Don’t Wait…Someone Else May Write Your Book

Has anyone recently tried to buy anything at Restoration Hardware?

I don’t mean Online. I mean actually walking into the store and expecting to walk out with a simple pillow or towel or blanket or even a book.

You can’t do it. And not because you don’t try. The store won’t let you.

I understand if I was trying to buy a couch. I get that. But come on, saleswoman with black turtleneck and iPad in hand…sell me the damn book on the shelf!

It seems as though the “new genius” to Restoration Hardware is that in some cities it is just a “display” store. Of course, they are happy to order anything for you. They even offer a discount and free shipping to “members.”

But all I wanted was that book on the bottom shelf of a four thousand dollar bookcase. I don’t want the lovely bookcase. Just please sell me the book.

The one I surely must have written but just forgot?

There it was. “The Stuff of Life”.

I realize I didn’t coin the phrase or own a patent. But “The Stuff of Life” has been my “thing” for the past 100 blog posts. I have a logo that says it. I feel like I own it.

But apparently so does Hilary Robertson. There it was…on the shelf. The Stuff of Life…written by Hilary Robertson. She did what I have been doodling with for months.

She was obviously more disciplined and devoted and committed and wrote. Unlike me she wasn’t driven by distraction and she wrote the book. Damn! Here it was on a shelf in a store!

Feeling like a failure, all I wanted to do at this point was buy the book. I wanted to see Hilary’s version of The Stuff of Life. However, since Restoration Hardware’s business model wouldn’t let me actually leave the store with it, I settled into one of the comfy leather “display” couches.

Quickly leafing through the book I was feeling a little less devastated. We have a different version of The Stuff of Life.   Hilary’s book is a beautiful coffee table book about interior design.

I still needed to buy the book. I needed to have it on my bedside table, a constant reminder. If Hilary could do it, so could I.

So, I ‘innocently’ took the book to Turtleneck/iPad saleswoman and handed her my credit card.

This is where my sometimes “not so nice” side (who knew I had one, right?) had a bit of a hissy fit. Some might call it a mini break down.

You get the point. I became a bit of a crazy person.  She kept saying, “Oh, we are happy to order the book for you. We don’t’ sell anything off the floor. It is just for display.”

Ok…what? I am not buying a love seat or dining room chairs. I want to please buy a $24.95 book that I am literally holding in my hand. Please let me buy the book. Now! I want the book now!

I said this all very nicely…at first.

Long story short, before I became a security threat the other Turtleneck/IPad woman approached. Oh no…now we have the manager.

I am quite certain she thought I was a lunatic waving a book in the air. I repeated a little bit louder. “Please, you are a retail store. For god’s sake why can’t you sell me this stupid book? It felt good to have a legitimate excuse to call the book stupid.

After some tense negotiations, she finally sold me “my” book. Hilary and I were going home together. She would replace the pile of catalogs and unopened mail and be my bedside inspiration.

Of course, I hope you realize my rant was not at the lovely saleswoman who was just trying to follow the rules and do her job. In fact, it was just last month that I told you how much I LOVED women in turtlenecks (speaking of Mary Tyler Moore).

My rant was at myself…for failing to follow through, for failing to finish what I started.

Yes, real life gets in the way. Family and kids and marriage and life have taken over….blah blah blah. There are always so many reasons why.

But I am sure Hilary is a real human being with real life distractions, but she stayed on course at least long enough to find her way to the bookshelf. So can I?

Hilary, you and I becoming good friends. An unexpected inspiration from Restoration Hardware.



Reprinted with permission from Stuff of Life Blog. See original post here:

Lauren Chesley is a contributor to LEAD Cincinnati, Venue Magazine and Make it Better, is writing her first book and blogging along the way about the journey of being "unapologetically you" post-50 at

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