Catalog Confessions

With the fading summer sun, I longed for a new place to steal away, where there’s always another chapter to be read, ANOTHER STORY to be written, another scene to be played out.

I have that quote posted to the back of one of my bookcases. This is somewhat more momentous than being stuck to the wall because in my possession bookcases are sacred objects of sort, while there is no end to the randomness of things I stick to my walls. Then again, every flat surface in the places I inhabit eventually becomes a shelf for books.

A quote from the same source is on the front of my wardrobe, one on my desk, a page stuck next to my mirror, another turned into a card from a good, good friend. So . . . what is it? a passage from a favorite book? a line of poetry remembered from childhood? Something I wrote? Something I dreamed?

Nope. That bit of inspiring prose was torn from the Fall 2004 . . . Anthropologie catalog.

In case you don’t know what that is, the “ie” signifies the difference between the area of study and the high-end clothing store — but more than a clothing store, it sells everything from china to coloring books to doorhandles and furniture.  As one article I read put it, Anthropologie “embodies a lifestyle — a very particular free-spirited, bohemian existence in which coffee served in vibrant latte bowls and sumptuously embroidered bed linens figure prominently. This is surely where the French film heroine Amelie would have shopped — and definitely the place to hear the soundtrack.”

I only allow myself to visit the store itself on holidays and special occasions. Not simply because one doorhandle would put me out of food for a week, but also because, as I told my cousin as we walked past the other day, “It makes me sinfully materialistic.” But everyday’s a holiday when it comes to catalog perusing . . . catalogs with pictures of whimsically dressed heroines in classic cars and quotes about adventures awaiting and impish wit.

Normally I wouldn’t be telling you this, but a post by a friend inspired me to fess up and join the support group.

I never was the kind of girl to play Cinderella, or dream of being Anne Shirley, but sometimes — just sometimes — I imagine myself as the girl on page three.

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3 thoughts on “Catalog Confessions

  1. Hahaha. I didn’t realize that I was starting a support group. I’m not exactly sure how they do their marketing but I buy into it! I walk into the store and want to buy their lifestyle. Why do you think that is? And I agree with you–no Cinderella fairy tales for me. I want to be the girl in the snow with the white coat and bright red scarf.

  2. I think it’s the world building. ( I always think it’s the world-building.)

    Not just the artsy thing, but the background, that is cohesive, that makes a world-view. Cohesive worldviews are compelling, be they in a movie, community, painting, or Anthropologie catalog…

  3. Addendum:

    The METAPHORICAL girl on page three. Christine was very suspicious of this statement and when I told her I didn’t really know what was on page three she was scandalized by the notion that it might, in fact, be a man on page three. Even though Anthropologie is solely a store for women, and men rarely appear in the catalog or anywhere else. She didn’t seem to mind the idea that it might be a couch on page three I was dreaming of being.

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