I’ve decided to throw a few posts in here and there, that have little or nothing to do with the world of dating… but are simply the musings and stories of this single mama as she roams this crazy world. They’ll be full of the snarky commentary you’ve grown used to…never fear.
I’ve recently had to admit something to myself …a hard truth to swallow, but true nonetheless.
I am a Target girl in an Anthropologie world.
(For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Anthropologie is a hipster-bohemian retail store that sells exorbitantly priced clothing and home goods. It’s Neiman’s prices meet Uzbekistan Tribal-chic styles.
There ya go. Wikipedia ought to use that definition.)
I WANT to love Anthropologie…
I really do.
I want to be cool.
When people say – “neat twig necklace – where’d you get it?” I want to say, with the appropriate amount of apathy in my voice, “Anthro.”
But the answer is usually actually something like, “Walgreens.”
The truth is – I love the fantasy of Anthropologie. And they’re so darn GOOD at creating that.
Masterful photography for their catalogue sets the most gloriously bohemian scapes… who wouldn’t want to sleep on a pillowy bed in the woods, carry a camel-hair-covered satchel and sample the vegan stews at some fantastic Morrocan outdoor market?
Anthropologie has cultivated such a delicious delusion, that you can’t help but WANT to be the kind of woman who pays $2,800 for a chair that looks like a melted chocolate blob. (You can’t make this junk up, friends. Call it “resin,” and then, surely no one will think of poo…)
But what they’ve done is exactly that. They’ve created a fantasy world…one where, after walking into a showroom that smells of exotic essential oils expertly mixed with cozy lavender, with an archway made entirely of a Suessian stack of books, and showcasing their wares on paper maiche sheep…, you can’t help but drink the kool-aid.
I understand that this is the JOB of marketing – to sell a fantasy. But Anthropologie has taken this to a whole new level. They’ve done such a bang-up job of making this bizzare world sing with the illusion of normalcy, that you actually believe once you don a $300 dress that looks an awfully lot like one you could get for $14 at JCPenny, that you’ll be transported into a vacation world where all your cares are swept away with the waves lapping at your adorably sandaled feet while you drink some fantastic concoction that the locals swear will take years off your life. Or, at the very least, your co-workers will think you’re trendy.
And that’s something.
And, don’t get me wrong… my 15%-off Birthday coupon just arrived in the mail and I fully plan to use it on some oh-so-subtlely pretentious piece of jewelry that will razzle and dazzle all who interact with me. So, I don’t claim to have any moral high ground here. I’m a sheep. I like breezy bed canopies and batik-style scarves as much as the next fauxhemian. But, I’m poor enough to recognize the brainwashing – that’s all.
Perhaps because it’s the same thing that happens in the world of dating – people put on the mask of what they think you expect and desire…while underneath, they’re just as ridiculous a match for you as is a vase where the flowers come out of deer ears.
And in the end, what matters most isn’t necessarily whether you decide to buy-in to the fantasy… it’s just whether you can admit there’s a strong ribbon of ridiculosity running through the middle of it all.
SO, yes… Much of what they have to offer is pretty and adorable and all manner of Hobo-Fabulous…
But then…there’s this:
Even having grown up near the beach in Florida and seeing the copious kitch that can be made with seashells (both real and fake), … even I am shaking my head at this barnacled mess….
How does one even pick this UP?
I think they’re selling botched pre-k art projects…which calls to mind all sorts of child labor legalities…
If you needed a multi-colored witch’s claw…
you’ve come to the right place.
I can’t decide if it’s a decorated chicken foot to be used for bourgeois VooDoo dealings, or a decorated antler for the wives of hunters who can’t stomach the idea of dead things in the home unless they’re at LEAST gilded and dressed up in Gator colors.
Who doesn’t love drinking out of a decapitated elephant?
Just knowing my chai latte is pouring forth from this finely crafted carcass, is all the macabre I need.
Don’t worry – the accompanying Amish bonnet in eye-piercing green is coming out in the winter line.
If you’ve ever had a time in your life when you wanted to shell out $700 for a creepy-as-all-getout lamp – you’re in luck. Come home to this in the wee hours and be welcomed by medusa’s head swinging from your dining room ceiling.
Complete with authentic Guiness-Book-of-World-Records fingernail craftmanship.
There really are no words.
This poor bunny. She looks like the very essence of Parisian style and grace. Tragically, she was tricked into putting on a blindfold, likely under the auspices of throwing a suprise party, …but the suprise was a rabbit lynching.
Seriously – my children can make prettier art. A LOT prettier.
And – to add insult to injury, we’ve paired this with a hungry wolf to protect your butter in style. Maybe that’s why the one bunny looks crazed… she fears for her life.
Here’s a hard candy with fringe, sewn together with a twistie tie – and we call it $218 worth of style. Don’t believe me? Check it out.
At the end of the day – lots of their stuff is pretty. And from time to time, as my budget allows, I will definitely enjoy strolling through their shops, hoping some adorable Bohemian tunic will be on sale and in my size.
But a lot of it – and I mean…a lot – is either bizarre, ugly, silly, or so overpriced that it’s laughable – wrapped up with the bow of a different life it promises.
It’s a fantasy.
Listen – I can glue a Werther’s Original to a bracelet cuff and charge you $218, but what for? You wouldn’t buy that! Meanwhile, Athropologie has created a small universe of escape so alluring that you’re hypnotized into thinking that’s beautiful. They can offer you the hope of what your life COULD be like… I can only offer you the cynical scraps of reality. (And a piece of jewelry that’ll help you make it all the way through your investment meeting).
So, I applaud Anthropologie and the world they’ve created. They deserve every penny they bring in. But, let’s not fool ourselves – at the end of the day, there are a lot of witch claws out there. Just like life… just like the world of online dating… but that’s a story for another day.
(All images in this post are directly from Anthropologie online or their catalog.
Also – my birthday is coming up and I could really use a headless elephant mug to soothe the painful passage of time… I’m just sayin’…)