January 21, 2010


I have decided to redecorate my house, beginning and ending with new bath towels.

"These are one step above disgusting," my neighbor told me on the day that I cut my hand. She expressed concern that the towels populating my linen closet might breed infection.

"I've had these since eighth grade!" I yelped in protest.

She was not amused by my joke. She did, however, find it within herself to pass along some insider information about a certain national retail chain that sells goods for the home.

"They get their shipments on Tuesdays and Fridays," she told me. "The Tuesday truck is unloaded on Wednesday morning and the merchandise is put on the shelves by Thursday morning. The Friday truck is unloaded on Friday afternoon, just in time for the weekend rush."

I made a mental note of her advice and went to the store on Monday at noon, when inventory was at its lowest.

Even in this harsh shopping climate, there were still a fair number of well-manicured and sleekly dressed interior designers perusing the aisles, filling their carts with barbaric candelabras and gigantic ceramic elephants. There were also several women about my age in the store, all of whom were crammed into the store's arboretum.

"Do these look real?" one woman said to another, holding up a bundle of fake roses suspended in a vase filled with clear acrylic gel.

"So real," the other woman replied. "And such a bargain at $16.99."

That was all the convincing that the first woman needed. Plop. Into the shopping cart the flower arrangement went, along with two of its close relatives, a pitcher of plastic tulips and a large wreath fashioned out of plastic Easter eggs.

When I left the aisle, the second woman was putting the exact same trio of treasures into her shopping cart.

I stalked one of the interior designers until I caught her off guard in a sea of throw pillows.

"Are you an interior designer?" I asked, lamely. The thirteen pieces of framed artwork in her shopping cart gave her away.

"Professional home stager," she clarified.

I wasn't exactly sure what that was, but it sounded like something that I might be good at.

"Do you like these towels?" I asked, gesturing to the mound of objects filling the bottom of my shopping cart. "Do they go together?"

"Are they all for the same bathroom?" the woman asked me, studying the objects with a raised eyebrow.

For the record, I tried to find a complete set of towels. When the lack of inventory deemed this impossible, I was forced to mix n' match.

Before I could explain myself, the woman picked up a beige hand towel that I had discovered on the clearance table next to an assortment of Christmas soaps.

"Is that a horse?" she asked, pointing to the animal stitched onto the front of the towel.

"Unicorn," I clarified.

The look on the woman's face forced me to put all of the towels back on the shelf, including little Pegasus.


Southern Belle Mama said...

Several stores are coming to mind...TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods. I'm thinking of those which sell Easter egg wreaths. :)

And shame on that home stager, I bet your kids would have loved a unicorn handtowel!

Renny said...

Um, I'm confused. Where is Target? Target has great towels... or... Wal Mart. If you're desperate.

RN Mama said...

Are you serious? Please tell me you're not serious about the unicorn!

Exactly, what store were you at? I would check out Marshall's, Target, or even Kohl's. You could also do Bed Bath & Beyond if you have a giant stash of the 20% off coupons like I do!

Margaret said...

I always shop at target. I love all the bright color of towels that have almost all year around.

the thrifty ba said...

let me know where you end up. i got all white towels when we moved into our home 6 yrs ago. they look MUCH older. and there was a thought process behind the 'all white'...i could let the towels walk to whatever bathroom and they would still match the room.
i shouldnt think...

happyfamily said...

Tuesday Morning! That's my guess.

girlnblack77 said...

RE: the thrifty ba's comment...
I vote all-white... not so much because they'll go in any room, but because I can bleach the heck out of 'em, and not worry about jeweled-tone towels bleeding into one another in the wash.

Emmy said...

Ah Tuesday Mornings I am guessing?

I love/hate that store. Sorry you didn't find any good towels.

Rebecca is Thrilled by the Thought said...

Too funny. I agree with the other posters- Target is the way to go!

Ruth P. said...

if you like bright colors, like bright red, yellow, blue and green, maybe even orange, Ikea has really very reasonable towels. They are gracing my mostly white bathroom. Since I'm cheap. And I like bright. And, added bonus, in your family you can assign colors. Although 'knowing' your kids, I doubt that would work.

Casey said...

K Mart is having a sale on towels right now, I think they are selling 6 for 10 bucks or 16 bucks or something like that. We are finally redoing ours. Our kids bathroom has that vinyl ocean scene shower curtain, it was cheap, they liked Nemo...score, but it got a rip in it and so we need to replace it. Our bathroom in our old home had beige tile, this one has yellow tile (ick) and since we cannot replace the tile right now we have to just decorate accordingly. Our bright blue and orange (ick but hubbys favorite color) is just odd in there, looking for something more grown up. You'll find me at KMart or Target...I'll no doubt have a unicorn towel in my cart for my 3 year old.

Angelica Bays, TygrLilies.com said...

I think...no-wait, YeaH.
I'm pretty sure I love you.
Ok, fine. I'll just follow you then.
In a non-stalker kind of way.

The Girl Next Door said...

OK you had to be at Home Goods or Tuesday Mornings. news flash, Kohls has great sales all the time especially if you have their card. I have all my guest towels from there, andI am a total towel snob-o-la. check them out!

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

I think unicorns are the epitome of class and taste ... that woman has no clue what she was talking about! PS Thanks for always managing to make me laugh ...you are a riot!

Liz said...

I'm jealous of all the cool neighbors you have that level with you like that!

I love mixing colors... have always hated the matchy-matchy look!

Krista said...

This has me rethinking my towels. But who needs a fancy "Home Stager" to help you pick towels? I think I'll go to Wally World and grab an assortment and throw them all over the floor, where they usually end up anyway. Whichever colors make the nicest "rug" I will buy. And don't "Home Stagers" design homes that people want to move out of? I guess if you want your family to move out, go ahead and take her advice. It's obvious unicorns are a rare breed and your children would enjoy washing their hands over and over again! Trust your instincts!

Adoption of Jane said...

LMAO @ the look on face!!

Colleen ~~ Hockey Mom said...

Go to Target!

Anonymous said...

For Krista-Home stagers decorate homes that they want people to PURCHASE, but yes the home owner wants to move from. Seriously home staging has been proven to help sell a home faster than an empty one. Stagers need to know something about colors and design to be good at their job.
Seriously Jana I'm shocked at your lack of skills, you should have taken your daughter with you and had her match towels. Pink and purple would have had the boys in heaven!!

Anonymous said...

sounds like a dollar store?

Queen of Crafts, Current Events, and Such. said...

Sounds like Home Goods

Anonymous said...

Costco, that's where I ended up last night when my husband said he just couldn't count the last couple of bath towels as actual towels since there were 8 inch holes in the middle(read cheapskate). I told him that they still dried his body and also would be able to "hang on" with the handy hole. Well anyway, went saw hotel packs there for 6 towels for 20.00. I still couldn't bring myself to buy them after all there was still something to dry off with after a shower. Uh I will be going back today, a divorce is a little extreme to not spend 20.00.

MiMi said...

Don't we ALL love a little unicorn action every once in a while? Sheesh. Is it just me?

Mirinda said...

As an interior designer, don't you love the attitude we give off?! :) Kidding, I am SO not like that {but you can find me in Home Goods with several pieces of art in my little cart}

I buy towels at Target unless I come across a good deal at TJ Maxx/Kohl's/Home Goods!

Amalie said...

hey, that is how I redecorate too!

Jennifer said...

Unicorns are so cool, why would she scoff?

I'm guessing HomeGoods -- my absolute favorite store!

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