So we get a lot of junk mail. Fundraising letters, political letters, continuing solicitations to join the AARP beginning about five nanoseconds after I turned 50.
But this week we got junk mail to out-junk the worst of them — the Restoration Hardware catalogue.
“Catalogue” may not be exactly the best word for it. Doorstop? Deadweight? Anchor for a cruise ship?
The thing sat on our front stoop like a granite paving stone — 710 pages in the main catalogue, plus three smaller RH catalogues caught in its gravity like moons of Jupiter.
It’s thicker than the Oakland city phone book, which is only 333 pages. It’s even thicker than the June issues of Bride magazine, which until now I had naively assumed was the largest periodical publication known to mankind.
I weighed it on our bathroom scale and it clocks in at 5.5 pounds. That’s almost as much as Daughter weighed when she was born.
Think about how much paper went into our one catalogue, and then multiply that by the number of copies they must mail out — hundreds of thousands of copies, maybe millions, each one wrapped in a plastic bag.
How many trees died for this? How much of that plastic will end up in the ocean killing fish?
And this is the age of the Internet! When people shop online!
Somehow RH figures that dropping this waste bomb on my doorstep will motivate me to drop money on things like a”reproduction of a 100-year-old Hungarian sleigh, crafted of solid elm with a tea-stained burlap cushion.” Or a “linen-bordered 650-gram Turkish towel.” Or a “1920s Odeon glass fringe chandelier.”
It actually has the opposite effect.
I’m so appalled at the waste and excess that I am vowing never again to set foot in a Restoration Hardware store.
There’s a letter at the start of the catalogue from the chairman and “curator” of the company, who says they have revised their vision statement. Their vision now is “to create an endless reflection of hope, inspiration and love that will ignite the human spirit and change the world.”
Okay, he’s ignited my spirit, I’ll grant him that.
But change the world? Maybe he means through deforestation?