Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Chronicles of a Duvet Debacle

Blog Schmog. Now that I no longer have co-workers to entertain with the mundane details of my life, you must read about the chronicles of my duvet debacle. And a glowing example of customer service (contrary to my former drycleaners).

Musician boyfriend is the first boy I've ever lived with.
(It will be 6 months on August 1.) But this major first comes with a dinghy of spin-off firsts trailing (not far) behind the...bigger boat...that the dinghy accompanies.. 

1. First time coming home to a made dinner since I lived with my parents
(that wasn't soup I'd had in the freezer since Sunday.)
2. First fight over spending. (First fight...period. BTW it resulted in the best couch in the world.)
3. First time being called out on my passive aggressive behaviour.
4. First time I've ever sounded like my mother (see above).
5. First time experiencing disappearing groceries.
6. First time compromising on style (and pretty much everything else.)

Musician boyfriend isn't one of those boyfriends who surrenders fully to the woman's decorating tastes. He is artsy. He's a graphic designer who does not like to stray far from his design ethic
(he is stubborn.)

My Auntie Jo recently met him and told me he reminds her of a good friend of hers.

"Oh? How old is this friend?" I asked, "Too old for Hilary [ her daughter]?"

"Well he's married," she replied. "To a man."

And so began my adventures in the land of compromise. The land where every decision must be discussed and mutually agreed upon. It's collaborative.  Like Jack and Michael teaming up against Stephen before Jack threw Michael under the bus and ran for his life
(pun intended). 

Or, like a coalition government.

Problem is, this isn't Germany. And the Canadian fear of a coalition government is that nothing will ever get done.
Dialogue will go on for an eternity. Imagine that. Dialogue.

I can attest to this, in part. Decision-making in a collaborative partnership can remain at a standstill. Particularly when only one of you can reach the toolbox in the closet
(still need to buy a stool dammit.)

But musician boyfriend gave me concentration of powers over decorating the bedroom.

"I don't care about the bedroom. It's all you," he tells me one day in February.
"Why don't you care about the bedroom? You should care about the bedroom. That's your sanctuary!" I protest.
"Nope. No one sees it. I sleep in it. Don't care," he re-affirms.

I eye him up, skeptically.

"Okay," I concede. "I will figure out the bedroom."

"Great. Go for it." He picks up his guitar.
"What if I pick out a flowery duvet cover?" I ask.
"Go ahead. Couldn't care less." He starts to strum.
"But what if it's pink? And embroidered," I test him. I think I have him here. 
"Sure," he shrugs.
I could push him further,  but he is now drowning me out with a song that is not about me.

So the bedroom is all mine.

If the bedroom were
really all mine, I knew that I would buy a duvet cover from Anthropologie. My ultimate fave store and the antithesis of MB's design ethic. I have browsed their bedding online and in their catalogues and dreamed many o' time of the day when I might own one.

But I still don't quite believe MB. So I make it my mission to research a duvet cover that is unisex. After many ignored bedding links sent to MB and over a month of stalking
apartment therapy for ideas, I find one at Restoration Hardware. It's simple. It's linen. It goes with my (imagined) 'fog/stormy chic' theme. It is expensive, but when you are living with a boy and sharing home expenses, everything is 50% off. 

So I order it.

And the duvet debacle begins.

2 weeks later, UPS tries to deliver it to my apartment building. UPS buzzes me, which calls me on my cell. I tell him I am at work, and to buzz my super. She has offered to collect packages.

I go home to no package.

Day 2. UPS buzzes me.

"UPS here."
"I am at work. Did you try buzzing my super?"
"Yeah. She won't take it."
OF course not.
"Okay, well I am not at home. Please try her again tomorrow. I'll sort it out."

Day 3. UPS buzzes me.

"UPS here."
"I am at work. No luck with the super?"
"Okay. Just leave it at the UPS store and I'll pick it up later."
"This is our last attempt ma'am. You have to call UPS immediately or they will return it to sender."


An hour later I am still on hold with UPS trying to ensure my duvet cover stays in Toronto. In Canada. Whatever I can get. Then I ask where I can pick it up.

"You have 5 business days to pick it up ma'am or we will return to sender."

"Okay, sure, got it, just give me the address."

What? You're in VAUGHN!?

How the f* am I going to get it now? Rent a car? Take a cab? VAUGHN? Really? I had assumed it would be like Canada Post to Shoppers and just go to the nearest UPS store.

But nope.
(I start to think MB is clairvoyant & was just trying to avoid this huge hassle with his 'I don't care about the bedroom" bullshit.)

So I pull up my sleeves and get to work on a plan to pick it up. I call my parents. (Who are conveniently planning to visit that week while my Dad has work in the area.) Eventually my "parents" agree to drive completely out of their way to save me from this mess.

"Your father will do it on his way to work," says my mother.

Success! But wait. I  notice something fishy on Restoration Hardware's delivery notification just as I'm about to close my e-mail.
(I have it pulled up to repeat the tracking number to UPS about a billion times.) It has a tiny image of pillows...but no duvet...

The package was not the duvet.
The package was pillow shams. ONLY SHAMS. I get on the phone with Restoration Hardware immediately.

"What kind of SHAM is this?" (I wish I'd said.)

"Your duvet cover has been backordered ma'am."
"When is it expected to arrive?"

It's currently March. 
But I want to show it to company coming in a week! And assuming I will AGAIN miss the delivery, how will I get to Vaughn?

The beautiful duvet cover.
I snap. I cancel my order. I go on Anthropologie's website. I pick out a duvet cover (it's called wingspan), call the store, put it on hold, and head there immediately after work. (The 'fog/stormy chic' theme is shot, by the way.)

Musician boyfriend came home that night to a pintucked, embroidered, massively delicate and girly duvet cover. It's a phenomenal duvet cover (pictured right). But I cringe, waiting for MB's reaction.

"It's nice," he shrugs. "I think it just needs to be ironed?"

That night I quietly regret my decision as I watch musician boyfriend pull the pintucked, embroidered, massively delicate and girly duvet cover up around his beard. It's not exactly a turn on. 

He spends the next week waking up in the middle of the night, clawing at the pintucked corners like an apprehensive cat.

He eventually gets used to it. It was expensive and his girlfriend loves it.

3 weeks later it rips. Along the buttons. I try to cover it up.

2 weeks after that it rips a little more.

Musician boyfriend notices. (Foiled!)

2 weeks after that it rips a little more and I lose one of the buttons completely.

Etc Etc.

MB goes to bed every night looking smug. (Until he pulls up the duvet cover around his face or I catch him spooning it the next morning and then I get the last laugh). 
I resolve to get it repaired. 

I eventually take it off the bed, swear I'm going to get it drycleaned and stitched up, and it sits on a chair in our bedroom for another 2 weeks. But the idea that this duvet cover can tear so easily weighs on me. What if it happens again? I struggle with my loyalty to the merchant.

Which brings us to today, when I successfully returned it (and the matching, mascara-stained shams) to Anthropologie.

Yes. A store that did the right thing. No questions asked.

I called yesterday and spoke to the manager. She was incredibly nice and sensitive, took down all my info, looked up my purchase
(no receipt!) and set me up to see a manager the following day.

Long story short, I ended up with another whopping credit at Anthropologie. And the lovely salesperson I dealt with completely renewed my faith in fellow
(retailer) human beings.

Musician boyfriend has declared that the next duvet cover is his choice.
He is going to spend max $10 on it.

I don't care. Go for it. No one sees the bedroom. I sleep in it, that's it.
 Am happy to pass the buck and wash my hands of (hand wash) duvet covers until the day I die (or maybe just 3-5 years from now when I'm over it).

I gots me a
new pair of pants, a fleur de lys pitcher, and $257.68 left to spend on clothing and teacups when I am a starving student. Maybe a hat. (Am not allowed to buy a) anything regular priced b) anything until at least September when I am truly feeling desperate to shop.)

It took 4 and a half months, but in the end I'd say the duvet debacle worked out for the best.


But I wonder what MB will choose... he cares after all...

PS. Was so caught up in this non-blog post that I didn't leave on time for an appointment. Was forced to bike (egad). Saved $6. Half-way to checking it off my to-do list.


lizzabele said...

you absolutely MUST post a pic of the one MB comes hoem with. Can't WAIT to see it. (p.s. gently suggest he go to Homesense...)

Bri said...

Hahaha I will! (BTW as the original person who heard about all of this, can you believe it is still going on...first world problems.)

Caitlin Rose said...

oh I love those pants. you're making me feel like a bad girlfriend since I just plastered my apartment with flowers and lace the second I moved into it.

Bri said...

I don't know if it's so much you being a bad girlfriend as Jon being a really amazing boyfriend.

Jane said...

Oh Brianne Brianne!! I feel as though a little piece of Carrie Bradshaw has made her way up to Toronto!! I absolutely love your writing.
Now about the duvet dilemma. My first thought was "oh my God if MB is good with you choosing the bedding then run with it!" I think this because being in the decorating business I am struggling constantly with men who want their imput on every decision going when it comes to putting rooms together and sometimes it can be pretty harrowing!! If MB is good with you designing your santuary then you go for it and enjoy! I say this because I myself just redid my bedroom or I should say our but I feel it is almost more mine just because I get such great pleasure out of it. I should explain!! After years of raising kids and having children bombard our room as the place to go for homework questions, feeling sick in the middle of the night, being scared and so many other issue I can now say I take great pleasure in having my beautiful and yes "pretty" bedroom. I really don't think my husband minds at all because when he enters our room he sees a happy wife in her happy place. What Im trying to say is MB may be a keeper just for him having no opinion on particular things!

Bri said...

Well Jane you have totally made my week. (And I feel you should know that the main character in my book happens to be named Jane!)

I'll have MB read your comment :-) Was fantastic to get advice on the debacle from a wise professional. You make several good points and really, how could someone with your taste ever be wrong!

Jane said...

Very kind words Brianne! I will be patiently waiting for the next blog to appear (no pressure)! Makes all this facebook thing very worthwhile ! Even more anxious for the book release to see what kind of exciting life "Jane " will lead!! Keep up the great reads Bri!