Weirdly Human: 16-second “Comfort Videos”

As a metric for remoteness, I live 600 km from the nearest Ikea, 300 km from the nearest Costco, and 230 km from the nearest city with more than one McDonald’s. It’s no surprise that I do most of my shopping online, including my recent search for a new couch.

Crate and Barrel’s “Comfort Videos” are 16 second clips of their couches in action. There’s a lot of weird shit on the internet, but I imagine from an anthropology standpoint these videos are a strange, distinctly human aspect of our web-based lives. I can’t stop watching them.

Here’s a selection of videos with my interpretations below.

Crate and Barrel: Aidan Collection

Here’s Aidan. Dressed in a shawl-collared cardigan, the bottom two buttons are left undone in the anticipation of the couch sitting he’s about to experience. His stylish reading glasses perfectly compliment his neatly trimmed beard. He isn’t married but he prefers it that way. When not reading the business section of the newspaper, he spends time modelling as the token salt-and-pepper “man of a certain age” in the L.L. Bean catalog.

Crate and Barrel: Pennie Collection

This is Pennie’s first couch. She doesn’t have much room in her industrial-chic apartment, and was tired of sitting on the floor after blowing all her money on a vintage table clock and useless pink heels . She fell in love with the curvy lines of this couch, but try as she might she just cannot get comfortable.

Crate and Barrel: Margot Collection

Pennie’s twin sister Margot has the same taste in apartments and sparse decorating style. She’s uncomfortably aware of how she’s still single and recently “adopted” a dog out of fear of becoming a desperate cat lady. When not reading pink lady magazines about chocolate, she likes to sit on her sofa and smile smugly knowing she made a much more practical couch choice than her impulsive sister.

Crate and Barrel: Petrie Collection

Debra loves her new couch. Though no one uses actual tea cups and saucers anymore, she likes the way they look between the crown molding and granite counter-tops in her open-shelved kitchen. She tells her book group the saucers add a touch of elegance to her day. Debra and Petrie argued endlessly over whether the tufted buttons on the seat cushions would be uncomfortable to sit on. It was almost as bad as when they argued between Antique White and Cottage White for the wall color.

Crate and Barrel: Montclair

Mrs. Montclair refuses to be called by her first name. Preferring to always match the restrained decor of her carefully-curated living room, Mrs. Montclair only wears khakis. The size of her ring and the cleanliness of her surroundings are welcomed effects of her husband never being home. Her heels are sensible, the glass of water is gin, and the book is 50 Shades of Grey cleverly disguised by a more tasteful dust jacket.


This witty piece was originally featured on my blog here.

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