My friend Julie and I talk continuously about how hard it is to run an errand in New York City (or any of the Burroughs). You can leave the house at 9 am (ok, 10:30, let's be honest here) in need of 60-watt bulbs and Glide dental floss and come back 4 hours later, having gone to 5 drugstores and 4 hardware stores with absolutely nothing but a low blood sugar headache to show for it.
I went to Home Depot in Chelsea to get my (2nd) tree yesterday. It took 10 minutes for the inventory guy to discern they had none left and another 10 for him to find out I couldn't by the floor model. This is Chelsea, yo, they're not messing with the display. Riots would ensue.
They called the other Manhattan location and they didn't have them in stock either. I called the Queens store and they had, lo and behold, 16 in stock. Dreamy. Easy, right? I would just pick one of the plethora up and coast into the season.
Nowhere to be found. The helpful gentleman who wandered around the store with me looking for the particular, 4.5' tree I wanted was matter of fact about it. "What the computer says and what's what is not always the same story." He asked if I would take the display and I said yes! Of course, no box. He emptied out a big box of sparkly ornaments in tubes and we stuffed the dang thing in there.