They're everywhere. Stacked under my bed. In the back of my cupboard. Lodged under History on my computer. (frequently cleared so my husband doesn't see) They send discreet mailers asking me to sign up - models revealing tantalising glimpses of what's on offer. When it's late at night and I can't sleep I sneak downstairs and watch it on TV. Sometimes for hours at a stretch. I know I can never have any of them – not even one. But I just can’t help myself.
It’s sad but it’s true as someone once sang, but I’m obsessed. (ok so someone didn’t sing the second bit – that’s my own addition.) There isn’t even a support group for people like me. And what would we say – ‘Hi! I’m so-and-so. And I’m a home décor addict?’ (This is probably where most of you lift your minds out of the gutter and realise that I’m watching Grand Designs and not Well Hung Downtown at 2:30 am)
But in a way – home décor is my porn. Till now, I’ve never really told anyone about it. I mean what would people think if I told them how my hand’s get sweaty at the sight of a Smeg Fridge. That my husband wants to commit me for getting so excited at the sight of an art deco mansion. And at the newsstand they get uneasy when I stand there, glassy eyed, gazing at row upon row of Home Décor Magazines (which might have something to do with the fact that all the lads magazines are stacked right above them)
So you’re thinking – how dangerous can an addiction to home décor be? Financially it can be crippling. I mean the number of must-have vases, tribal-chic place mats, enamel milk jugs and brass odds and ends I already have and continue to purchase every month is staggering. And men don’t like the idea of women getting excited in bed about some guy called Terence Conran. They also don’t understand what the fuss is about. To most of them (except the gay ones) there is no difference between Mies Van Der Rohe and Terence Conran. A coffee table is just a coffee table. It’s similar to women not being able differenciate between Jordan and Jodie Marsh.
It also breeds envy. When I go to someone’s house for the first time I no longer interrogate my husband about whether he thought the women their were prettier or smarter than me. The conversation usually goes something like this.
Me (trying to be nonchalant) So… what did you think?
Him Great food
Me And her…
Him It was really nice
Me Better than mine?
Him I’m not saying that
Me Don’t lie to me! I saw the way you were eyeing her… her side cabinets.
I then burst in to tears and refuse to talk to him for the rest of the night.
I sometimes try and go on cold turkey. I don’t take the magazines up to bed with me. I put all the channels on child lock. I give all the magazines for recycling. But I’m usually back to my old ways in days.
This time round, I decided to take up a hobby – you know find a passion that would divert my attention. So I thought exotic cooking! It’s therapeutic, I can eat the end result (leather sofas really don’t taste good) and it’s not as expensive as my other dirty little secret.
So I went to the John Lewis the other day to buy the basic things I would need for my new endevour. The range and variety I saw was staggering. The colanders. The frying pans. The cutting boards. The wine racks. And the books. Oh the books. Slender
Italians. Cheeky English Country. Sensuous French. Brassy Americans. Exotic Indian.
Who knew cooking could be so… exciting?