Why I don’t order from a catalog

Every Christmas I hear from a certain set of friends that they ordered all of their Christmas gifts online. Easy shopping, no fighting tooth and nail for a parking space at the mall (those people are crazy), and no spending beyond your set budget. And while I do generally order my kids toys online (no tax saves me moolah), there are so many things that I’d never ever ever buy online.

One thing I’ve just realized? Do not buy furniture from online or a catalog. I say this from personal experience.

A few weeks ago I finally caved and realized that my living room coffee table had become quite embarrassingly gross. The table was a dark wood table with four beveled glass inserts, and because I have children (as in children under the age of four), the place where those glass inserts sat were home to a great many variety of crumbs, sticky junk, and who knows what.

My husband and I bought the tables way before we had kids, and let’s face it, mothers think much different about items we purchase rather than before we had kids. After children I look at something and think, will the kids be able to damage it? No? Ok, I’ll buy it. And when my husband looks at me and complains that it’s butt ugly? Who cares? The kids won’t damage it!

Two weeks ago, after taking one long look at my coffee table, I did everything I could to scrub it up and get it nice and clean, and very quickly posted it on Craigslist before my children could wreak havoc on it. That same week, I went and ordered a new set of tables for us, matching coffee and end tables, and we just got them in last night.

Let me show you how cute they are!

IMG_5355-2000 IMG_5361-2000

I actually love them. They’re solid glass on top, so who cares if all those crubs hit the top of the table? Nothing a bottle of Lysol can’t fix!

When we put them together, my first thought is that they’re a tad smaller than I thought. Granted, I didn’t write down the dimensions from the catalog, and considering the price, I was certainly prepared to live with my mistake. Yeah, they’d be smaller than our old set, but I really love the style and look of them. And let’s not forget they will be super easy to clean.

But my glee was very shortly lived.

I have a cat. Her name is Izzy (Yes, I do realize I’ve watched too much Grey’s Anatomy). I wish I had a picture to post, but my husband took the camera to work with him. Don’t worry he’s not weird, but he is a media director, so my camera spends as much time with him at work that it does at home. Back to the cat.

Izzy is a Siamese mix, and very pretty in my estimation. But then again, I am her owner. She’s almost normal cat height now (she’s not quite a year old) and very skinny because she hasn’t put on her bulk weight yet. She’s still a growin’ girl. If I had to put a number on the girl, I’d say she weighs around ten pounds.

Wait, I’m going to weigh her…..


A solid 8.2 pounds. Yeah, she’s still small. Which is why what I’m about to say it really very strange.

This is my end table.


After attaching the glass to the top of the table, my husband and I were looking at them, debating on the size, and whether or not we would keep them. Izzy was walking around sniffing the tables and decided to jump on top of one of the end tables. It wobbled. Let me say that again. It wobbled. You understood that, right? I mean, c’mon, I have children.

My husband and I looked at each other, then at the cat, then at the table. He walked over to the end table and pushed gently on the side of the table, and sure enough, it took the gentlest movement to tip it over.

My husband’s first remarks were obviously, “I won’t be able to put my laptop on that.”

Sheesh. Men.

So now you’re wondering where I got these lovely not-so-sturdy tables? A catalog! Yes, it’s true. I went into the furniture store that we buy from fairly often and because I didn’t see anything that I liked in stock, I browsed through their catalogs and found these. I guess I figured that since I had bought from them so many times, I trusted the catalog would contain nice, sturdy pieces of furniture. And one very important piece of information would be that, when making purchases from this store, everything is non-refundable. Oops!

The tables are going up on Craigslist today, so if anyone out there would like some non-sturdy tables, please feel free to contact me. Until then, my husband is calling the store today to see if there’s a slight chance we could complain to the manufacturer enough to take them back. Because seriously, these tables are like ordering linen napkins and being sent paper towels. Who does that? Granted, I did not pay very much for them. In fact I paid under a thousand dollars for the set. Ok fine, I paid under five hundred for the set. But still, if I’m ordering a table, I do expect it to stand up!

Off my soapbox. I do hope the rest of you have a better day than I’m dealing with.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Evelyn K on November 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    You very definitely had one of those “live and learn” moments! Like you, though, if I had bought from a store, I would have trusted what they had in the catalog. Bummer experience. I had hand-me down furniture until my kids were in high school; THEN we got the better stuff!


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