Saturday, June 21, 2014

Still Life With Robin: What to Do With a 12-lb. Brick?

by Peggy Robin

A few days ago UPS dropped a package on my doorstep. It was not something I had ordered. It was not a delivery mistake, either. It was something that the Restoration Hardware Company had decided to send out to millions of people it views as potential customers. It is their collection of catalogs – thirteen of them! – covered in heavy-duty plastic wrap, the total package weighing in at close to twelve pounds -- or more precisely, 11.8 on my bathroom scale.

If I had run downstairs fast enough to catch the UPS man doing the drop-off, I would have refused the package and made him haul it back to his truck.

What can I do with this cinder block sized chunk of processed tree-pulp? I swear I will never, ever buy anything from Restoration Hardware. I am so uninterested in the content that I won’t even bother to find a knife or a box-cutter to slash through the super-density shrink-wrap so I can take a peek inside. I’m tempted to drop the load straight into my supercan – although I recognize it’s wasteful to send an object of such bulk straight to the landfill. I suppose it belongs in the recycling bin – though I’m a bit worried that on collection day when the recycling man grabs my overweight bin and heaves it onto dumping loader on the truck, the bottom of the bin will fall off...or the strain of swinging all these RH-catalog-burdened bins will break the truck’s pneumatic lift. If that happens I just hope DC can recover damages from Restoration Hardware.

Since it is impossible these days for a major US company to commit such a boneheaded business move without stirring up a storm on Twitter, I went right to #RestorationHardware to see what people were tweeting: I knew I’d find some good stuff – and I wasn’t disappointed. First, something practical: the link to the web page at Restoration Hardware to get them to take your name off their shipping list: Second, a petition asking Restoration Hardware to find a more environmentally responsible way to market their goods:

And now for a few lighter looks at what people think of this heavy delivery:

What 42 NYC apartment dwellers did with theirs:
Norah O’Donnell at CBS Morning News doing some weightlifting:
Where to put your RH catalog when it arrives:

But if you do get a Restoration Hardware catalog and decide you want to keep it, you can always use it as a child’s booster seat, a stepstool, or a doorstop.


Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.


  1. Hah !!! Their Unsubscribe service is so overloaded that it crashed !!! "Try again later" it says. Thank you for posting this. BTW it was wrapped not once but twice in TWO layers of extra thick plastic. I was ready to dump it but Len, who does not have nearly enough to do these days while he is waiting for his hip operation, had to open it up. Not only was it a totally unnecessary mailing, it was almost impossible to get into it. Thanks for counting them for me, I estimated about 7-8.

  2. Great article - I wonder which sections of town they deliver to. I like the idea of a step stool.