Monday, November 13, 2006

Pottery Barn Versus Reality During the Holidays

Dear WTMs, I pick on Pottery Barn. I especially pick on PotteryBarnKids. I am a hypocrite that I rant about PB & "PBK" since I also covet their products. There is a point here. The point, dear WT Readers is that while I want their stuff and I am a card carrying member of the PB customer club, PotteryBarn and Pottery Barn Kids represent the retail side of the PERFECTION MYTH. The big lie. You know what I am talking about. The lie that all of us modern women got spoon fed during the "women's lib" years...that you can "have it all" AND that you can have it all while you:
  • make buckets of money
  • are concentration camp THIN
  • bake homemade bread
  • design craft projects for your kids
  • speak Mandarin Chinese fluently
  • romp like a sex kitten with your man
I don't blame Pottery Barn for the big lie. However, I would like to point out the following Pottery Barn Versus Reality Holiday Moment. Today's "PB vs Reality Moment" is the picture of the PBK perfect Thanksgiving table for the kids. Picture from PBK shows the children laughing and playing at the festive and fun decorated table for the children (all the perfect adults are in the other room, with Norman Rockwell). It's perfect, it's wonderful...it's a complete and insane fantasy. Here is why it's a fantasy:
  • None of the children are picking their noses
  • The children are not squabbling
  • All kids have clean, non stained clothing
  • None of the older kids are trying to sample Uncle Jack's "toddy"
  • There is no dog nearby getting fed under the table
  • No children are whining
  • No one is sick (there is always a sick one, every holiday)
  • And finally---the plates and utensils actually match.
Anyone? Bueller? What am I missing? Chime in!

27 Comments:

Blogger carmachu said...

Of course its teh big lie, just like all the other big lies, such as your women's lib example....

But most folks rather listen to little white lies than the truth....

11/13/2006 4:46 PM  
Blogger AprilMay said...

Um, MY children don't actually EAT most of the traditional Thanksgiving foods. What I want to know is: Is there a CORN DOG on that kids' Thanksgiving table? Because then, THEN it would be REAL.

11/13/2006 8:58 PM  
Anonymous j-yo said...

More unrealistic aspects of the PBK portrait:

* No one at the table has ADD.
* There are no Game Boy Advance consoles on the table.
* No child is announcing that he/she is a vegetarian and can't eat anything being served.
* No one's farting at the table for laughs.

Oh, I could go on....

11/13/2006 9:08 PM  
Blogger queen of wt said...

ALL OF YOU ARE SO SO RIGHT. Excellent points, my WT comrades.

11/13/2006 9:36 PM  
Anonymous baseballmom said...

Ummm, all of them actually have all of their clothes ON, and no one has a dirty face, and none of them are crying.

11/13/2006 11:47 PM  
Blogger QueenieBadd said...

Let me just add this-none of the kids are on a bitch-slapping rampage because they want the RED construction paper, dammit!-like my kids would be.

Also, nobody is throwing food-as again, my kids would be (very annoying phase we're in right now).

11/14/2006 4:41 AM  
Blogger ballerinamommy said...

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving at our house without cheese cubes, mac n cheese, and grilled cheese, since that's all our children eat.

Oh, they do poop, in case you were wondering.

11/14/2006 5:37 AM  
Blogger Aisby said...

To further the PB myth...
They have special dinnerware for every holiday (one for kids and one for adults).
The bathrooms in their kids catalogs are the size of my whole house, and what kids keep their bathrooms that clean?
They always have extraordinarlily cool and LARGE playrooms with the most unusual architecture allowing for special nooks and crannies in which to add their decor.

11/14/2006 7:27 AM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

I hear ya ... aren't all retailers like that, though? "Use our products, and your life will be perfect."

The beef I have with PB for kids is they don't seem to keep their stuff around for very long. Earlier this year before I had my baby, I fell in love with a crib/room decor set. A salesperson insisted I set up a registry with PBK, but I didn't -- and it's a good thing, too, because by the time my baby was born, almost everything in that set was out of stock! What if someone tried to buy those things for me for a gift?! What if I hadn't picked out other room stuff and left my baby without any sheets or blankets?!

=:+[]

11/14/2006 7:43 AM  
Anonymous kitty1b said...

These retailers are the reason for the heightened depression during the holidays. The pressure we feel to have the perfect, storybook family get-together. I personally hate those designer, color-coded Christmas trees. I like my Grandma's old (faded) glass ornaments, the cartoon characters, the construction paper handprints, etc.

11/14/2006 9:30 AM  
Anonymous kitty1b said...

BTW, Damsel-
PB did the same thing to my niece as a registered bride! She specifically asked RE: whether the china, silverware, linens, etc. would be discontinued - they said 'no'. But they were! more than 1 month prior to her wedding! Yet she received no e-mail, letter. They also would not hold any of it for her so that her guests could buy from hold!

11/14/2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

Oh just when I get back to the States and visit Pottery Barn and see they have a kids catalogue and get excited, you burst my bubble LOL

it's all an image I know...White trash kids eat beer for THANKSGIVING!

11/14/2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger queen of wt said...

OMG Mrs Mogul---don't get me wrong, I do love Pottery Barn, and I buy the Koolaid. However, I loathe myself while doing it so that makes me feel better.

11/14/2006 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one is saying, "MOM! This food is GROSS! I want a peanut butter sandwich! Ew! What's this green stuff? What are these white things! I want the marshmallows but NO YAMS!" Great article :D --z.h.

11/14/2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger Belle said...

I think you pretty much have it covered.....

11/14/2006 9:14 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

There are no parents drinking in this picture. For that, I am truly upset.

11/14/2006 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Oh, too funny! I've been reading you for a little over a week now and this post actually made me pull out my PBK's catalog again to take a really long, hard look. Also, I had to take off the blinders since, obviously, they were obstructing my view of reality in the pix within. Damn them!

Thanks for tellin' it like it is. I really enjoy visiting, and actually linked you earlier this week on your dysfunctional family letter.

Have a good one!

11/14/2006 11:50 PM  
Anonymous karrie said...

Here, here!

I think you've nailed it.

11/15/2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger Chic Mommy said...

this post is hilarious, and so true!

11/15/2006 9:08 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Yes! I totally feel this way about Pottery Barn, too. I love some of their things, but the store--like Martha Stewart--creates an idea of life that is hard to recreate in reality. Especially for people who can't afford to buy tons of their stuff.

11/16/2006 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met 2 out of the 5 ladies who started Potterybarn Kids and I can tell you their children have the perfect rooms, their homes are perfect and their kids are wonderful. I have been registered with Potterybarn Kids, and the bedding I wanted was on their list that showed how long each bedding line was available for. The store in AZ was out of the product so they called around for me and found it, waived the shipping. I do agree with all of you though, I would love to see food all over the kids mouths.

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