Welcome to Catalog-Land. Now go change your shirt so you match the sofa.
Everywhere I look I can see a little stack of catalogs in my home. In the family room, the office, the bedroom and yes, the bathroom. Stacks of catalogs for brands and products that vary from craft kits to high-end (read: who the heck can afford this?) poolside furniture. I receive them in the mail nearly everyday. And with their arrival I smile a little inside. I get a sense of excitement about what lies inside their covers. I can not wait to dream over the insanely perfected scenes of home life that real people (people who do not live in catalog-land) can only yearn to achieve, like children's bedrooms with beds made in coordinated themes right down to the toys on the floor.
Sometimes I stop and wonder if any mom out there takes these aspirations all a little too far. I can see the young type-a wife, ordering every product in the photo spread to create the perfect truck-themed room for her toddler, saying "no Robby you can only play with TRUCK toys in your truck room. Robots are for enjoying in the robot themed playroom."
Clearly catalog spreads are meant to entice us with perfection, and help us to believe if we order that coffee table, that bra or that remote controlled floating pool radio... everything will be perfect. As the packages appear on our doorsteps we imagine our homes and lives transformed with their arrival. We open them, sift through the peanut packing and bubble wrap and for a moment we are transported to the world with out carpet stains, dirty dishes and kids yelling 'Mom he hit me!'. For a moment we are relaxing in our French country sitting room reading classic literature while the attentive and handsome husband is off on a bike ride with the children. All children you sent off in coordinated outfits and smiles on their faces. Smiles that have no traces of breakfast and shirts that show no history of their older-sibling-hand-me-down past.
Catalogs serve an important purpose for many of us. They allow our impractical dreams to be tangibly realized, even if only on the pages of these mini sales books. When I sit down to look at my catalogs I imagine stepping into the pages and becoming a skinny mom and wearing a $300 bikini in my beach cottage as I arrange my collection of beach glass and sand shells in my vintage mercury glass bowl, I can feel the comfort of a $200 gel mat beneath my feet as I stand near my copper farm sink in my newly renovated barn home in Aspen. Catalogs also help me realize talents I never before wished I had. As I crack open the pages I suddenly have desires to become an avid gardener, if only to order things like $65 hose guards and $150 bird condos. I yearn to make chef like quality meals in pots and pans that cost more than my first car, all to be served in hand crafted, hand painted- hand everything artisan plates.
Certainly catalogs are the embodiment of our dreams, goals and aspirations. A place to show the ideal, the perfected and the promise of a life well lived. With each gloriously photographed product or room, we reach for our Visa hoping it will bring us one step closer to this far away world called CatalogLand. A land where your visiting neighbor's outfit coordinates with the new sofa, where children's toys and chalkboards are placed artfully through out the family room and a world where it all looks good enough to eat. Like a magical little land of wonder that shows us, with every page what our lives could be and all too often what they are not.
Despite my love of catalogs, I have decided to put myself on the 'do not fly' list to CatalogLand. I have decided this yearning and dreaming to own a reality other than the one I live is no longer productive or healthy for me. Instead of wishing my time away, dreaming about what could have been or still could be, I have decided to focus on embracing the rooms I walk everyday. I want to learn to love my world- with it's imperfections and flaws and stains and all. After all, this is my life. It is a messy un-color-coordinated life full of crooked artwork, broken shower doors and mismatched everything in all its hand-me-down glory. So its not CatalogLand, but that is okay. It is My Land. And I don't have to buy a thing to love it.
This is an original OCMOM Blog post written by Marcy from The Glamorous Life Association. You should stop on by and learn all about her un-catalog worthy, un-glamorous life.