The Art of Not Using Things

When it comes to the art of not using things, the Turkish housewife has this art mastered to a Tee. If you wonder how things are kept so new in a Turkish house then let me help you to unravel the mystery: they don’t use them. Both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have misafir rooms (not guest room per-se, more a drawing room). I have never been permitted to sit in these rooms. Perhaps because, with my three children, I am a liability. The new-looking sofa set very rarely gets sat on, and the light coloured rugs very rarely get trodden on. I suppose you really do have to be a VIP to have the privilege. Those who do not have the luxury of a spare misafir room, have to make do with what they have got, and they do so by covering everything up. I once read that Turkish housewives are the ones to buy new sofas because of their fancy designs, only to then cover them up. I have even known people to cover up their rugs. My mum does this on a smaller scale too, it drives me bonkers. I like to buy her nice things to use…but she just won’t use them. She will have to hide them away for a while first, saved for a special occasion. It has been psychologically embedded into our brains. Must keep things new! Must keep things clean! I am not like this. Well I didn’t think I was until this morning when I realised that I did not allow my family to eat on our dining table in our dining room. Our dining table is currently covered with a very Turkish and very posh looking table cloth. I cannot robe and derobe the table every time we have a meal, so we all eat in the small little table in the kitchen. I guess I am not completely immune to this phenomenon. What purpose does our dining table serve if not to let us eat on it? Who knows… but it looks good though.

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