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Smith/My Turn: ’Tis the season of catalogs

Every morning, I have the opportunity to shop at some of the finest establishments the world has to offer. Dressed to the nines in my pajamas, I forage through the mountains of catalogs that arrive at our doorstep day-in and day-out.

Tra-la, ’tis the season of catalogs and despite my best efforts I have not been able to stem this tsunami of temptation, this deluge of products available to me by making a simple phone call. They have multiplied exponentially like the spindly gray hairs sprouting from my temples.

Arriving from out of town, a family member and city-dweller spies the piles and piles of neatly stacked catalogs nestled beneath our coffee table. Peering at them with curiosity, I can almost hear her gears click into place as she says, “Oh, you’re the kind of people catalogs are made for.” Her comment has an accusatory tone to it and feels the same as if someone had said, “Oh, you’re why vaccines were invented.”

Now, I am a Hilltown girl who shops locally, belongs to a CSA and gives frequently and generously to my local food pantry. I do my best to support those who live and work close by. But these catalogs are like pumpkin cheesecake for me, very hard to resist even though I know eating them will send my cholesterol through the roof.

For example, who knew I needed a solar-powered crystal to suction onto our southern facing bay window? Prisms of color now rotate around the dining room on sunny mornings. I absolutely love the effect, but did I need it? Would I have even known something as wonderful as this existed had not the GeeksWorld catalog arrived in our mail?

I will admit that during the holidays with their early darkness, and potential for icy roads, there is an undeniable convenience to staying in my jammies and ordering gifts for family and friends by phone or computer. Like a reflex I can’t help, I come downstairs in the morning, make my tea and wonder where I might shop today. Plow&Hearth? LLBean? Hammacher Schlemmer? But another part of me resents that my house is filled with slickly designed pumpkin cheesecake, wooing me away from what I know to be best.

I am not yet sure how to resolve this problem. Should I just recycle the catalogs before they even make it to the table? Bundle them up and sneak them into doctors’ offices? Lay them out on the floor and make snow angels on top of them until they’re shredded to bits? Tilting my head I look out our large bay window seeking solution inspiration, but as I do this perfect rainbow of color glides over our dining room table and up the far wall. No fair, I say, no fair, as I impulsively paw through the recycle pile looking for that GeeksWorld catalog.

Nancy Smith lives in Ashfield and has three grown kids, two fat Labs and one wonderful husband.

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