Saturday, October 3, 2009

catalog rant, because I'm sick of this stuff! (and sick)

So I was sitting at home today convalescing with a sore throat when I got the mail and started flipping through the latest JC Penney catalog. And found myself getting annoyed. Pages and pages of beautiful, appealing, restful-looking rooms... which are completely unrealistic.

First off, who puts a lamp on top of their book pile? Every night, I read until my eyes are swinging. Some nights, this means I only get a paragraph in. Think I'm then going to LIFT the lamp so I can stack my book neatly back in place before passing out? Um, NO.

Although admittedly, that's not as bad as this: one entire bedside table, rendered completely useless. Because of a. Snow. Globe.

And why are they showing Christmas stuff NOW?

This bedside table's a little better -- at least it shows that the being who sleeps here undergoes some sort of metabolic process necessary for life, like fluid consumption. But really, who brings an entire pitcher of water to bed unless you're planning on being there for the next 7 days? In which case I demand the catalog photo include a thermometer, 10 bottles of assorted flu medicine and sweaty, rumpled blankets.

This photo also includes a glass of water. Here, we understand, the patron has finally recovered, the pitcher is gone. But really, who still has a clock like this? The last time I did was in 6th grade. That alarm's firehouse bells blasted me out of bed every morning like audio shrapnel from a pipe bomb. No wonder I developed a neurosis to sunrise.

And now THIS ridiculous idea. "Try switching out your nightstands for a trunk!"

Sure. Every morning, take off the lamp, books, clock, water and water pitcher to file the hangnail you ripped while clawing at your cruel clock's shrill bells. And then every night, settle comfortably into bed... but wait! You must moisturize your hands. You do this every night, remember? Remove lamp, books, clock, water and pitcher, slather hands with slippery jasmine-scented lotion and gingerly replace lamp, books, clock, water and pitcher (coating each with a thin layer of oil). Oops, now your bedmate/houseguest/child wants some lotion too? Remove lamp, books... ah, you get the idea.

Ergonomics FAIL.

Here is an actual picture of my own bedside table.

Sure, it's not as pretty, especially as I didn't clean it up for this entry, but it's REAL:

Note especially the tissues. Did any of the above bedside tables have tissues? What, do catalog folks pick & fling? Oh yeah, and also note the phone. Not a single iPod alarm clock, cell charger or bit of electronics. Completely unrealistic for today's growing techno-geek population.

To me, this just means "As long as you spend $10,000" (per window)!

This is so cute. But also completely unrealistic. I don't have room for shelves with nothing useful on them. Shelves in my abode wear mostly books.

Another example of a lamp sitting on top of books. This particularly irritates me because I LOVE to read. To show books as a useless decorative piece is blasphemous.

More books stored under things. Utterly useless things, I might add.

In what living room would you ever place the chair in front of the fireplace?

Another example of furniture blocking the fireplace. Here, guests would be seated pointing away from it. Sure, there are raging flames in your house, but don't bother keeping an eye on them or anything.

I included this photo because I don't understand the chair situation. How are you supposed to use this? Is it supplemental seating so extra visitors can perch uncomfortably while watching you lounge on your cozy chaise? Or are they for mealtimes in front of the tube, where you can hunch over your food while sitting on a bicycle seat?

This cabinet is cute, even if it does look like it's covered in circus pig blood. But I include it here because in my house, it would never look this neat. Cabinets STORE stuff. And that stuff doesn't look nice. Frosted glass or wood doors, please.

Now this is gorgeous. I love it. But I need to point something out. In WHO'S home have you ever seen a basket of soaps on the floor in front of the shower stall? (That you would invariably crush during the morning frenzy, especially after your senses were assaulted by five-alarm-fire bells?) And who takes a shower with candles? A bath, maybe. But this is a shower. Last I heard, fire and running water didn't mix so well.

Also, the toiletries in this room all match. Where's the hair dryer, curlers, anti-frizz oil, wrinkle cream, zit medicine, tweezers, and other necessaries that aren't so pretty? There's not a single cabinet to hide those things in.

Bed Head would not fit here.

Sorry. I guess you can only style your hair with products that match your bathroom.

Last peeve.

WHY are blankets always depicted with generous swaths of cozy fabric flowing to the floor? In reality, you have to fight to get three inches to peek over the edge. This invariably ends up in a restless evening spent sleepfighting for covers all night.

I know they're displaying a king blanket on a queen bed here but they won't say this. You're just supposed to KNOW. But king folks can't do this trick, there's nothing to upsize to. Can't you just MAKE blankets larger??

The world according to Spleeness: useful bedside tables, easily accessible books, flowing blankets and lots of cabinets with closed doors! Maybe I should start a business.

I'm not alone, it turns out. See Surfie Says...


lacochran said...

Ha! This is hilarious! Well done.

Steve said...

Excellent! Good to know your spleen is in full working order, even if your throat isn't ;-)

And in their universe computers don't have cables either

Daffy said...

So unfunctional. A totally unrealistic standard... does make one quite cranky, doesn't it? Same thing happens when you walk through a home that has been staged or is a furnished model home. Where's the water bowl for the dog on the bathroom floor?

Or the three months worth of dust on that nonfunctional nightstand?

Niffer said...

I had to laugh at all your comments about the books being under the lamps because that's exactly what M's stepmother does. She considers herself to be high-class but really isn't. I'm sure she sees enough of these pictures to know that's what classy people do. I commented on it once before and she said something to the line of how Engineers don't know style. Doh - I'll bite my tongue on that one.

deva said...

they're not illustrating reality - these catalog people are just trying to start trends! Snow globes the size of bed side tables could be all the rage in 10 years! Bird house thingys could be the next bookcase in 5 years - who knows. The world is changing so fast; they're just trying to steer it in a fashionable direction :)

But on a serious note, that last picture of the bed made me vomit a little. So. Hideous.

Soda and Candy said...

Preach sister!

This post was so full of win I can't pick a favorite - maybe the circus pig's blood painted walls - but I definitely agree with everything, especially the things on top of books, wtf? What about how they put seventeen thousand pillows on the bed when you only ever use 2 (4 max if both of you are sitting up & reading)

geekhiker said...

Hmmm... all those rooms really need some good, fashionable clothing to go with them. Did you ever see this post?

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