On Morning Edition the other day, NPR reported that as the housing market has softened, so has the market for new furniture:
If the tumultuous economy is this year’s top “kitchen-table” issue, that isn’t good news for people who sell kitchen tables, coffee tables and other furniture. The furniture industry is experiencing a tough year — September sales were down about 10 percent from a year ago. The mood was glum at the world’s largest furniture industry trade show in High Point, N.C.
Nothing surprising here, but one thing was said that I want to comment on. A minute or so from the end, they say that companies are pushing “accessories” to people who are shying away from buying new furniture:
NPR: Nan Feldman’s company, Badash Crystal, imports vases and other decorative accessories. She promotes them as a way to freshen a room if you can’t afford to refurnish it.
Feldman: This is a piece that I call my cheap and good. Even at $10... feel the weight.
NPR: This is a $10 crystal bowl.
Feldman: Right. A woman can put that bowl with bath soaps in her bedroom, so that it adds a little inspiration to your furniture or to your home decor.
A man, on the other hand, such as I... well, you’d better keep that bowl away from us or we’ll likely wash our feet in it, or use it to pee in when we’ve had too much beer. Maybe it’d be a good place for us to put our used socks.
To be truthful, I’d probably not put bath soap in it if I were using it to decorate the bedroom. Some dried flowers instead, perhaps, possibly mixed with some aromatics (cinnamon is always nice). Or in the dining room I might toss in an assortment of small, colourful citrus fruits — lemons, limes, and tangerines might look and smell nice.
How about layers of coloured sand? Depending upon the shape and depth of the bowl, that could be very interesting, and could be changed with the seasons.
Some men are interested in nice decor too. And some of us are even straight.
While we’re talking about sexism, let me mention a slogan I saw a lot of in rural Virginia last weekend: “I’m voting for the chick!” Great. How about that?: a slogan that in one breath both supports the Palin/McCain... uh, sorry... McCain/Palin ticket and belittles Ms Palin as “the chick.”
I do wonder what people are thinking, sometimes.