We Don't Need This Sheet

That's what Sean said in the linens section of Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday afternoon---I'd accidentally picked up a flat sheet, instead of a fitted one---and the fact that we laughed so uproariously at this hilarious pun (sheet! sheet! get it?) is proof that, at that point, we'd been in Bed Bath and Beyond a full two hours longer than anyone should ever be in Bed Bath and Beyond, which is to say thirty minutes, tops. 

Yes, Internet, registering is a full day affair, did you know that?  We left our house on Registering No Really We've Got To Do It This Time Day at 10:30am, fully expecting to be finished by lunchtime, spent an hour and a half tidying up the list we'd created at Crate and Barrel back in February while drunk on mimosas (I chose that vase? Really?), then entered Bed Bath and Beyond shortly before 1pm, having given up and refueled at Trader Joe's on the way. I sheet you not, we did not leave Bed Bath and Beyond until past 4:30pm, and I felt like I had aged ten years by the time we did. I half considered stopping the nearest person on the street and asking them what year it was, who the president was, whether those weird shoe-booties had finally gone out of style yet, and if not, why the hell not, hadn't someone broken an ankle in them yet and made the evening news?

[By the way, does Bed Bath and Beyond's name annoy you as much as it does me? As a dedicated user of the Chicago Manual of Style---and its earnest serial comma rule---I have to fight an almost irrepressible urge to put the commas in "Bed Bath and Beyond" when I write it out. (Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Ah, that's better, I can unclench my fists again now.) Yet the store, it seems, does not believe in commas. Commas? It scoffs. We don't need no stinkin' commas! Commas are a construct of the upper classes, those who can afford to buy their (diamond-encrusted) pots and pans elsewhere. Take your commas and stuff them into the corners of your 1500-threadcount goose down comforters! And while you're here, check out our everyday flatware. Isn't it very reasonably priced? That's because we don't have commas in our name, see! We pass the savings on to you!]

[Yep, that is totally what Bed Bath and Beyond is saying to you. But mostly it's what it was saying to me, particularly when I was going into my third hour in the store without reprieve. That kind of torture can do crazy things to a person. Did you know, for instance, how much there is to learn about knives? From a person who is a Bed Bath and Beyond knife expert? There is a lot to learn about knives, is what I'm saying. I am now Full Of The Knowledge Of Knives. I probably know more about knives than Mr. J.A. Henckels himself.]

In other wedding news---because really, is there any other kind at the moment?---we have now lined, addressed, and stamped 85 RSVP envelopes, and merely lined (slackers!), another 85 normal envelopes, these with vintage maps I bought on ebay a few months ago. Our house this weekend resembled an invitation-making sweatshop, complete with factory assembly line and two sweaty and disgruntled workers, one of them watching ESPN SportsCenter and the other asking, every two minutes, why they had to watch ESPN SportsCenter and wasn't there something they'd both enjoy on instead. (Before promptly switching to Say Yes To The Dress and starting the whole discussion over again. Hey, it passed the time.)

Anyway, the DIY invitations are almost done, which is a huge weight off my mind, and we're going to send out the overseas batch a week from tomorrow, which is, I think, somehow going to make this whole wedding thing seem suddenly really.....real. And yes, I fully expect at least 74% of the recipients to ignore the map-lined envelopes completely, but damn, I wouldn't change those hours in front of the TV with my almost-husband and a glue stick for anything. Well, yeah, maybe I'd change the ESPN SportsCenter part.

I guess if no-one sends this to us, we can call it a success.

Jun 08, 2009

I personally think what Bed Bath and Beyond is in need of is an exclamation point. Bed Bath and Beyond! There, don't you feel just a smidgen more excited to have spent six hours in there now?

Jun 08, 2009

I agree, those are the fugliest shoes ever.

Jun 08, 2009

I'm not a fan of BB&B (the abbreviation avoids the whole comma issue).

For one thing, their prices aren't necessarily better (if they were they wouldn't have to send out 20% off coupons every other week), and I can't stand the overwhelming and pervasive fragrance of way too many different potpourri's, candles and whatever else they have that is scented.

But if you happen to be one of the people who loves the store, I won't judge you for that.

Elizabeth Joy
Jun 08, 2009

I went through the whole "learning about knives" experience a few years ago, when I came THIS close to amputating a finger. This is a warning. I thought spending sixty bucks on a Henckels knife would help me learn to cut vegetables like Bobby Flay but, no. I learned to cut vegetables like Sweeney Todd. Five stitches later, I'm now twice as slow as I used to be with my five-dollar college student knife, due to abject terror.

Jun 08, 2009

Oh yes... those booties are terrible.

Also we say "Bed Bath and Beyoooooooond!" as if we were a superhero. It makes it far less cumbersome with the lack of punctuation and it's sort of fun.

Jun 08, 2009

So, I've been married for 8 months. Guess where I went this weekend? BB&B! (I'm a fan of the abbreviation and exclamation point.) I bought a new table cloth. There was a couple registering in the table cloth section and they were very seriously contemplating their options. I laughed to myself because I found registering to be challenging, too. But a lot of the things you register for are not the things you'll have forever... That is why the 20% coupons exist. So no stressing about the registering thing!

Jun 08, 2009

If you think there is a lot to be said about knives then prepare yourself for a different level of "a lot of things" when it comes to baby stuff. The things you apparently can't live without keep on surprising me.

Anne in SC
Jun 08, 2009

Those of us not getting invitations need to see pictures of them (long for it actually). Because seriously, you don't even know me or my address, so the only way I'll have a chance to see one is if you post a snapshot of one here. Please, please, please?

I know this will have to take place after enough time has lapsed for them to arrive at their designated destinations. I would hate for the surprise to be ruined for those lucky enough to be receiving one.

I have a picture in my head of what they must look like but I just know they're better than that.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 08, 2009

Sure, I can post the invitations once they're sent out!

And Blanche, it's not that we happen to LOVE Bed Bath and Beyond, it's just that it carries everything we're registering for in one place, so that we don't have to be those obnoxious people who register in six stores. Plus, the prices on what we're registering for are (for the most part) better than Williams Sonoma, the layout is less overwhelming than the one at Macys, and the return policy is stellar. Plus, I like the fact that people can use those 20% off coupons if they want, to get a better deal.

Jun 08, 2009

I still have the save-the-date card on my fridge. It really improves the tone of the decor. (Yeah, seriously.)

Jun 08, 2009

My husband always calls it Bird Bath and Beyond, mainly to annoy the socks off of me!

Jun 08, 2009

So what's the verdict on registering for fancy China?

Jun 08, 2009

Those shoes are ridiculously hideous! But I am quite excited to see the invitations, as those envelopes with doilies were enough for me to lash out at the boyfriend for not proposing yet so that I, too, could spend my time gluing things in envelopes.

May @ Anne and May
Jun 08, 2009

Boy howdy do I remember those weekends. And I'm sure your wedding guests will be amazed at your map-lined envelopes.

Is it sick that I want to see all the pots and pans you've chosen? Which knives you went with? Registering for kitchen stuff was the highlight of wedding planning for me.

Jun 08, 2009

I'm more of an MLA girl myself and would punctuate it as "Bed, Bath and Beyond". But to paraphrase Vampire Weekend, there's not much in an Oxford (or serial) comma, although BB&B do need some punctuation in their name. I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets hung up on things like this. Lynne Truss is my heroine.

Jun 08, 2009

Ha!! I know! Totally!
After a few hours at BB&B, we both felt kind of loopy and were alternating between being silly and trying out every pillow in the store to nearly calling the whole thing off after my fiance announced he never wants throw pillows on any of our furniture (wtf). Either way, we totally forgot we were in public.

Invitations went out for my shower, so now i'm stalking my registries. People are totally going rogue - I did not ask for those floral dishcloths.
Oh well, hope you get everything you want!

Jun 08, 2009

Worst part about BB&B: the scents. At my local store, I start holding my breath about 15 feet from the front door, and don't breathe again until I'm about to pass out. They have the entire entryway lined with these scented paper satchels, and then five feet beyond that are all the liquid scents with bamboo wicks, and then five feet beyond that are the candles. IT'S LIKE BEING ASSAULTED EVERY TIME I WALK IN THE DOOR.

Which is why I try not to go very often.

Jun 08, 2009

HA, that made me chuckle out loud and I cannot blame the giggle on registry-induced delirium.

The other that came to mind... I was always taught that commas are pauses/breaks in a sentence that take the place of "and" when making a list and that putting a comma next to an "and" was therefore redundant... but you've got Bed, Bath, and Beyond up there and now I am very confused!!

(for what it's worth, my favorite punctuation mark is the semicolon... less confusion there)

Jun 08, 2009

Jennifer - this illustrates the difference between using a serial comma (which is also known as an Oxford or Harvard comma and is favoured by the Chicago Manual of Style and Oxford University Press), and not(as favoured by others such as The Times newspaper and the Associated Press). The former tends to be more favoured in the US and the latter in Britain, although that rule is not hard and fast.

Sorry Holly, stealing comment space in your blog, but I am a total punctuation geek!

Thespian Libby
Jun 08, 2009

I prefer referring to it as Bed, Bath and Beyonce.

Jun 08, 2009

My sister put her invites together over the weekend (herself, with our mom) and it was stressful just listening to the process from 2,000 miles away.

Jun 08, 2009

Great, thanks to commenter AP, I'm always going to see it as "Bird Bath and Beyond" now!

And also: Totally agreed on those shoe-booties. Yikes.

Jun 09, 2009

I once went a wedding where the couple registered at BB & B. The registry printed out at the counter and just kept printing, and printing, and printing. It was 32 pages long. And these people had lived together for years before they got married (one had even been married previously). It was like they had walked down every aisle in housewares and had scanned almost everything on the shelves. Who needs a miniture pan to poach one egg in and a set of silcone egg cups to poach three eggs in? Also 4 seperate tools with which to mince garlic.

Jun 09, 2009

If we worked together, we would have comma battles! OF EPIC PROPORTIONS! Because as a PR person, I'm a student of AP Style and AP says no comma before the and in a series. I cannot tell you how many commas I've removed in our marketing collateral. I'm sure our agency dude loves me. Not as much as he loves commas, though.

Jun 09, 2009

When Ted and I registered, we seriously had lost our minds by the end of the day. So much so, in fact, that we registered for lime Tic Tacs. It seemed so hilarious at the time.

Jun 09, 2009

It's funny to me that Sean actually went with you to the store because I registered entirely online. Chris wanted nothing to do with the process, and I hate physically visiting stores, so I did the whole thing online except for returns at the very end.

I was so awful too - I would check my registry all the time and update items, swap out patterns, register for a vacuum for three hours and then go delete it...Oh, the wild games brides play.

Have fun! You'll never shop like this again.

Jun 10, 2009

I'm in my own Bermuda triangle with wedding invitations these days. Wedding is in October and we're just starting to address the envelopes. I've become a bit thrown by things. Is it "Mr. Bill and Pamela Smith" or is it "Mr. Bill Smith and Mrs. Pamela Smith." Etiquette books tell me it's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" but I prefer including the first names.
What route have you chosen?

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 10, 2009

Caroline -- we're doing Mr. and Mrs. Bill Smith. Maybe it's because I'm addressing them myself and want as little work as possible, but I just like the way that looks!

Jun 10, 2009

I chose to address the envelopes according to how the people receiving them would like to be addressed. For example, I addressed my parents' envelope as Mr. and Mrs. Mickey Mouse, because they're old fogeys and they want everything to be as proper as possible. But for my twentysomething friends, I addressed it as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, because they are much less formal people and I think Minnie would be more put out at being referred to by her husband's name than not following painfully proper procedures. So, do what you think your guests would want.

Jun 11, 2009

Put the commas in! The fact that their logo has no commas is a TYPOGRAPHIC issue, not an editorial one. That's why "people in the know" (all hail editors!) take the star out of Macy's and the question mark out of Guess jeans, and why we capitalize formal names even if they appear lowercase in the company's official logo.

Also, I will go to my grave clutching the serial comma, and I could go on but I won't. If you ever want to get together and talk grammar, you know where to find me.