About a week after my 36th birthday, I unlocked my mailbox to find a Gap discount postcard, something from my health insurance company that I'll probably forget to open for the next eight months, and this:
For a moment, I thought the mailman had accidentally delivered this catalog to me instead of to the psychic down the block who aggressively shouts at people to get their palm read when all they really want to do is pick up their clothing from the adjacent dry-cleaners in peace. (You'd think she could sense that.)
But I turned it over and there was my name and address printed on the upper-right-hand corner, above a preview of a garment called the Life Cycles Tunic.
Wow, I thought. I've been out of the 18-to-35 demographic for less than a fortnight and I'm already getting catalogs for sexy spinsters.
Based on the cover—and even though I am, in fact, a sexy spinster—I promptly decided The Pyramid Collection wasn't really for me. I mean, I adore Stevie Nicks, but I've never strived to emulate her style in an overshot, frenetically colorful poly-spandex way.
But then I shared the photo above on Facebook, and my friends' comments gave me pause.
"We've been getting that for YEARS!" Laura exclaimed.
"OMFG my mom has been getting this for DECADES!" Trista type-shouted, making me wonder how I had no memory of this catalog. "Please observe the section with nondescript 'massagers' and Kama Sutra books featuring Olds. They also used to sell sexy dice. My mom would always tear out those pages before giving it to us."
Fine, I thought, I'll open it. I was too curious not to at that point.
And for the most part, I found exactly what I expected: more vivid, lacy, patchwork-y garments like the ones on the cover I so quickly judged; items that definitely didn't fit my personal style, but could very well delight a perfectly nice day-camp pottery instructor; clothing and accessories grouped into sections with titles like "Inspired Lifestyles," "Evermore," and "Dreams of Feathers." (I also found the sex toys Trista mentioned, under a section called "Balance & Harmony." Nondescript indeed!)
However, I also came across several items that I just can't condone for anyone, as well as a handful of items I kind of actually want to order. Behold this truly amazing merchandise! And by "amazing" I mean both terrible and wonderful.
Amazingly Terrible: Owl Hand/Shoulder Bag
I've been known to carry a quirky handbag or two (not at the same time), but there's something about this actually-owl-sized purse that freaks me out. I picture people catching a glimpse of the woman wearing this as a shoulder bag and worrying that she's smuggling a suffocating owl in her armpit.
Also, that woman is probably Jane because I showed it to her and she said, "Oooh, I want that!"
Amazingly Wonderful: Black Crystal Dress
This is a totally wearable maxi dress, y'all! But it's also kind of a midi dress. Apparently, you can tie up parts of the skirt to make it "frothy," which is a fun feature I'll probably never use, but I definitely won't hold it against it because I could see myself wearing it in its un-frothy form all summer.
You might have noticed that "goddess sizes" don't cost more than... godless sizes? Anyway, even if you find that euphemism for plus sizes laughable, it's cool that this dress is available up to a size 3X (28-30).
Amazingly Terrible: Sin Comin On Tee
I am admittedly very picky about T-shirts with phrases on them, but this wouldn't even get through the loosest "Live Love Laugh" filter. That said, I would wear an "I feel a SIN comin' on" T-shirt if it was a beautifully worn-in, 40-year-old vintage find; but in pristine, unironic condition, it quite repels me.
Honorable mention of a WTF item that comes up when you search for the word sin on the Pyramid Collection website: a six-pack of seven-inch-long "twig" fences that are actually crafted out of molded resin and made to capture wandering sprites. I'm not making that up.
Amazingly Wonderful: Pencil Box Dress
When I first saw this dress, I thought, What?! No. But then I realized that if I'd seen this exact same dress on ModCloth, I would've saved it to my wish list. I had let the context of the catalog poison my perception!
Amazingly Terrible: Love Bites Choker
I don't care how creative this is (and it is creative—I'll give it that). You could not pay me $70 to wear this in public let alone expect me to spend $70 to do so. Even a self-proclaimed captain of Team Edward would have to be pretty drunk (on red wine that she's pretending is blood, I'm guessing) to wrap this around her neck and go out on the town.
But hey, if you love this choker or anything else in the Pyramid Collection catalog, my playful scoffing definitely shouldn't stop you from placing an order. In fact, I've decided not to opt out of their mailing list, not just because of the entertainment value, but because I really do like some of the items.
(But mostly because of the entertainment value.)
Do you get The Pyramid Collection catalog? Have you been getting it for years like so many of my friends' moms? Ever order anything? IF YOU HAVE THE VAMPIRE CHOKER, YOU ARE LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO POST A PICTURE OF YOURSELF WEARING IT.