20 September 2016

0 the danish bedroom set

(me and the danish bedroom set, 1988? 1989? 1990?)

debo grew up in denmark.

which is a bit of a tall tale, because i think she and burvil and joe spent under two years there. but it sounds so much more glam to say she "grew up" there and it is perhaps not entirely misleading because one does do quite a lot of growing up between the ages of 2 and 3.

so when burvil and joe moved back to the US somewhere around 1956 or 1957, they did so with a whole haul of danish modern furniture.

my whole life, i have taken this furniture for granted because it was just the furniture in my grandparents house which wasn't made by joe. her whole adult life, my mother has been eyeing this furniture, ready to away with it.

her claim was staked early on.

while my parents are eager to talk estate planning at every available opportunity, my grandparents were not. so the matter of how their estate will descend upon my mother and aunt has remained unclear. perhaps because of this lack of clarity, burvil has, in recent years, begun giving her daughters things.

i have not been exempt from this. it is how the entirety of the toy collection once kept at my grandmother's house has come to live in my parents attic.

my mother, meanwhile, has received what we in the family call "the danish things."

this is not always the beautiful bounty one might expect. for god knows what reason debo was desperate to possess burvil's clown cookie jar. a cookie jar that so terrorized me as a child that i would only open it after being assured that the good vanilla wafers (the jackson's old fashioned vanilla wafers, as opposed to that 'nilla wafers crap) were indeed inside the clown's pants. with jubilation, debo announced that this clown thing had come to live in her home. in horror, i recoiled.

but her greatest victory to date, the ultimate victory to be had really, was her inheritance of the danish modern bedroom set.

debo has coveted the danish modern bedroom set for decades. and, much as burvil made it quite clear  that, upon her death, i am responsible for pulling the gold tooth from her gums, debo made it quite clear to everyone in the family that the danish modern bedroom set was hers to be had.

some time last month, burvil bequeathed it to her and, this week, debo scrambled down to mississippi to pick it up, exchanging great-grandmother's blue bed (the bed she had been endlessly excited to inherit a decade ago but which has since apparently lost its luster) in an ongoing game of musical beds which my family seems to participate in with unending delight.

and lo, the danish bedroom set is installed in what used to be the blue room (or k.smartt's room) in the hotel sordide.

we're calling it the mediterranean room now, garebear tells me.

and i say, wait, it's the danish modern bedroom set. denmark has nothing to do with the mediterranean. and isn't that the room with the american flag pictures? 

yes, he tells me. but this is about branding, he says. imagine the sounds of the ocean! and the spices! wouldn't you rather stay in the mediterranean room? what does denmark have? just low-hanging clouds and happy people. it's so much less romantic. it rings less true.  

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