Cabinitis: Catalog Junkie
One person’s junk mail is another’s escapism
December 1, 2004
My wife has been
after me to get rid of all those sporting catalogs and boat brochures
at the cabin. Of course, she has quite a stack of catalogs herself.
Together, our catalogs and brochures spill out from the magazine rack
and sit in dog-eared piles under the coffee table.
Photo by Cabin Life, Cabin Living
counted exactly, but I guess mine do outnumber hers. But that’s just
fine. They afford me two important pleasures. One is memories. The
other is anticipation.
The memories provoked by these glossy
brochures and colorful catalogs are of the great times I’ve had on the
water – boating, water-skiing, fishing, sailing and almost every other
conceivable water sport.
The anticipation comes from looking at
the boats I’ve never owned, the accessories I’ve never tried, the
things I can buy and learn to master in this age of technological
marvels. You don’t just run a boat anymore; it seems like you have to
become an electronic technician to understand
all the bells and whistles on today’s advanced watercraft.
By the middle of winter, I just long for the days when I can feel the
wind whipping at my face as we race down the lake in a sleek
motorcraft, a small chop on the water and a bright sun overhead.
Doesn’t that sound idyllic?
Do I even read those catalogs?
Avidly! My idle moments are often spent flipping through the pages of
the Cabela’s master catalog or Overton’s spring specials. I could spend
hours comparing the different fish finders at Bass Pro, or checking out
all the boat trailers. I get almost as much enjoyment going through
these catalogs as I would taking an actual boat ride, a delirious
fantasy during the long snowy months of winter.
Do I buy many
things from these catalogs? Well, when the ravages of cabinitis descend
upon me, it’s hard to tell what I may wind up buying. I guess I would
be considered a very good catalog customer considering the number of
watercraft, outboards, fishing graphs, GPS units, underwater cameras,
etc. that I own.
Catalog shopping is so easy today. You find
something you want, call a toll-free number and tell them the product
you want. You give them a credit card number, and a few days later the
item arrives at your doorstep.
I guess you could say we’re a
catalog-addicted family. My wife probably receives more catalogs than I
do (she just judiciously recycles them more frequently) and she’s
constantly ordering clever items that I didn’t even know existed. The
world has truly become a marvelous place for anyone with an acquisitive
yen and a predilection to cabinitis.
So I’ll just stack the
catalogs a little more neatly and when there’s no room left under my
bed, I’ll reluctantly give up some of them. Until then, I’m going to
keep reading and dreaming. And, yes, ordering too. Don’t even think
about taking my telephone away!
Lars F. has refused the 12-step plan to control his cabinitis. Only his first name is used to protect his identity.