In fact, even though all those sports stars say they're going to Disneyland, I think, deep inside in a place they don't share with others, they're thinking, "I'm going to buy the Sutter Hand Painted Secretary from potterybarn.com."
As ubiquitous in the mail as the Victoria's Secret catalog used to be (see my earlier musings on shopping and porn), Pottery Barn publications are often thick, always glossy, seemingly seasonal, and endlessly compelling. Not to mention redundant, because those smart marketers change only the cover and the first few pages. The rest is exactly the same as the one you got last week.
But I fall for it. It's the thickness that gets me. The dense weightiness that's almost like a magazine. That triggers the same anticipation as a new VOGUE. I want to get inside, make some tea, and settle in for some....what?
Material voyeurism? Fantasies about the life I could have or the person I'd be if only I had the Capitola Trunk or the Terrace Mirrored Buffet? Visions of washing my face over the Classic Sink Console (in white with the Carrara marble top and Satin Nickel hardware) or sinking deep into the Mackenzie Sleigh bed at the end of the day?
All of the above, thank you.
Is that so wrong? Isn't that our cultural mandate? To be always desirous, striving, reaching?
Supposedly that's what keeps the economy going. Gotta stay hungry people. Terrorist attack, get a little spendy. Buy, buy, buy.
Yet money and acquisition, at this time in our lives, seem dicey drivers. What do we really want from Pottery Barn?
Safety, baby. A plushy soft place to fall. Come inside, shut the door, light some candles, plump some pillows, and fall asleep.
Sleep. It's better than being awake. I think that's the Pottery Barn promise.