Whenever I go to a homewares shop, there’s a row of pretend Eiffel Tower vases retailing for $25.99 plus a bookcase load of Eiffel Tower bookends, Paris notepads, Paris pens, Essence of Paris room spray (I mean COME ON), pictures, candles, cushion covers and anything at all really that is big enough to plaster the word Paris on it.
Paris itself I have nothing against: great art, architecture, food. Sure the people could do a few rounds at charm school; c’est la vie. But I don’t understand who started this faux French homewares explosion, why, and more importantly, when it’s going to end.
Because if I have something in my living room advertising Paris or a French provincial farmhouse, I want to be able to say – I got that in Paris. Even if it’s made in China, I still want to be able to look back an think, ahh, that 1997 Paris trip. I want memories, even bad ones will do, as long as they’re mine. But if I buy a Paris cushion cover in Sydney I only have a memory of going to Bed Bath and Table and parking at Westfield. Those are memories I can do without.
The French have an expression for when they have absolutely had it up to HERE – it translates as “my bowl is running over”. Yes, c’est vrai, my bowl is running over and I don’t want to have to go to a faux French homewares store to pick up another one.