Maybe Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll have enough TIME.

Did you know that Father’s Day is THIS WEEKEND? I know! First the May long weekend is “early”, now Father’s Day is on the 15th, and I feel like I’m in some weird time warp. Which means, of course, that my father-in-law’s card will be late – as usual – and that I’m scrambling to figure out what to get my own dad. I don’t know how things work in your house, but in mine, I’ve somehow become the default person for buying cards for my in-laws. If I don’t, then no cards will be bought, written in by the children, and sent. On the one hand I feel a bit resentful about this turn of events, but on the other, the thought of my father-in-law walking to get the mail and getting no card from the kids is just too sad.

Yesterday I went out to purchase a gift for my husband. We don’t usually go crazy with gifts on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Typically, the kids make cards and I go shopping at the garden centre as my Mother’s Day gift, which somehow turns out to be MUCH more expensive than, say, a bouquet of flowers. Two minivan-loads of plants later, my Mother’s Day gift is fulfilled. But Father’s Day tends to be a bit trickier; the kids want to give a gift, but my husband has, literally, everything. How many subscriptions to Golf Digest and boxes of Pro-V1s does one man need?

But we had a big barbeque on the weekend, with my husband making ribs for the guys and a butternut squash and vegetables for me, and he announced that he would really, really like a big platter with which to carry ribs/ giant steaks/ other meat in to the house, rather than having to make several trips with our normal plates. A big platter! That shouldn’t be hard, I thought. I’ll go out and look, I thought. How difficult could this be, I thought, ridiculously in retrospect.

Sometimes we need a sign from the universe to show that the paths that we take are the right ones. In my case, I normally shop online, with only a few exceptions. I love online shopping; I can clearly see what items are in stock and what are not, generally you can get a coupon or sale code, and my purchases magically show up right at my door. Unfortunately, with Father’s Day coming up in a mere five days, I didn’t really have time to wait for shipping and I didn’t want to pay extra for expedited shipping. So I slicked on some lip gloss, slipped on my fancy non-dog-walking shoes, grabbed my purse and headed for The Bay.

What is it about The Bay? I will keep to myself my opinions on the Jessica Simpson line of clothing that included denim overall shorts, but I will not keep quiet about the disaster that is shopping at The Bay. Why is it so disorganized? Why is it so cluttered? Why is there never any stock, or staff to help? Why do they make it so difficult? I circled around the Housewares department several times, perking up at the barbeque accessories only to be disappointed again and again. I looked through each and every aisle, wondering why the electric razors and suitcases were right beside the kitchen linens, and why there was every kind of kitchen gadget imaginable but no platters. Why were there barbeque accessories but no outdoor dining accessories, save for bright green plastic plates and plastic cups with a floral motif? Was a simple platter so hard to find?

I gave up and went to Bed Bath and Beyond, the name of which store I can never say without silently repeating, a la Frank the Tank, “I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll have enough TIME.” But Bed Bath and Beyond was worse. That store is like a sensory explosion; walking into it I find I can barely remember what I went in there for – was it this Jelly Belly Slushee maker? Or maybe this “Roll-a-Lotion Body Lotion Applicator”? How about a spiral vegetable cutter? That whole store is like an experiment in how quickly we as a species can make a landfill overflow.

Suffice it to say I did not find a platter, although I was directed to a section with cheap-looking floral plates and clear plastic platters, which already looked stained and scratched. I looked at my watch, realized that the afternoon was half over, went home, and found something online that will be delivered in 7-14 business days.

Better late than never, and sign from the universe taken to heart: next time, skip the store.


  1. Oh, The Bay. The Bay feels post-apocalyptic to me; on the very very rare occasions when I go in there I start asking myself if the zombie invasion already happened, and I wonder which department would be the best one to hole up in for protection. Then I get confused because there really *are* no departments, as you’ve pointed out, and I end up whirling around in confusion, buying a pack of gum, and leaving with no idea why I went in there in the first place.

    I usually have pretty good luck at Winners when it comes to looking for things like sturdy BBQ platters.

    Side note! I do 99.9% of the barbequeing in this house, and my platter is – brace yourselves, ladies – an antique Royal Doulton serving dish commemorating the coronation of King Edward VII. It’s sturdy, exactly the right size, classy, and one of a kind. Just, you know, I live in fear of the day it slips out of my hands.

    • I have never had luck at Winners. I have friends who have all these amazing things – shoes, bags, dishes, clothes, etc. – and when asked, they found them at Winners. Yet when I go there – nothing. Whyyyy you hate me, Winners?

      Royal Doulton King Edward VII!!!! Okay, that is AMAZING.

    • Hee! I’m never going to be able to shop at The Bay ever again without looking for zombies over my shoulder. Shiver!

  2. Oh my god, I love you. You make me laugh out loud for real.

  3. Hilarity, my friend.

    You are a good person to brave the department store for your husband who needs a platter for his MOAR MEAT. Great imagery here.

    So many people say the same thing about The Bay, I wonder why and how it is still open. Seriously. I used to buy my tall socks there because they had the brand I liked and I think I even wrote a blog post about it because YES the socks were on sale and fit me but THEN I had to find a checkout and this was when they had centralized checkouts so it was on like the second floor or something and THEN I had to wait in line behind fifteen old ladies buying discounted Lindt chocolate (so that’s how it’s still open?) and THEN the clerk harassed me about the effing BAY CARD which no, I don’t want. Let’s just leave it at that.

    I recently went into a BB&B for the first time and was blown away by the assortment of pillows! And decaf coffee mixed with valerian root to put you to sleep instead of wake you up! But you sum it up best: “That whole store is like an experiment in how quickly we as a species can make a landfill overflow.”

    • I need something big so his meat won’t touch my vegetables. *euphemism alert*

      The Lindt chocolate and the Godiva stuff. That is probably the only reason. The Bay card is one reason I just…can’t. “But you’ll save 15%! DO YOU NOT WANT TO SAVE 15%???” Also, getting a bra fitting there is fun. Having the Eastern European women yell at you for wearing the wrong size bra is good times all around.

  4. We don’t have The Bay here, but it sounds suspiciously like the downtown Portland Macy’s. In the 22 years I’ve lived in this town, it has never once provided me with a reasonable shopping experience. It’s like the store was put together and stocked by a group of ADD ridden 3 year olds. There is never anyone working there as far as I can tell and all of the merchandise is thrown haphazardly around on various shelves or hangers. I finally drew the line and started refusing to go there about a decade ago after a particularly frustrating lunch hour spent trying to find a blender for my mom’s birthday. Even if I could have found the item (which I never managed) I would have been unable to pay for it because there was not a single soul on the entire floor to take my money. ANYWAY, long complaint short, I feel your pain and fully embrace the idea that Husband would prefer a gift a bit late than not at all, which is what it would be if I tried to buy it at Macy’s.

  5. The Bay SUCKS. I think it’s a giant psychological experiment. An evil one. And Bed and Bath should have Just Said No to Beyond. Beyond was TOO MUCH.

  6. This same thing happened to me this week, only I was too lazy to blog it – Father’s Day snuck up on me, and I was forced to venture out into the wild and shop at the mall. THE MALL. I felt so overwhelmed and lost and horrified. There were just SO MANY clothing and shoe stores. SO MUCH STUFF, it made me dizzy. I ended up paying three times the online amount for a hardcover book and then fled.

    Is this what Old Lady Hermit feels like?

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