I don't mind receiving said catalogs. I rarely buy anything (especially online or from a catalog) that I'm not expressly looking for in the first place and they serve as relatively useful bathroom reading since you can toss it without feeling guilty if the cats happen to knock it off the counter and into the toilet.
But I noticed something...unusual happen to me tonight as I was flipping through a new catalog I had not received before, Midnight Velvet, a catch-all, lady shoppers catalog.
My first reaction lasted about halfway through the catalog. Their shit was fugly. It was a floral explosion. pastel floral bedspreads and pants suits (here, here, and here) with matching sapphire rings. The house furnishings touched on the bizarre: a "power shoppers" figurine, figurines of African children with regularly-spaced, polished teeth gazing at small Amazonian jungle animals (from another continent entirely, I guess the children were Herculean swimmers¹), demitasse sets of the most hideous variety, and faux jeweled perfume bottles that musta been factory shipped direct from Claire's Boutique.
I snickered each time I turned the page, until after about five minutes, suddenly I realized that I wasn't snickering anymore. Then I started listening, discreet-like, to the thoughts running through my head, so I wouldn't notice that I was eavesdropping on my own mind.
Then I heard it, rambling along with each turning of the catalog pages in only a demi-awareness, "Hey, that's not bad. Kinda cute, really."
I flung the catalog across the room in disgust. It had...manipulated me...
Admittedly, there were only a few gems in the entire catalog, relatively cool items that I wouldn't buy from them anyway because of the inferior craftsmanship or choice of materials. A ten-year-old girl would have ripped out a couple pages from her mother's mail-order catalogs and pasted them into her flimsy lock-n-key diary, the sketched fantasy outline of her dream house.
Instead, I looked at it a little more pragmatically. I tugged out the pages, stuffed them into my wire-bound, dog-eared ginger-journal and promised to come back and look them over again in two weeks without the rest of the catalog to corrupt me. Only then would I know if they were genuinely cool pieces or the result of subtle brainwashing by a well-designed catalog.
After the reassessment, I will decide if the pieces could be found at another store but made with better materials or made by my own hands and made to fit my taste. If you want me to, I'll post links to those few things that I did like, so you may revel in my similar bad taste. ;)
On that note, later today, this afternoon, Liz, Brooke and I will be rummaging around through a few small antique shops, salvage stores and junk shops. My mission is to find a piece of furniture that can be gutted or modded to be a DVD rack, since zordac's and mine has runneth over with Stargate SG1 and Christmas DVD goodness.
(Oh, and don't ask about the music selection for this post. It's been stuck in my head for days. I don't know where it came from. Truly disturbing.)
¹ description exaggerated for humor value. I have no idea what type of lizard that is or what continent it may call home.