On Linens and Life: Watermelon in Winter

January 03, 2014

I'm moved by beautiful things.  

Surely this is what our senses are for. We see something that is beautiful to behold, touch something that is silky soft, smell something that recalls a wonderful memory and it appeals to us. Due to the fact that we were designed this way, I would argue that being vulnerable to the appeal of a sensual object is, ipso facto, natural to us.  Almost compulsory...

So when I laid eyes on Libeco's  Fjord tablecloth in the "watermelon" color, thrown fetchingly over a picnic table at the beach,  I could almost feel the sea breeze.  And while I hadn't ever actually owned a watermelon tablecloth, I could nonetheless imagine myself there at a beach party on a hot summer day and, quite frankly, I was having a wonderful time.    So, as any reasonable person would, I bought the watermelon tablecloth.  

It's really lovely.  A diaphanous fabric, like Salome's veils, the whole effect is rather seductive. It just so happens that when I draped it across our table and stood back to admire the effect, my husband walked in.  He looked at the  table, looked at me and then looked outside, where the morning frost was leaving a thin, crackling film across our windows. He said nothing, but at that moment, I realized that most men are not just disinterested in house design, they are entirely deaf to its siren song. He didn't feel the ocean breeze, didn't smell the barbeque sauce, didn't feel the summer sun.  

I'm left to ponder the expectation that we, as consumers, are expected to adhere to seasonal decorating. Why do our indoors have to replicate what is outdoors?   Like Persephone, must we be permitted only six months of bliss per year and then be sentenced to a further six in solemn winter seclusion? If the magazines do their Christmas photo spreads in July, then it's only fair that I should indulge my beach dream in the dead of winter.  Maybe if I decorate as if it's summer, then summer it will be.  Rather like the  "if you build it, they will come"  premise. So I'm going to keep this watermelon tablecloth and wait patiently but with tremendous faith, for my invitation to the beach.  In my own defense, when you looked at the photo above, didn't you - just for a second - hear sea gulls?