I’m trying a new form of therapy. No, not cognitive behavior therapy. Not somatic therapy, nor psychoanalytic therapy. Not even retail therapy. Instead, I’m fixating on Apartment Therapy.
Are you familiar with Apartment Therapy? AT, as I like to call it, is a lifestyle blog and publishing company focused on home design and decor. And it’s not any old blog. According to Forbes Magazine, AT is “one of the most influential interior design sites on the Web.”
You might wonder why I, a homeowner with a five-bedroom house, reads AT. I do so because I’m a NYC girl who grew up in apartments. Now a California resident, I still yearn for the Big Apple. I dream of life without a car, without weeds or a gardener, without a water or sewer bill or ever needing to call anyone but the building superintendent when some appliance breaks, leaks or squeaks.
Yes, my sweet, sweet American dream is to once again live in an apartment.
To Dream the Impossible Dream
I dream of a doorman who will greet me and guard my deliveries. And while suburbanites speak wistfully of a time of neighborly conversations over white picket fences, I seek chit chat with my neighbors at the trash compactor in the hallway of the apartment building where I (in my dreams) dwell.
And because of these deep, deep desires, I religiously read Apartment Therapy. Even if you are not apartment-dreaming like me, I assure you AT posts a studio apartment-full of useful intel. There are stories about de-cluttering, downsizing, and squeezing all your stuff into better organized and more attractive configurations!
Truly, the site is about so much more than apartments. Who among us cannot benefit from insights about “Why I Stopped Buying Butternut Squash in the Produce Section” or “How to Make Your Bed at Home Look Like a 5-star Hotel”?
A story about “10 Little Things to Do Before Company Comes” was pure genius! It provided a modern spin on the classics of ensuring you have sufficient toilet paper and ice on hand with trendy suggestions like ensuring you have Benadryl for visitors with food or other allergies and logging out of your computer to prevent some alcohol-inspired friend from perusing your personal browser history and/or making a little too personal entry onto your Facebook wall!
The Best, The One, The Only
And if you are looking for certainty in your life, look no further than AT! In a world of uncertainty, this middle-aged muddler lapped up articles entitled “This is Absolutely the Best Way to Cook Chicken Breasts,” “I Finally Discovered the Key to the Best French Press Coffee,” and zounds, just in time for Thanksgiving, “The One Ingredient that will Make your Pumpkin Pie Amazing.”
Now, as with all forms of self-help and therapy, a measure of critical evaluation is essential. For example, I did question the wisdom of a story touting “10 Etsy Finds Perfect for Halloween and Beyond.” I mean, I may be a woman of limited style vision, but there is no way I’m going to use a Halloween 4-glass tumbler set ($52) featuring an anatomical heart, a skull, a scarab beetle, and a death head moth (whatever that is) for my Thanksgiving table. And it is equally unlikely I will substitute the “House of Wax Skull Candles” ($14) for the traditional blue-and-white candles on my Hanukkah menorah!
Therapy for the Masses – Proceed with Caution!
Halloween aside, I likewise felt the need to proceed with caution when I spotted the headline “It’s Time to Ditch This One Thing from Your Bedroom.” Truth be told, Handsome Hubby, who was reading over my shoulder, was the one to first sound the reader-alert alarm. He feared the story was going to agitate in favor of ditching one’s mate. When we warily clicked on the link, we were relieved to see the item to shed was a floorspace hogging nightstand, not a blanket-stealing snoring spouse!
Ultimately, with a motto like “Saving the world, one room at a time,” what’s not to like about Apartment Therapy? There’s not much I can control in my muddling middle-aged life. If I can make one room a little more comfortable and hospitable for my family and friends … well, that’s pretty good therapy for me! ET and my kids don’t phone home, but AT, I can read on my phone anytime, anywhere!