Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's a Pottery Barn life

It is my opinion that everyone has at least one thing they covet from Pottery Barn.

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"

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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back and cautious

I've been away and not with Colin Firth to Cypress.  To NY and then a week of having forgot my password to log in here.

La de dah.

So, lots doing, right?  Barack Obama.  Oh yes we can.  I was in NY before the election and my 6 year old niece mentioned they'd had an election at school and, despite her having voted for McCain (!), Obama won.  I think that should be one of those measures pundits use -- Primrose School shows 87% for Obama among first and second graders.

I am delighted.  But also reserved.  I went all out for Clinton in his first go round, believed the message, swayed to Fleetwood Mac, and anticipated change.  Out of the gate with "don't ask, don't tell" he let me down.  And I've never recovered.  Wondering if BO will be able to keep his integrity once he's actually in the snake pit.  Will he be able to hold to the identity that so many of us fell in love with?

I worry, people.  

Heartbroken in LA:  California voters passed Prop 8, banning same-sex marriage in the state.  How can this be?  Solidly blue and iconoclastic, yet California showed a surprising true color last week.  Clearly, I think, it wasn't about denying legal rights as much as it was about "don't call it marriage."  Either way, though, it's 2008.  Can the Mormon church really pump millions into our political consciousness and have us lose our minds?  I guess so...

I have gay friends whom I love.  Love.  Glorious people who now cannot marry or legalize their lives together, some after 20 years.  Why?

Seriously.  Why?  My feelings run deep, I worked with patients in the early days of AIDS, watching people die alone because their loved ones were barred by the hospital or hostile family members.  I'll never forget it.  

Marriage shmarriage -- I want my friends to come into the circle.  Fringe living should not be what we're about.

Not today.  Not in America.  Not when so many of us have said yes we can...