Sunday, February 7, 2010

Unneccesary Plastic Objects

On her live album, “One Fair Summer Evening”, Nanci Griffith tells a wonderful story before the song “Love at the Five and Dime” about the first time she toured in Europe. While driving through London they came upon a Woolworth store and she wanted the driver to stop the car so that she could go in and “fill up my suitcase with unnecessary plastic objects”, and with that my addiction had a name. Few words in the English language make my heart race more than “storage solutions”. I-have-a-problem. I am addicted to plastic organizers, storage objects, solutions, tools, etc. – and my husband deems them ALL unnecessary.

Any trip to Target for “a couple of things” resulted in an hour-long stroll through the store and at least $40 in various organization and storage accessories purchased as well. The feeling of coming home with an $8 item that’s assured to bring peace and calm to your everyday life, what’s not addictive about that? Just the promise alone became lure enough to upgrade. The “new and better” junk-drawer organizer was purchased because it promised even more than the “old and lousy” version.

Then I learned that Home Depot also had a “Home Organization” section and my husband never went there alone again. He’d shop for whatever was needed for our latest home improvement project and I’d shop for a new shoe rack, wreath storage unit, etc. There was more than one awkward moment in the checkout line when he’d see my selections in the cart and ask, “What’s this?” “It’s an impenetrable plastic storage container made especially for a Christmas wreath, see?” And I’d lift it up and show him the features and benefits in such a way that could have landed me a gig on the Price is Right. “We already have a storage container for the wreath, it’s called a Hefty bag.”

It was about this time that even I had to admit I had a problem. This was more than just wanting order in my life; my constant search for the perfect closet, drawer, office and garage organizational had became all-consuming. If I found something good in April, it would soon be replaced by something better in July. One day my husband (figuratively) had to slap me out of a-la Cher in Moonstruck. No more trips to Target. For the next few months he’d be going to Home Depot alone. I had to quit cold turkey; there was no other option.

Then a friend told me about The Container Store. If you don’t have one near you, I’m sorry. It is like crack cocaine to someone like me. It is storage solution heaven. It is organization tool nirvana. I can’t even describe it to you but to say that I’d rather go to The Container Store than buy a new pair of shoes or tube of lipstick – and for any woman, that’s saying something! Whatever you need to put away, The Container Store has the most perfect thing to nestle it in.

Needless to say I fell off the wagon and let it roll right over me. There were a few tense months in our house as white bag (with huge, bright pink lettering saying “The Container Store”) after white bag came through the front door, until I finally came to terms with my addiction. A trip to The Container Store is still enough to make my heart skip a beat, and I can easily drop an hour roaming the aisles, but I’m much more reserved now with my purchases (a small house will do that for you).

Recently I discovered that the corporate headquarters were in my own town, and that they regularly rank in the top 100 best companies to work for; I now harbor a secret desire to work there (and enjoy an employee discount) so that I can spend my entire day surrounded by unnecessary plastic objects. The first suggestion I would make as a new employee is to get rid of that huge pink lettering on the bags, you can’t sneak anything into the house with that!