[In which I type for five straight minutes stopping only when the timer goes ding]

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Harry and David catalogs.

I think it was the vast array of the Towers of Treats. My kid brain just couldn’t process the idea of a STACK of goodies, one bigger than the next. Chocolate-covered dried cherries. Perfect pears. Mixed nuts. Cheeses. Savory crackers. It was an explosion of possibility, and I dreamt of receiving such a tower.

Okay, so I still fantasize about such things.

What is it about catalogs? I even like the crappy ones. I’ll collect a stack and curl up with them like they’re Dickens. What does Tiny Tim want this year????

There’s a comfort in the stuff, the variety, the goods. 99% of it is crap, but it’s still fun to look at.

One year for Christmas, I had saved my allowance to buy my mom a beautiful, cascading wind chime. The catalog described it as “A thousand tiny bells that will elicit ooohs and ahhhs as they soothe with they’re [ sic ] magical melody.” I really wanted to hear my mom oooh and also ahhhh. The photo depicted the chimes as a stunning