I Simply Refuse To Look At Catalogs Anymore!Commentary • ISSUE 32•07 • Sep 16, 1997 By Jean Teasdale – A Room Of Jean's Own I realize I'm not the only person in the world with credit-card debt, but I just about died of shock when I got my bill last month. Where does the money all go? I won't get too deep into specifics, but let's just say I must be one of the CEO of MasterCard's favorite people! Well, one thing's for sure: From now on, all the catalogs that are mailed to my house are going straight into the trash. On last month's bill, I had about $175 in charges from Fingerhut alone! But I just had to have that Cuisine Supreme cutlery set! True, I don't cook very often. (I like to say that Rick and I have our own private chef—Chef Boyardee!) But I was thinking of starting to cook again, since it would save a lot of money in the long run. Anyway, here's only a partial list of the catalogs I receive (Get ready!): JCPenney, Fingerhut (as I mentioned), Spiegel, Lillian Vernon, Chadwick's, Clifford & Willis, Pottery Barn, Precious Moments, The Pampered Chef, that one discount pantyhose and underwear catalog, Land's End, Crate & Barrel, Tupperware, this one catalog with the most darling home furnishings and knick-knacks whose name I always forget, L.L. Bean, and many, many more. It's crazy, I know! And I get some of the most ridiculous catalogs too. Like Victoria's Secret. Now, how in the world would I fit into any of their lingerie? I even called them once and said, "Look, I order all my underwear from the Just My Size catalog, which, unlike yours, offers the 'pretty-plus' sizes I need. You're just wasting time and postage sending me Victoria's Secret, so why don't you take me off your mailing list?" But the representative on the line just acted like I was nuts, and I'm still getting it to this day. I mean, how many times do I have to have Tyra Banks and all those other anorexic models shoved in my face? (There is one big fan of Victoria's Secret in the Teasdale household, though: hubby Rick. As far as he's concerned, they can keep sending those catalogs until the end of time!) But as fed up as I am with mail-order catalogs, sometimes I just can't help myself. For example, there's this one catalog I receive called Horsin' Around, which is for horse owners. Now, the only horse I've ever ridden in my entire life was this little shetland pony at the Waynesboro County Fair when I was six, but I just love horses! They're so beautiful, and they represent freedom! Anyway, Horsin' Around was offering this hooked floor rug with a wild mustang on it, and I happen to have this really gorgeous print of wild mustangs galloping across a beach hanging in the living room, and I knew they'd go so perfectly together. I have to admit that even though it did cost $49.95, that rug was one of the best impulse purchases I have ever made. (Unfortunately, soon after I bought it, Rick dripped some mustard smack dab on one of the horse's nostrils. To this day, you can still see the stain, even though I tried and tried to get it out. I just can't have anything nice around the house!) Another time, at work, a gift catalog arrived, and it had one of those set-ups where you can only get an item if you buy it in lots of three or more; that way you save money. Two of my girlfriends each wanted to buy a little wooden country-style rocking chair for their kids, and I wanted to get this Green Bay Packers afghan. But the rocking chair was just so cute, I couldn't resist! I figured that eventually Rick and I will be having kids, and I can hold on to the chair in the meantime. I placed it in a corner of our bedroom and sat an oversized teddy bear in it! By the way, I did tell hubby Rick about my plan to stop buying from catalogs. "About friggin' time," he said. (He actually said something not quite so nice, but I refuse to stoop to his level of profanity.) But for all his griping, Rick is certainly no stranger to catalog shopping himself. In fact, he's often worse than me! He's always ordering stuff for that run-down old Chevy pickup of his from the J.C. Whitney catalog—things like chrome wheelguards, bedliners, Jeff Gordon mudflaps, and those "Bad Boy" rear-window decals. He thinks he's making his truck look sharp, but to everyone else it looks like he's just putting a nice dress on an ugly old sow! At least I'm buying things that beautify our home, like this cute little wooden memo pad and pen holder I got from last month's Gift Shed catalog. But I promised to turn over a new leaf, and I will. Those catalogs are going straight to the trash from now on! Well, I guess I'll still occasionally skim through a few of the ones I really like, just in case there's something I absolutely must have. For example, there's this tea cozy in this one kitchenware catalog that's just adorable! It's shaped like a little gargoyle who's crouching over the teapot underneath, as if to say, "Back off, buster!" (Where do they come up with these things?) But after that, I'm drawing the line, and I mean it! Jean's honor!