Writing in The New Yorker, David Sedaris looks at homes, furniture, and nostalgia. An excerpt:
When it came to decorating her home, my mother was nothing if not practical. She learned early on that children will destroy whatever you put in front of them, so for most of my youth our furniture was chosen for its durability rather than for its beauty. The one exception was the dining-room set, which my parents bought shortly after they were married. Should a guest eye the buffet for longer than a second, my mother would notice and jump in to prompt a compliment. “You like it?” she’d ask. “It’s Scandinavian!” This, we learned, was the name of a region—a cold and forsaken place where people stayed indoors and plotted the death of knobs.