Thursday, July 23, 2009

Decorative throw pillows have never really been that comfortable, covered as they are with all those tassels, sequins and scratchy fabrics. They looked all right but they never exactly beckoned you over to the couch. Nowadays, these “pillows” are making sofas seem even less enticing. This ergonomic backlash is yet another sign of the times. Due to looming layoffs and the necessity to work four jobs in order to keep up with the cost of living, people no longer have time to sit down, let alone lean back. As excerpts from one popular housewares catalogue clearly indicate, full-out reposing is an activity of the past.

The question, of course, is whether anyone can afford to not purchase the following “luxuries”:

Broken Mirrors Pillow

Broken Mirrors: Composed with shards of broken mirror, you can admire yourself from across the room, on your way out the door. This mirror is far more realistic than the one in your bathroom since it will make you look exactly as fragmented as you feel. And no need to worry about that whole “seven years of bad luck” thing since that seems to be well underway, already. Sold in sizes L and XL depending on how much stress-eating you’ve been doing lately.

Cleats: Perfect for the spacious rec room that seemed like such a good idea before the housing crisis. This sporty design will remind you of your athletic youth, or that time you joined an intramural soccer league, back before you had to work 27 hours per day in order to pay your mortgage. Sold with or without clumps of mud and grass.

Splinter: This pillow harkens your own father and how he used to fancy himself a regular old lumberjack. It’s strange to think that his own career and role as a provider allowed him the time for such extracurricular pursuits. You hated being his assistant, and whined incessantly about the nightly extraction of splinters from your young palms. But oh, how you’d prefer that to the present. Tweezers included.

FIre Pillow

Fire: Get it while it’s hot! As soon as you put any pressure on this pillow, it spontaneously combusts, creating a warm, cozy glow in your room and filling the air with the sweet scent of singed hair. Though you may have to seek reconstructive surgery, you’ll be delighted to cancel the appointment with your costly hairdresser. Fire extinguisher sold separately.

Jocelyn Jane Cox lives in New York City, When she is not writing, she works as a figure-skating coach and often refers to this as The Coldest Job in the Universe. Some of her other work can be found at and

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