me smile every time, so I found an important job for it: it sits in my bathroom and holds my toothbrush. As for the candles? when I unwrapped them and put them on display at home, this disgusting smell emanated from them, almost chemical. My first thought was “Cheap candles, who knows what crap goes into them”. But then I remembered that my sense of smell was probably still badly damaged, so who knows? The following night they came in handy when the power got suddenly cut off—leaving me in a black room looking at a black screen—and me so scared of the dark! Those candles were the closest thing I could reach and they gave me enough light to find my way around, and pretty soon I had almost every candle in the house burning in every room. It looked so magical I almost didn’t want the electricity to come back. I thought about all those people who lived by candlelight before the use of electricity became the norm and realized just how different that kind of life must have been.
But how can I forget the pillow! So pretty, and it truly does look like a work of art, I think. There’s not much to say about the pillow actually, other than it was one of our topics of conversation M and I, when we were sitting down at the patisserie. You wouldn’t believe the kinds of conversations about “stuff” one can have with a stylist. They know their stuff and they’re quite passionate about it too. Neither of us got anything—just a water bottle for me. We were sitting outside and these kids were hanging out and I very casually asked the boy behind me if he’d mind blowing his smoke the other way because I’m “allergic” and with that word they all jumped up and started walking away like I might croak any minute (must remember to say that more often). This left us in peace and smoke free to agree that the pillow truly is stunning and looks very very expensive and hand-made but really it wasn’t and it probably isn’t although it’s made in India and M was convinced it was handmade, so you never know. It’s on my couch right now, stealing the show from all the other beautiful pillows, but so far they’re all getting along just fine.
*The reader who came closest to guessing what the object was is: QUEEN-SIZE FUNNY BONE! Congratulations! And a note to Mad: not that I want to show off or anything, but I do think I could have painted that so you kind of owe me a song…
Next post: Day 2 of the Shopping Spree.