Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Great White Way

I've come to the conclusion that nearly everyone, including me, lives in a state of filth. It's just filth you can't necessarily see. I think this because of the reaction received whenever someone mentions decorating or wearing white.'re with me now, aren't you?

Flip through any decorating magazine or catalog, and you'll see at least one room or furniture grouping done up in whatever they can come up with to call white these days: eggshell, mother of pearl, ecru, antique white, etc. Show such a photo to nearly any person and they will respond, "Wow, that must be hard to keep clean."

I thought about that reaction - one I've certainly had myself - and then realized that white fabrics, clothing and furniture do not get dirtier than other colors. I just can't SEE the dirt on other colors.

I took this brilliant deduction to my husband, and suggested that whenever we do end up with an infant, we decorate the nursery in a palette of white fabrics. His response? "Wow, that will be hard to keep clean." This was amusing to me because it clearly indicated his lack of knowledge about babies: the decision to have a baby and the decision to chain yourself to the washing machine have identical consequences, regardless of what color the crib sheets are.

I'm wondering whether or not it's a good thing that as a whole, people would rather surround themselves with nothing lighter than beige so they can't see the dirt, rather than clean more often. I'm tempted to do a room in all white just to see exactly how much dirt we have going on in the other rooms. Tempted...and afraid. There is a certain comfort level in knowing that if I don't vacuum the sofa more often than once monthly, it will still look pretty much the same as if I vacuumed it every day. And I certainly do clean the things in our home which are white - sheets, window treatments, towels - much more often than I do any other fabrics in the house.

Hence the realization that I'm living in hidden filth.

I wonder what they did before fabric dye was invented. I guess in the stone age, with everyone wearing animal skins (which are rarely white) it wasn't an issue. Necessity being the mother of invention, I'd bet that fabric dye was the very next invention of the person who decided to see what would happen if they spun cotton, what with the Nile being so unruly some days that you couldn't really do a full load of wash.

Sigh. I do go on, don't I? And... I'm really very amused that you may have actually believed me when I said I vacuumed my sofa once a month. Like that would happen.


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