June 26, 2012

The Sad Allure of The Vermont Country Store

For me, browsing the offerings of The Vermont Country Store is a little like clearing out the house of an elderly relative who’s died.

Tender sentiments and pity mingle with embarrassment and faint revulsion.

I let my mind drift, and I’m in a house stacked with mildewed copies of the Walter Drake catalog and with issues of Yankee Magazine and Reader’s Digest. There’s a coffee table. Hard candies are fused together on “cut-glass” Anchor Hocking trays, and the sticky film of long-gone ginger ale adheres within jewel-toned metal tumblers. There’s a closet filled with muumuus and “house-dresses” that are muumuus and nightgowns that are muumuus. On a dressing table there’s a Wind Song bottle. The eau de cologne has evaporated. On the floor under the dressing table, a few mint-green Spoolies holding tangled strands of thin hair.

I like to believe that what I leave behind will not be so easy to sum up, so true to type. I’m sure I am wrong. I try to imagine a commercial catalog of my belongings and the person for whom it may hold a sad allure.

comments

  1. SC on June 26th, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    …like clearing out the house of an elderly relative…
    Just glancing at the cover of the Vermont Country Store catalog creates a musty smell though
    I admit I’m attracted to the Seersucker Sleepwear section.

  2. Sheila Ryan on June 26th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I won’t say that I never ever bought anything from the Vermont Country Store. But I am wary of making it a habit.

  3. Michael Grant Smith on June 26th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Muumuus. My mother wore those. Muumuu is the Hawaiian word for “far more shapeless than a nice dress.”

  4. Sheila Ryan on June 26th, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Promise you’ll take me aside and have a gentle word with me if ever you see me wearing something resembling a muumuu.

  5. Michael Grant Smith on June 26th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I promise I will slap you until you’re pink.

  6. Sheila Ryan on June 26th, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    That’ll work.