A Polite Request.

Dear Catalogue Central;

First, allow me to thank you for the generous allocation of catalogues you have assigned to me. It is comforting to know that in the event of re-glaciation that I have both a mechanism for insulating my house, and enough fuel to start fires for the remainder of the ensuing ice age. Additionally, I feel gratified to know that my local waste management agency will never want for business, because I never have an empty recycling bin. In fact, the surplus of recyclable catalogues ensure that not only do I fill my bin up on a weekly basis, but that were you to ever fall off the face of the earth and stop sending me catalogues, our recycling center could survive on my needs alone for at least one congressional term. You are so thoughtful that way.

However, if I might, could I perhaps re-orient the selection of catalogues toward publications that meet more of my dynamic, working-mom-on-the-go needs? It seems that someone in marketing may have me confused with any number of people, and despite the rumors, I do not have multiple personalities and given the new medication it is hopeful that I never shall. And some of these selections simply do not suit me.

“Venus.” Although the title suggests a curvaceous woman standing on a clamshell, it seems that the models in this catalogue would not recognize a curve if they were driving on a coastal highway. I did not realize that sizes had moved into negative numbers, but if I wear a size 10, the girls on these pages must certainly wear a size -6. There is nothing in this catalogue I can possibly envision looking attractive in, and I also have very few places to wear the gold lamé tank top as it seems a bit over the top for either my son’s band practice, or my daughter’s dance lessons. And although the stick in the photo looks glam wearing it with her gladiator platform sandals, I think the same look on me would result in my imminent arrest.

“Sundance.” It is lovely that you associate me with cutting edge independent film-making. It’s not a side of me that everyone appreciates. But I know that I was born to direct. I can shout instructions like nobody’s business, and it’s lovely that you understand me so intimately. However, I can’t help but notice that the items in this catalogue come with prices that are a little out of reach for anyone who doesn’t have their own oil field. As much as I think the natural-hemp loose-weave tunic would be a stunning addition to my admittedly modest wardrobe, I feel that tapping into the children’s college fund in order to purchase it sends the wrong message to those same children. We’ve spent some effort on teaching them to live within their means and spend responsibly, so I’m afraid the mixed message such purchases would send them preclude me from ever ordering anything from this collection. Ever.

And finally, “Lillian Vernon.” Now, I know I just finished complaining about the cost of the items in the “Sundance” catalogue, so complaining about “Lillian Vernon” may seem to suggest just a smidgen of irrationality, but I fear you have me living at both ends of the spectrum with these two catalogues. I am neither so financially well-endowed that I will spend $280 for a blouse, but nor am I so hard up that I squeal over 1001 pieces of plastic-storage-ware for $11.95. In fact, I’m a little unsettled to think about how anyone can sell 1001 plastic storage pieces for $11.95. Are they made of paper? Leftover toxic waste? And although it is certainly convenient to know that I can meet all my “corn on the cob plate,” “Snuggly” and “weener-dog draft blocker” needs in one place, it is rare that all these needs come crashing down on me at the same time. The universe has been kind to me that way.

In closing, thank you for your kind attention to this matter. I’m sure that in the future you will be able to target me, my needs and my wallet with a little more accuracy and I can be free from the guilt that accompanies the immediate relocation of so much paper from mailbox directly to bin without even a second glance. It so kind of you to consider my peace of mind that way.

sincerely,

Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points

27 comments

  1. I can’t think of a better way to have started my day than by reading this with my morning coffee!

    Perhaps the gold tank top could be worn over a corset?

    1. I sort of do that with my clothing now.

      The wearing forever part, I mean. Not the not washing part.

      Although somedays…I’m tempted.

  2. Does Sundance still have that $7000 table that looks like a tree was split in half and mounted in a log cabin’s living room?

    I always feel the need for a poncho, preferably made out of a Native American blanket after reading that catalog.

    1. And hasn’t Lillian Vernon been around since WWII or something?

      I remember those catalogues from when I was little.

      And back then the stuff looked GREAT.

      Then again, so did Fruity Pebbles.

  3. I used to love catalogs before the internet made them obsolete. I hear the Venus and Victoria Secret Catalogs are popular with the adolescent boy set. My neighbor found a stack beneather her son’s mattress when he moved out. No word on whether the pages stuck together.

    1. And yet somehow, my two teenage boys remain oblivious. I keep waiting for them to vanish from the counter, or even out of the recycling bin.

      Nope…

      Which begs the question…what am I overlooking?

  4. I feel as though I’ve been gone for weeks. My internet died and I was computer-less for two and a half days. I went into a picture editing coma and have now just awoken to your wonderful posts. I have never heard of nor read any of these catalogues. Even Sears no longer courts me. Enjoy the attention while you’ve still got it. It’s lonely in no-catalogue world.

    1. I would have to *experience* no catalogue world to truly appreciate the loneliness.

      Right now I’m too overwhelmed by all the consumer-y togetherness.

      And two and a half days??? Are you okay? Do you need anything??

  5. I think my mom used to get that Sundance catalog when I was a kid…I loved looking at all the pictures. That was before I understood just what those prices meant!

    Lillian Vernon….scares me!

  6. Brilliant post idea Lori…this could almost be a meme too..I have received Sundance before and gone..how DID I ever end up on THIS marketing list, exactly?

    I also don’t get Frontgate. I’d have to have a yard full of tchotchkies or live in a compound for that crap.

  7. Yep, I agree with KLZstupid tax for all of them!

    While you are writing, please send a note to Victoria’s Secret and let them know real women don’t look like that after about 25…or their first kid…whichever comes first!

  8. Sounds like the post office would go out of business without you!

    It would be really cool if you just mounted your recycling bin directly on the mailbox post!

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