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Pickle Me This

April 4, 2017

Dear Pottery Barn Kids Sherway Gardens

Dear Pottery Barn Kids Sherway Gardens,

Thank you for following me on Instagram. You have over 1300 followers, which is no small potatoes, and you are an internationally known brand located in a very good mall, so I should be flattered. And you’ve not only followed me, but you’re engaging with my posts, sharing baguette-related humour and being all ’round pleasant and fun. I feel like you and I could be friends…except you are a store. And you’re not just a store, you are a store that I can’t afford to enter because in order to afford your merchandise, I’d have to move up at least two income brackets. Do you know that I bought my kids’ bunkbed out of an actual garage in an industrial park at Jane and Finch? If you knew that, would you unfollow me? I showed my children a photo of the bunkbed on your feed that was built to resemble a playhouse, and they both went a bit gaga. They said, “Mommy, could we go there?” By which we all knew they really meant, “Is it possible to have another kind of life?”

I don’t know how they do it, those people who “engage with brands on social media.” How do you engage with a brand? When they make a joke on your instagram post, do you respond with, “Ha ha that’s funny by the way you’re a store”? Don’t get me wrong, I like stores. If I could afford to buy the playhouse bunkbed I’d be all over that shit. If you were having a clearance sale, I could possibly come in and purchase a facecloth (but only one that was on deep discount because a customer had bought it and returned it and the packaging had gone missing and someone had actually washed their face with it). But I don’t know how to talk to you. Everything in your posts is literally wearing a price tag or from a catalogue. How do you engage with a floor model? I don’t know what you look like. Do you even have a face?

Does a store dream, Pottery Barn Kids Sherway Gardens? Do you have hopes and fears? Do you cower at night in the silence of your mall and worry about climate change? As yuppies and their offspring traipse their dirty boots across your carpets in the daytime, do you ever wonder about the point of it all? What’s your favourite book? Your favourite recipe? Have you ever suffered from sexual dysfunction? Do you like cilantro? The artificial flavour for banana? What’s your favourite season? Do you have economic anxiety? Are you a public company? Do you ever consider your responsibility to your shareholders and then get really scared?

I want to know you. I want to be your friend and celebrate your birthday, and maybe even buy you a cup of coffee—but I can’t. So close you are, but still a world away. But maybe one day I’ll come across your wares on Craigslist and snap up something—a storage solution or an organic duvet insert—and maybe then this arrangement will all make sense. Perhaps one day I will understand.

Yours respectfully,

Me.

One thought on “Dear Pottery Barn Kids Sherway Gardens”

  1. RR says:

    Love this piece! I am followed by Doritos Mexico on Twitter but all their tweets are in Spanish so the relationship is less complex than what you mention here; still I get it–a brand is not a friend, no matter how much you enjoy that brand.

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