Dear Pottery Barn,
Perhaps you don't know this, and really why would you, but I lost my job in February of this year. I'll do the math for you: that's seven months ago. And those past seven months? They've been, what's another word for challenging? Trying? Taxing? Yes and yes. Mostly so in the financial department. Because completely without my consent, I went from a healthy salary to dipping into savings and adding to that an anemic pittance from the government in attempt to live my life as if nothing had changed. Guess what? That attitude will catch up with you and when it does, it will tackle your behind to the ground and hold you there until you say out loud, not mercy, but OKAY, I ADMIT IT. I ONLY HAVE A HUNDRED DOLLARS IN THE BANK.
This week, I've been putting pencil to paper and eraser to paper and wadding up paper in frustration and throwing it in the trashcan, except for my aim stinks so the wad never lands in the basket but nearby on the floor and I have to get up out of my chair and place the wad there from the no miss advantage point of about one foot above the target receptacle. All that pencil to paper business is in earnest effort to create a reasonable budget for myself for the next two years while I attend graduate school. That budget consists of starting with a number that is just under the salary I was making back in the day when I was employed and trying to stretch that number to cover me for two years. I know, I know, just divide by 24, but oh man the resistance on my part when I see the number I have available to me each month and realize that some things have to be adjusted.
Budgets? I can't stand budgets, I rail against budgets, stretch against the choking yoke of the their hold on me. I don't mind the number so much as the portion of my scratch paper where I have to cut things in order to actually make the allotment work, where I have to draw a line through things that I enjoy, things like manicures and pedicures and XM radio in my car and did you know that Dos XX beer tastes nothing like Veuve Clicquot champagne?
I'm determined to make this work though and if I have to cut back on things that I enjoy but in reality are completely unnecessary in order to reach my goal of survival the next two years, then so be it. But that doesn't mean I'm happy about it, understand.
Pottery Barn, are you still with me? I have a point, really I do. Part of what has been eliminated from my budget is that part of income known as discretionary. Why? Are you dense, Pottery Barn? Have you not been paying attention? Because there's nothing left over to be discretionary about, that's why. And that is why, five paragraphs later, I'm going to get to the point. With head bowed, I humbly request that you stop sending me your catalogs, your luscious, soothing catalogs. I cannot daydream through your pages any more. I cannot be tempted by your paisleys and velvets, your gilt and silver-plate frames, your perfectly appointed rooms with hand tufted wool rugs, or you embroidered towels with thread colors of sandalwood and ocean blue.
It not you, it's me. You are lovely, understand, but I simply cannot have you in my life anymore. I've tried but there's no room on this piece of paper I have with the columns and numbers beneath the heading 2010/2011 Budget. It's not your fault, you've done nothing wrong. It's just that there's no longer room for you in my life and I'm not strong enough to resist you, so we have to separate.
Wipe that tear from your eye, it won't be forever. Promise.
A former frequent customer
p.s. I guess you'll find out soon enough, but because I am weak when it comes to your seductive ways, I've also had to block your emails.
Ann Taylor Loft