1. The Container Store. I don't go there to fulfill a practical need to contain something. I go there to innoculate myself against chaos, to pick up vessels and binders and then visualize (yeah, just like in yoga or weight loss) a clean desk and spice jars all the same size and matching hangers. I baptize myself in the waters of order and emerge cleansed of my sins of procrastination and not-putting-things-away.
2. Levenger. It's not that I need pens and paper. I could visit the supply closet at my office for serviceable writing paraphernalia. No, it's that I need the vision of myself with the time to feel the weight of a good pen in my hand, to brush my fingers over luscious paper, to hear the sound of the nib as I write letters (with beautiful, measured penmanship) to each of my friends in far-flung places. Who, in a few days, will receive them and think of me. They will shuffle to their respective desks and sit down with their own beautiful paper and pens, and they will sip tea as they craft a message back to me in the late afternoon sunlight.
3. Sur la Table. I don't really lack one thing in my kitchen, but in Sur la Table I can throw the most gracious, lovely dinner parties. When I'm there, my mind is spacious enough to seat everyone I admire, and I make them the most savory, delightful nibblies. We sit and muse and murmur and linger and smile and love each other and sip wine and tell stories and time stops and the candles never burn all the way down and tomorrow never comes.