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My Name is Jennifer, and I Am a Catalog-a-holic.

Hello! My name is Jennifer, and I am a catalog-a-holic. I love that this time of year brings catalogs for just about anything you can think of – so many catalogs, I could wallpaper my entire home with them! When these beautiful catalogs arrive in the mailbox, I practically skip up my sidewalk and back to my house to devour them in private.

Yes, I said devour. I pour over each and every one of them as if they hold the hidden key to the universe. Truthfully, many of them barely hold one item that I would consider purchasing or even admit to knowing about. But the fascination is there.

Take, for instance, my recent catalog delivery: A Name Brand Cigar Company. Thing is, I don’t smoke cigars or know anyone who does. So why am I even on this list? None of this stopped me from looking through it, making comments to my husband that he really had no interest in hearing.

“Honey, you won’t believe this! They have laser engraved cigars! I kid you not. Laser. Engraved. Cigars! That is whack!”

The response is usually a casual grunt or other noise to acknowledge that I spoke without him really committing to a conversation.

“Oh! And they have this massive humidor on sale for only $300! It's practically a steal at this price! We should totally get that.”

“Do you know what a humidor is?”

“Not really. But this baby is nearly half off! I bet that's just the catalog price though. Act now!”

I was treated to an eye roll on that one. It isn’t like I was actually going to buy a humidor. Who needs more humidity in Texas anyway?

But the cigar catalog isn’t the only unusual one that shows up in my mail. I also get the one for Medieval swords and Renaissance clothing, the one for biker gear, and the one for metal detectors (who knew they deserved their own catalog?). Did you know there is also a catalog dedicated to GI Joe military action figures and their replacement parts? If I had known that, there is no way I would have ever let my Mom give away my GI Joe with Kung-Fu Action Grip all those years ago. I could have fixed that bad boy.

I get the more common catalogs, too. There is Tiffany & Co., which is usually covered in drool before I have finished it. There is the infamous Neiman Marcus catalog. That bad boy? It has me checking off “If I had a billion dollars I would buy…” items left and right. Who doesn’t need a backyard golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus? Am I right?

But back in reality land, I peruse the every-day-person catalogs, hoping I will find something useful, but they're not nearly as fun.

The strange thing about all of this? I have very little intention of buying from one of these catalogs. Ever. After all, I can hop online and get just about anything I want. (And trust me, I do.)

So why the catalog lust? I blame my parents. Every year, just before Thanksgiving when all the catalogs with new toys were coming out, they would have me and my brother and sister sit down with the catalogs and make our Christmas wish list. We'd crack the spine of the Sears Wish List Book and drool and write and write and write. We knew there was magic in those catalogs. Somehow, even if we earmarked a page without adding it to a wish list, Santa knew we wanted it … and there were times when it showed up for the holidays.

I think I may have passed on my addiction to my 7-year-old daughter. The other day I was cleaning out her room, and I found both a Lily’s Kids and Toys-R-Us catalog under her bed. I felt shame that my addiction had filtered down to my child, yet I felt pride that she, too, could enjoy what a catalog can do for the imagination.

So, yes, even though I may earmark my golf course or my Tiffany diamond-encrusted toilet bowl plunger, I realize it is unlikely I will ever see them anywhere outside of the catalogs. But that doesn’t mean I won’t keep devouring every catalog that comes in the mail. Because my name is Jennifer and I am a catalog-a-holic.


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