Let the record show that I tried to apply my Pottery Barn "$25 off of a $50 purchase" reward coupon towards a gift for a loved one . . . other than myself.
Really, I did.
But they didn't have the little pewter server thingy that I thought that both of our mothers would enjoy. Appears that I missed the boat on that one. I saw several mercury glass items that my mother might like - but I already filled this year's mercury glass quota at another retail establishment.
Picked out a tree ornament, but because of a current promotion on ornaments that only got me me $5 of the way towards $50. I had all but settled on a holiday centerpiece that Mom didn't particularly need, but might enjoy, when I decided to swing by the linens section in the back of the store.
Where I encountered an embarrassment of pillow cover riches.
See, the Spouse and I have reached an agreement. No more throw pillow purchases. Because, really, enough is enough. The boys think that the "throw" in "throw pillow" is to be taken literally, and once a pillow hits the floor, then it's fair game for the little dog, who thinks it's super-fun to lift his leg on things left at ground level. It's kind of ironic, actually: my favorite game as a smallish child was "Don't Touch the Ground." Did you ever play that when you were little? Basically, the goal was to get all of the way across a room without touching the ground. Meaning that you walked on furniture . . . until you ran out of furniture, and then you were permitted to toss throw pillows in front of you and hop from one to the other until you could reach the next piece of furniture.
Now, as an adult owner of a male dorgi dog with some combination of an overactive bladder and an inferiority complex, I find myself playing a variation of "Don't Touch the Ground," called "Don't Let Anything That Can't Be Thrown in the Washing Machine Touch the Ground." It's not as much fun, believe me.
Memo to file: adopting from the pound an adult male dog who is set in his ways is not the world's greatest idea. Stick to puppies. Female ones.
But I digress . . . .
I can't buy any more throw pillows, but no one said anything about throw pillow covers. Throw pillow covers are the loophole to the throw pillow moratorium. They take up virtually no room, and they allow me to get two different looks from the same throw pillow, which only makes the throw pillows that I already own THAT MUCH MORE RELEVANT. Or, from Spouse's perspective, ACTUALLY SOMEWHAT RELEVANT. How can Spouse object? He can't. Which totally ticks him off.
He is predisposed to hating throw pillow covers, anyway, because (I am informed) they fall under the category of "inexplicable girl obsessions-slash-things men are blissfully ignorant of until they get married." Also in this category: charger plates and non-functional window treatments. You know, like valances.
For the record, I can take or leave charger plates. I own them but never remember to use them. But I am a fan of valances, or at least the ones in my kitchen, and when we move back into the house I AM TOTALLY REHANGING THEM. My mother made them for me, for Pete's sake. Out of a tobacco leaf linen fabric that I searched for FOR, LIKE, A BAZILLION YEARS. And so I am being careful to pick a paint color for the walls that will harmonize with the valances, WHICH ARE STAYING, DAMMIT.
Spouse predicts that the valances (or, as he refers to them, "the dust-catchers") may "disappear" during the move. I told Spouse that, if they do disappear, he will be the "only person of interest" in the ensuing investigation.
Back to the pillow covers.
This is one of the pillow covers that I previously purchased from PB (on clearance! with free shipping! and they threw in the monogramming!), not realizing that they are ginormous. 24" square, which is only 2" off of a Euro bed sham. (Begging the question: do we really need a 26" pillow concept AND a 24" pillow concept? Apparently, we do. Even I, as a carrier of a girly girl card, find this somewhat dubious.) The kids like to lounge on them, and I have been thinking for awhile that I needed a second set of covers for them - in part, because the first set is summery-looking, and also because having a second set of covers would justify the fact that I now own two 24" pillow inserts.
This is one of the 24" pillow covers that Retail Santa bought for me. (That's Retail Santa in the foreground. I just named him.) 33% off, plus the $25 discount on top of that. These colors would actually look good on our bed, when we are reunited with our actual bed, and with the quilt that normally goes on our bed but that somehow went to Blackmon Mooring instead of the apartment. The quilt is, actually, sort of Retail Santa-ish. So I know that the pillow covers will look good with the quilt, because they look good with Retail Santa. And, thus, I think that, going forward, the 24" pillows will summer in the living room and overwinter in the master bedroom.
Which means that the "his side" and "her side" pillows that normally grace our bed can make a lateral move to the living room:
But what should they wear?
Aha. These bad boys were 67% off, prior to the discount. They are a darker teal color than what I normally display in the living room, which I think makes them look winterish. Winter-adjacent? Let's go with that, because they are linen. But they are a dark teal linen. And, at a glance, they could be burlap - which is, in my humble opinion, an all-season fabric. Not that linen can't be multi-season, situationally; I mean, we practically live in the tropics, people.
But back to the pillow covers. They are slightly bigger than the "his side" and "her side" pillows, which I knew going in. But I also knew that I would find a way to make them work, because they were scandalously priced, and did I mention that they are a DARK, WINTERISH TEAL? So here's my elegant solution: every fall, I will wrap some quilt batting around the pillows. One piece side to side, the other top to bottom, and I will handstitch nice running seams to keep everything in place. What's that? Do I own quilt batting currently? Not in any usable quantity, no. But the moratorium is against throw pillows, NOT AGAINST QUILT BATTING. Another loophole.
I'm going to have my monogramming guy embroider them in a dark russet, or maybe a golden tan. You did know that that was coming, didn't you? What's the point of a throw pillow - or throw pillow cover - if you don't personalize it? Anyway, one is going to say "The McGlincheys, Est. 1996," and the other is going to have our address and "Est. 1999, Re-Est. 2012." Because I assume that I will be allowed to move into my house at some point next year.
Spouse approves of the embroidery plan. See, that's the way I get him: a throw pillow, by itself, not relevant. But a throw pillow with something relevant embroidered on it: UH, OH, MOMMA FOUND ANOTHER LOOPHOLE. All it takes is a witty or sentimental saying, and he's on Team Throw Pillow. Sort of. As much as he possibly can be.
Now, about Retail Santa: I bought him for a dollar at the Junior League resale store. Trust me when I tell you that the Junior League resale store is a treasure trove. It's like going to the antique mall, if the antique mall owners went all crazy-altruistic and started slashing prices.
Purchased in the same shopping trip (okay, not so much a shopping trip as "Kathryn going off of her volunteer shift and purchasing things on her way out"): this trifle bowl with wire and glass jewel embellishments in holiday colors.
You can't tell in this picture, but it's a generous size, and it was FOUR DOLLARS. I currently am using it as a repository for Christmas cards (both cards that we have received and cards that I am in the process of addressing), but eventually I will put a trifle in it. You know, after I remove the cards.
If only my shopping for others was going as swimmingly as my shopping for moi. (Yes, "swimmingly" was an intentional reference to the merman ornaments from yesterday.)