Category Archives: browsing

Catalogue Heaven

I can tell that the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve) are approaching because of the number and thickness of the catalogues in my mailbox. Now I know we are not supposed to ask for paper catalogues these days because they are wasteful and trees have to die in order for catalogues to arrive in our mailboxes, and I love trees. But I also love beautiful catalogues and I can’t wait to sit down with these wonderful pamphlets of possibilities and spend imaginary money. I justify my guilty pleasure by reminding myself that I am helping to keep the U. S. Post Office functioning, although not, apparently, solvent.
I don’t get an awful lot of catalogues, but I have sisters and I can also borrow theirs so I can happily while away an hour or so a day coveting treasures which I will never buy because I can’t. I don’t need all those lovely things anyway. They just have to be displayed and dusted and stored properly or they have to be used with the knowledge that they could wear out or get broken. Imaginary buying is actually quite satisfying, although it does little for the economy; it does not help companies stay in business or contribute to the GDP.
In my case catalogues sort of take the place of going to a museum. I do order something once in a while and I get a lot of pleasure from waiting for the package to arrive in the mail. The last things I ordered were Clothing Moth Traps from thecontainerstore.com and a book for my Kindle from amazon.com (Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell). The moth traps did arrive in the mail and they are now busily catching moths, but they do not add any beauty to my home. The little moths and I were actually becoming quite friendly after I protected my clothing with chunks of cedar. But they must still be finding something to eat because they are still here.
Now that Thanksgiving is almost here a thick new Williams Sonoma catalogue will be arriving and there will be some Christmas stuff in there too. I cannot imagine a kitchen that could hold all the excellent kitchen equipment from Williams Sonoma, but I could imagine moving right into a Williams Sonoma store if they would just add an Aga, a Sub Zero and an upscale dishwasher.
And then there is the Pottery Barn catalogue. Sometimes I would like to just insert myself in to the pages of the catalogue and live there. Then those snooty clerks at the brick and mortar Pottery Barn might feel bad about looking at me like I wandered into their store by mistake. Whoops! I didn’t know that thought was lurking. It doesn’t matter. Christmas is coming and I want every gem encrusted pine cone and every gorgeous mercury glass ornament I see. I don’t need them you understand, I just covet them. Then I look at the price and think about getting out my glue gun because I could absolutely make that for almost nothing.
So many more catalogues, so little time. I haven’t seen the Smith and Hawken catalogue lately which I purely love. I have seen Plow and Hearth which is also wonderful. So here’s to another Christmas season when I can’t afford that silver punch bowl, but I can dream about owning it and I have the catalogue to prove it. Enjoy!