When business is slow, Cordelia turns to the catalogs. They are carefully hidden in the desk under the old telephone book, because Angel always asks her to look phone numbers up for him, and would never bother with the old phone book. Half the time he just picks up the phone and whines at the operator, no matter how many times Cordy's warned him about how much every operator-assisted call costs now. You'd think a vampire who could remember hanging out with Sinatra would be able to handle "4-1-1," but apparently not.
When she first started working at Angel Investigations, she'd snag catalogs out of the recycle bins at the post office. It felt sad and kind of pathetic, but she did it anyway. It was like a window into a world she'd left behind; the perfect blue of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the long, meandering paragraphs of the J. Peterman catalog. She kept them in her apartment for a long time, but that was just depressing. It was better to keep them at the office, which gave her an excuse to read them, when she wasn't answering the phones or worrying about the electric bill.
Cordelia doesn't need the catalogs any more.
She's not sure when things changed. The Delia's catalog looks goofy, not cool. The J. Peterman catalog is ridiculous. She mostly reads them for entertainment.
Louis Comfort Tiffany, mind you, is still an amazing, perfect blue, a color that would be the color of the sky if the sky had a brand instead of atmosphere. Sometimes-- especially in the nicer catalogs, the ones that are less funny and more interesting-- she sees something Lorne might like, or a stickpin that would look perfect the next time they talk Gunn into a tux. When she goes to thrift stores-- and that's something she never would've anticipated, Cordelia Chase in a thrift store-- she keeps an eye out. Just in case. She could sell something like that on eBay for a mint, and maybe get that dress she's been looking at in the window of P.J. London.
But she has the black flats she got at the Salvation Army-- who in LA drops off Kenneth Cole shoes at the Salvation Army? Cordelia Chase's new best friend, that's who-- and the water bill's paid for a month, and that's enough for this week.
The phone rings, and she smiles before she picks it up.