So, you might think that my lack of recent blogging means I have been immersed in some highly unproductive habits. Like perhaps celebrating the long overdue demise of pumpkin-everything season as we finally usher in the glorious Month of Peppermint. Or, maybe tying my own hands behind my back as to not engage in any online discussion of the current roster of presidential candidates. Or, possibly overseeing an overly ambitious home renovation that quickly spiraled from “Hey, our powder room looks dated” to “Do you think the house will still be stripped down to the studs for Christmas dinner?”
(Spoiler alert: Probably. Stay tuned.)
In short, although I have not been writing, I have been productive as hell. If hell is where pumpkin drinks and renovation timelines come to die.
And here we are, suddenly in the midst of all things holiday related. Yes, it’s the season of gratitude, and posting about gratitude, and posting about why people post about feeling #gratitude and #blessed.
While I count my many blessings in my head instead of in public list and hashtag formation, it’s hard to reconcile all of the sadness of current world events with our seasonal consumerism – it feels shallow and vapid sometimes. I’m not saying that my kids will be presented with a photo of an adopted heifer under the Christmas tree, but I am making a concentrated effort to find a balance.
This attempted balance is not easy with the shock-and-awe seasonal catalog approach that lands in my mailbox every day and tests even the most resolute observer of local recycling codes.
Old habits die hard, don’t they? No, no, not a longing for Yule Log programming circa 1982. I just can’t stop analyzing the absurdity of some of our favorite kids’ retailers.
Now, to be fair, I had sort of promised a while back to take on the inaugural issue of Restoration Hardware Teen because, come on. How do we just let that go? And then, between the out of control home renovation plans and making sure all of the dark chocolate from Halloween found its way to my secret stash, a few other writers beat me to the punch on RH Teen, and rightfully so.
And so, rather than re-hash what has already been beautifully covered, I’m going to move on. Well, in just a minute.
Can we first just talk about The Versailles Settee?
Well, wait, hold the phone. Now that I’ve read the official product description and I understand that this is going to serve as a $3500 European History reference point, well then that’s money well spent, don’t you think? How else would today’s teen know exactly what an 18th century French porter faced?
Not ready to drop that much cash but still concerned about where your teen will rest his or her precious bottom? Luckily, RH Teen will let your kid slum it in the $1700 Orbit Chair (if astronomy is really their focus over that pesky French history).
Or, if they’re *really* grounded, send them to time out in the Tye Butterfly Chair in Mongolian Lamb (just $649).
Can you just hear it now? The exasperated texts?
“Uh, yeah. My mom seriously made me sit in the Mongolian Lamb chair and ‘think about what I did.’ WTFFFFF? She is the worst. It’s like prison here, but not as cool as OITNB.”
(Is that even what they would say? Or am I like the Smith Corona version of teen texting?)
I figured this focus on luxury teen seating was strictly a RH phenomenon. But, like a Christmas gift from the blogging gods, the never-count-us-out marketers at Pottery Barn somehow blessed my shamefully-unmonogrammed mailbox with their latest offering for teens.
And, friends, I am so glad that they did. Before you finish entering your credit card info to finance the Mongolian Lamb Chair of Shame over 24 months, first consider the PBT seating options. Because they are not fucking around.
You know those PBK mini “everyday” armchairs that lots of small kids have with their names stitched into them? (Ahem, I’m totally guilty of purchasing one.) I am starting to see that this was really the beginning of the problem. Why, let us create personalized, plush seating for the toddler set. And then, let us not regress for one single moment, ever, in offering them size-appropriate lounging options as they grow.
It’s an evil genius scheme that enables parents to rationalize the $159 Owl Fur Critter Beanbag – when, really, it’s the gateway drug of high-end tween seating.
And am I the only one who finds the woodsy creature theme sort of creepy?
(Side note: I spy at least eight wrapped gifts and three hot cocoas just waiting for the kids to arrive home from a tough day of sitting in terribly hard/not-ergonomic school chairs.)
I have to step back for a minute and just frame all of this PBT madness. It is 100% my own fault that I am surprised by any of this. Because anyone who views this cover and goes on to express shock on any level is really just missing context clues by a wide mile.
Is this a personalized re-creation of Frozen for the teen set? Like Anna and Elsa’s perfect American cousins tackle snow shoeing? Or are they hanging at their parents’ Norwegian chalet for a long weekend while their SAT tutor prepares their cocoa? It’s hard to say.
And in what is perhaps the most jaw-dropping display of setting one’s extra piles of cash on fire this holiday season, I give you the PBT Kick Back Recliner Speaker Chair ($699).
No word yet on when the throw pillows with #entitled will be back in stock to add that certain decorative punch. The Coke is a nice cross-branding touch, though. I guess an iced soy latte doesn’t look as good in a bottle.
But please say that you read the official product description. Because, if nothing else, it will serve as the only reason I’ll ever have for the word subwoofer on my blog. And I can’t let that chance just slip away.
OH, but for the love of all that is holy this season, do not confuse this chair with the Got Game Speaker Media Chair, which is compatible with various video game systems. (And, don’t worry, also has a subwoofer.)
Are we sensing a theme yet? Should the teens sit? Where will they sit? Are you equipped to seat them in the manner to which they’ve grown accustomed? Why are they standing? What is wrong with your home?
I don’t want to act like RH and PB didn’t include other items in their holiday catalogs. There was plenty of decor and luggage, too. And, just when I thought kids these days were growing up too fast, my heart was warmed not only by my spiked Sunday afternoon coffee, but by seeing a sweet stuffed animal available for tweens.
Oh, never mind. It’s a speaker that’s fully compatible with all phones, tablets and MP3 players. And, it’s made of “supersoft faux fur.” Not soft. Supersoft.
And, from a utilitarian standpoint, with all of the emphasis on seating, we cannot expect these kids to walk all the way across the Norwegian chalet to retrieve their own snacks or beverages. Pffffft.
The retro cooler to the rescue.
Look, I know I don’t have teenagers yet, so who am I to judge? Maybe this will all make perfect sense to me in five or ten years and I’ll be all, “Go to your room and sit in that Mongolian Lamb Chair until I tell you to come down here. If you need your mini-fridge re-stocked, let me know.”
It’s reasonable to think that I may be out of touch with any minor over the age of eight. And, truth be told, if my piss-poor attitude in my own teen years is any indication of what karma is going to throw my way as a parent, I’m probably screwed.
But, still. I’d like to go on record as saying that my future teens will survive in standard home seating. If anyone is getting a chair with a subwoofer and a bedside fridge, it’s me.