Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Cover-up

My mother owns a very attractive living room set. The couch, chair and love seat are upholstered with a white fabric embroidered with a floral pattern, and the armrests are accented with teak wood. At least, that's how I remember it. I rarely actually see the upholstery or the teak accents, except on special holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, or perhaps when mom has special visitors, such as her Austrian relatives. I don't count as a special visitor. Neither does anybody whom she sees more than twice a year. The rest of the time, mom's living room furniture is covered with a checkered cloth cut from an old bedsheet and sewn to loosely fit over the various pieces (mom's something of a seamstress, you see).

The old bedsheets are there, of course, to keep the furniture's fabric looking nice. If someone should thoughtlessly sit on the furniture with dirty clothes, or if food or drink should accidentally be spilled on the bedsheets, they can be relatively easily removed and washed. Let's face it, white tends to stain pretty easily.

While visiting mom earlier this week, I noticed that her living room chair happened to be uncovered (I suppose the bedsheet cover was being washed or something) and I was struck by how much nicer the chair looked than did the rest of the furniture. Herein lies the fallacy. Mom covers up her furniture to keep it looking nice but, in covering it up, she hides its beauty. Personally, I'd be inclined to leave the furniture uncovered, to be admired by others and enjoyed by myself, even if it means risking the odd stain. I can deal with that if and when it happens. There are a lot of effective upholstery cleaners available these days.

Those who protect the fronts of their cars with vinyl "bras" commit the same fallacy. The bras are there to prevent stone chips and keep the finish looking shiny and new, except that you can't admire the shiny finish since it's covered in vinyl. I think it would make more sense to eschew the bra, show off the finish while it lasts and, once it gets marred by the inevitable stone ships, then cover them with a bra.

I've heard it proposed that it's foolish to save things for special occasions, because the special occasion may never come. More to the point, why can't the special occasion be right now? Let's try to remove phrases like "some day" and "one of these days" from our vocabularies. Let's make today the day. Don't save your best perfume or cologne. Use the good china. And lose the crappy bedsheets, mom. I promise to put on clean jeans before I come over.

1 comment:

Tubes said...

I agree. I think every day should be a bra-less day!