Monday, July 25, 2011

Chris goes to Restoration Hardware for the first time.

Howdy!  It is so hot outside, you guys.  If you’re anything like me you are whiling away these dog days by filling your bathtub with frozen margarita mix and rhythmically dunking your lower body like steeping a tea bag (pun intended?).  It really takes the edge off!  Anyhow, I hope you’re all staying cool during this heat wave in the northeast.  While we’re all dunking our business-ends in tequila slurry, do you mind if I ask you a question?  Have you ever heard of a store called Restoration Hardware?

I certainly hadn’t until a few weeks ago.  I stumbled upon it whilst walking around the King of Prussia {(I lay this hate on you) That reference is for about 6 Phish fans in my reading audience} mall with my unfailingly patient lady friend.  I’m a noted window shopper (my blog-writer’s salary does not provide me with the luxury of window buying) and I’m usually happy enough to walk around a store and make fun of all the dumb stuff held within.  Well, Restoration Hardware seemed like a harmlessly silly furniture store until I glanced at a price tag.  Then, they became the subject of today’s entry…

Restoration Hardware is for dumb, rich jerks.


That’s right.  The sound you just heard was me throwing a gauntlet...DOWN!  It’s a good thing I carry an assortment of gauntlets in a burlap sack around my neck!  Now, before we get started, I want to make it plain that I don’t dislike rich people.  I'm not here to start a class war.  There are plenty of people who busted their asses to accrue some modicum of wealth and they have every right to spend it however they see fit.  But, if you do have some money in the bank and you spend a significant amount of it at Restoration Hardware you are a dumb, rich jerk.*  I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you...

*Restoration Hardware: You can still sponsor this blog if you want to.  I am an abject whore to corporate sponsorship!

I’m guessing that many of you, like myself, had no idea that Restoration Hardware even existed.  For a proper introduction, here’s the company’s CEO, Gary Friedman, with the most pretentious mission statement in the history of the world…

“I can’t get no satisfaction.”

Those famous words, belted out by Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones in 1965, established the group as defiant troublemakers, and the leaders of rock ’n’ roll’s anti-establishment movement. In a 1992 Vanity Fair profile Mick said, “I wasn’t trying to be rebellious in those days. I was just being me.” Forty-eight years later, as I witness Sir Mick (knighted in 2003 for his services to music) on stage at this year’s Grammys, he remains passionate, ageless, completely authentic and clearly...unsatisfied.
Let us all find inspiration from “just being me.”

In the past year, while many chose to lower quality to reduce prices, we chose to be the defiant troublemakers of our industry, raising quality and elevating design. Today’s Restoration Hardware is a personal expression of what we believe in, design we are passionate about, produced by artisans who in their own right are creating a cultural revolution.  

Are we defiant troublemakers?

If it means being able to move onstage like Sir Mick, sign me up.

In the spirit of “just being me,” we will continue to push the boundaries, be authentic to our own unique point of view, never tire, and refuse to act our age. Because we, like the Stones...“Can’t get no...satisfaction.”

Carpe Diem,
Gary Friedman

Gary Friedman vs Mick Jagger.  Advantage: Jagger.

Yikes.  That is the single douchiest thing I’ve ever read.  Here’s the gist of the message, as I understand it: 

1. The CEO of Restoration Hardware still considers Mick Jagger to be a “defiant troublemaker,” ignoring the fact that Mick Jagger eats mashed up bananas and sits on a hemorrhoid donut.
2. The CEO of Restoration Hardware considers himself to be a “defiant troublemaker," ignoring the fact that he is the CEO of a ludicrously expensive furniture company.
3. The CEO of Restoration Hardware COULD NOT RESIST the urge to mention that he went to the Grammys.
4. It is better to raise the price of your products to ridiculous heights during a recession because of quality and artisans and blah blah blah…
5. Carpe diem?  As a sign-off?  On the website for your overpriced furniture store?  People who are actually seizing the day never write "seize the day" on things...especially not in Latin.

So, we’ve established that Restoration Hardware is run by a bunch of rich, annoying baby boomers…but what company isn't?  The worth of any retailer is found in the quality and desirability of its products.  Look at Baby Gap!  Babies love corduroy (it's the ridges!).  The time has come to look at the merchandise available at your local Restoration Hardware.  I'm pretty sure that this store was designed specifically for rich, recently divorced dudes who are trying to put together a "hip" urban apartment to impress drunk girls.  Every piece of furniture screams, "I am still young and I will pay for your yoga lessons if you'll sleep with me."  Take a gander at this...

Ignore the chalky taste in your wine cooler and admire this supple leather!

Now, I'm not going to lie to you nice people...that looks nice.  I like a worn leather couch as much as the next God fearing gentleman!  But what do you think it would cost to put that room together?  Did you guess 11 fucking thousand dollars?!?  Of course you didn't guess that!  That's an absurd amount of money to pay for a couch, a chair and a dumb coffee table with wheels on it!  It's an absurd amount of money to pay for ANYTHING!  But that, ladies and gentleman, is the tip of the price gouging iceberg.  How about this chair...

This Rocketeer chair...
Costs $1595.  That's more money than most jet-packs cost (Nazi-retardant chewing gum is extra).

Or this enormous, cast iron bull head...

This costs $595...

This costs $150...and some bull semen.

Or this 8 foot tall Eiffel Tower...

This costs $1745...
This cost 8 million Francs...the equivalent of $1745 (this is a lie).
And finally, please admire this chair...

This costs $2125.
This is awesome.

In summation, don't buy this stuff!  If you win the lottery...DON'T BUY THIS STUFF, DUMMY!  If you can afford it you should have enough common sense to avoid it at all costs.  I've certainly had a checkered past with IKEA but they produce a semi-decent product for an extremely reasonable price.  And IKEA stores smell like meatballs and cinnamon buns.  Restoration Hardware stores smell like smugness and roofies.  

Well, that's all for now my friends!  As I alluded to previously, I am hard at work on a secret project that will be added to this site as soon as possible.  I don't want to get your hopes up but it WILL CURE CANCER (please note: the Secret Internuts Project will certainly not cure cancer).  Thanks for waiting for this, friends, and I swear I'll make the wait worthwhile.  (Again: I will not actually be curing cancer).  I'll seeya back here real soon!

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