Friday, April 15, 2005

Jay Visits Home Depot, Gets Scared Away by a Bandsaw

I found myself in dire need of a closet shelving system so I could complete this year-long project of organizing the big pile of junk and clutter in my room into little piles of junk and clutter. Normally, I wouldn't think twice about the entropy in my room until the mess starts violating the second law of thermodynamics, but I figured that I'd have to move stuff around anyway to deal with the impending mildew infestation that's threatening to consume my room and I might as well put everything back in some sort of order. What started as a few brown spots has grown into an entire ecosystem living on my bedroom wall. Since I know how much people love looking at pictures of mold, I include some now for your edification.

Being a metrosexual snob, I was all set to head out to The Container Store, ostensibly located at Menlo Park Mall, half an hour away, to find some sort of, uh, container that didn't look like crap. I can think of four stores (five, if you count Wal-Mart, which I don't) all within a ten minute drive from home that would have approximately what I'm looking for, but I'm only too happy to do some extra driving and some extra paying just so I can shop at the same place they shop on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." As it turns out, however, there is no Container Store in Menlo Park Mall, or anywhere in central New Jersey, for that matter. I guess I was confusing it with the punnishly-named Hold Everything. Gee, how could anyone possibly make that mistake?

Instead, I found a coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond and, disappointed, headed out there. Don't get me wrong: there's a pretty long list of decent stuff you can find at Bed Bath & Beyond. It's just that storage units aren't on that list. I know this because we bought all of my dorm room furnishings and decorations in a single Bed Bath & Beyond shopping binge and then I spent two years of college dealing with this shoddy "Yaffa Block" modular stackable shelving system that wobbled whenever you put something heavier than a pencil on it. There's no way I'd trust my Yaffa shelves to hold all that crap you see in the picture on the left. Mom, who has apparently never heard of Ikea, told me that "every college student has Yaffa Blocks." But then again, she hasn't been in college since the days when everybodyd had a portable typewriter, so I don't really know what I was thinking listening to her.

Nevertheless, here I am at Bed Bath & Beyond where you have a whopping two options when it comes to storage units. There's a cheap clear plastic model with three drawers and a cheap wicker model with three drawers, so you've got your choice between north of the Mason-Dixon line white trash and south of the Mason-Dixon line white trash. Maybe they were out of stock today, but I've noticed that Bed Bath & Beyond also sells a mesh metal Euro-trash model.

Which is why I crossed the parking lot to Home Depot. As it turns out, if you buy something from Home Depot, they expect you to assemble it yourself. So I headed back to Bed Bath & Beyond.