May a Curse Fall Upon The House of Pottery Barn: Trying to Want Less

I wrote this a long time ago and left it in my drafts folder. It is a good time to revive it given that I have gone the first 13 days of the new year with no clothing purchases, even after walking through and H&M AND a Target. Between now and the start of classes in a few weeks, I will be cleaning out the closets (er, I mean the basement piled high with boxes of useless stuff) and working on my resolution to get less, want less.

I’m sure others out there must have a love/hate relationship with the Pottery Barn catalog that comes to your house with all sorts of adorable furniture and trinkets and wooden tables and perfect looking homes that look NOTHING like my home. If it is not Pottery Barn, I bet a lot of you have some sort of magazine that comes to your house that you love, yet hate. J. Crew? Car World? Book of the Month Club?

One of the things that Elaine St. James, simplicity guru, suggests is that you cancel magazine subscriptions because it just makes you feel inadequate. Partialy true. Yet, I also love looking at magazines (subscriptions and shopping ones).

In the Pottery Barn magazine, there are no piles of misc. stuff in the corner. There is not cat hair covering every imaginable surface. There are not the shelves from IKEA that your husband LOVES and that make the living room look sort of like a Sweedish utility closet. No dirty towels, cat throw-up, or accumulated dishes. I know, I know. Pottery Barn is not real, Elizabeth, just like the women in the magazines with the flat stomachs and airbrushed faces are not real. But that does not seem to matter to my little psyche that longs for a Pottery Barn world in my own apartment, yet at the same time knows that I am being tricked by The Man who makes lots of money off of poor little graduate students longing for the organized world of oak shelves with matching baskets and beautifully placed picture frames.

Be it resolved that I will appreciate my lovely Pottery Barn magazines, but never ever even consider buying something so amazingly overpriced and just enjoy the decorating ideas and remind myself that no normal person’s house should look like a Pottery Barn magazine. Just like I regularly resolve to remind myself that there is SUPPOSED to be a bump on my stomach and it is not supposed to be flat like the women in magazines who do not eat enough and exercize too much.


6 Responses to May a Curse Fall Upon The House of Pottery Barn: Trying to Want Less

  1. LaReinaCobre says:


    Well, Pottery Barn is in the business of selling dreams. Judging from their prices, it’s clear that dreams are expensive!

  2. Anonymous says:

    lol- i LOVE this post !!!! and i’m so glad you wrote it !!!!
    my magazine is “title one sports” for women- the women are all beautiful, have very cool jobs, (and not ones that make very much money,) by the by- and their clothes are so comfortable looking and sporty and not appropriate for my work life, even if i could EVER afford them, which i can’t !!!! i have yet to even see a sale which comes close to what i pay for clothes, yet the magazine does give me viewing pleasure and i always keep one around in case my ship comes in !!!!! so if by chance i ever get ridiculously rich, i will look good and give lots of moola to causes of my choice !!!
    thanks for giving me a great belly laugh !!!
    love, alice

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the comments you two. :) Elizabeth

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