Especially when I was home with Zoe as a baby, my lens to the world was through catalogs. J.Jill, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Garnet Hill, Sundance. I’d welcome their arrival in the mailbox with exhuberance and sit down to read them only when I knew I’d have a quiet moment. And I’d let myself into that tranquil catalog and away from the grimy countertops in my kitchen or the spit-up that was drying on my shoulder. In catalog-land everything was pristine and hip and arty and perfect. Mark used to tell me that these catalogs were lifestyle crack–attractive, addictive, and ultimately eternally elusive. He’d point out to me that every model in every shot was doing exactly nothing. In fact sometimes the models were quite literallly navel-gazing. The catalogs were not just marketing clothes, furniture, etc., they were marketing an absurd life of infinite leisure.
Today as I was running back into the house at 4:30 p.m., having left at 7 a.m., preparing to leave again at 5:15, I grabbed the mail. In it, was a Sundance catalog. It’s been a while since I’ve dived headfirst into this particular bit of nonsense, but apparently it’s been long enough for the “lifestyle crack” tag to be abundantly clear to me. Perhaps it’s because, (as much as I love to do my crafty little things around the house) I have absolutely no interest in a life of infinite leisure knowing that I’m simply not cut out for it, but the cover actually made me laugh out loud it was so over the top. Here it is. A woman standing in her flowing artsy dress barefoot on the top of a perfectly hip Jeep painting at an easel in the desert. Is it not hysterical? Really, who thinks of these things?
Please… roll your eyes with me, will you?