For forty years I never dreamed my husband would become a catalog addict after we retired. We lived overseas for a lot of those years, and packages purchased from catalogs had a reputation of never making it into a person’s mailbox. So we refrained from wasting money on catalog orders.
After we returned to the States to live, however, unanticipated, non-subscription catalogs began to arrive in our mailbox. It’s still a mystery as to how catalog companies got our home address. My husband innocently ordered an item from a couple of catalogs.
We were naive purchasers, not realizing that the amount of catalogs would increase once we placed an order from one. Finally, one day our mailbox was full of catalogs, some of which I didn’t recognize:
“Home Trends – Your Home Care Experts” featured “The Quick and Easy Fix to Sagging Furniture.” I knew I had some sagging parts, but didn’t think our furniture did. So I tossed that catalog into the garbage.
Suddenly a screech, and then the unhappy voice of my husband, who was comfortably settled into his recliner, hit me full force. “What are you doing? Did you throw away a catalog before I looked at it?”
I tried to look repentant and to use logic. “We don’t have sagging furniture, so yes, I tossed the “Home Trends” catalog into the garbage.
I glanced at a catalog I was still holding. “Do you think you’ll be ordering a dual-head spotlight that is solar powered? Or a Shoe Those Birds Away contraption? Or is it okay to toss the “Whatever Works” catalog?”
My attempt at satire went right over his head. His glare could have cut through steel. “I don’t know about those items. But maybe there’s something we could use in that catalog. Don’t throw it away until I look at it.”
I gingerly sneaked a peek at the remaining catalogs: “Crate & Barrel,” “L.L. Bean,” Crutchfield, North America’s Electronics Specialist,” “Independent Living,” “Picket Fence,” “Make Life Easier,” Hammacher Schlemmer,” Magellan’s.”
I called off the catalog names to my husband. His eyes sparkled. He grinned, then practically jumped out of the recliner to reach for that batch of catalogs. He gave me a stern look. “Do not ever throw a catalog away until I have read it.”
That’s when it hit me. This was serious. My retired husband was a catalog addict.
Have I been able to wean him from this catalog addiction? No, not even a little. I’ve learned to let him have free rein with the catalogs and to enjoy opening packages holding unusual items ordered from them.
After opening a catalog purchase, my catalog addict husband always comments. “Bet you couldn’t find that in a store!”
And by the way, we might soon need a bigger mailbox. That’s what happens when your husband is a catalog addict.