Dear Comrade Pottery Barn,
It is a minor miracle that I’m even typing this letter, considering I’m marooned on an island somewhere not so close to Costa Rica. More on that later.
When I walk into a Pottery Barn, I expect to be transported to a magical place. I want to go where lines are clean but contrasted unexpectedly with predictable rustic conformity. In this place, I have choice, but just the same limited choice of the other members of my vaunted socioeconomic class. I want people to know that I’m just like them but a little bit different and original. Just a little.
In my mid-twenties, I couldn’t afford to shop in your stores. Buying a couch meant going to two Goodwills and two Salvation Armies and settling on the best couch I could for under $100. It boggled my mind to think that people in this world could afford to pay $2,000 for a sofa, and that they’d call it a “sofa,” preceded by some warm non sequitur.
For example, one of your associates might get off her earpiece for just a second and say something like “This is our most popular piece this season, the fulcrum of the of the Hollandale Collection.” I am then supposed to believe that some woodworking guru named Hollandale assembled this hunk of parts by hand. However, I know for a fact you were just skimming off the then-popularity of the film Mr. Holland’s Opus. Richard Dreyfuss turns in his icy grave. Oh, wait, he’s still alive. Your globe says he’s dead.
Of course, I understand now why the tag says “for decorative purposes only.” Did you know that there’s now a canal near Panama? Your globe makes no mention of it. I therefore sailed my Hobie Cat several thousand more miles than necessary. I bought a globe. I bought a boat. I set sail to see the world based on the information obtained from said globe, kind of like Columbus or T Pain. I thought I’d made it.
But life has been a circumnavigating nightmare ever since I picked up the large “decorative” globe at Stanford Shopping Center. I got an incredible discount, which prompts me, too late, to remember my father’s sage advice: “Always look a gift horse directly in the mouth. And pay full price for globes and toilet paper.”
Why would I be so stupid as to chart a real sail based upon a Pottery Barn globe?
Well, it has to be better than the new maps app on my iPhone, right? Has anyone noticed how bad those maps are? Oh. Right.