Over the weekend we went to the Denver Modernism Show. A trade show
dedicated to all things Mid-century architecture and collectibles. We
went because well…. We’re gay and it’s the law to like collecting quirky
things. If we were twenty years older we would have been searching for
the last bit of Erté for our collection at the Art Deco fair. So, in
flip-flops and a strong understanding of late Bauhaus we marched.
During our search through chrome home furnishing and ironic art, the six
of us started to discuss our childhood involving the Sears or Wards
Catalogs. Here in the US you had the Sears Catalog or the Montgomery
Ward’s catalogue to buy from. We were Wards.
When I was around eight my Mom took me the catalogue office inside our
local Wards' department store. I remember that we were finally going to
buy new towels and since there are seven kids, she was going to buy a
lot of towels. I remember being so excited to have new towels to fold
over and over on the unused towel bar in our heavily used bathroom.
Since the plastic tiles in this room were baby blue I thought a nice Sea
Foam green would accentuate nicely. As we approached the counter I
explained my color palette idea like Candice on Divine Design
would sit down with her clients, tossing around the color story I had
in mind for this particular room of our over sized ranch house.
my design expertise was being ignored when my Mother started to order
one of every color. “Like a rainbow” she explained. “No!” I shrieked.
“How will I be able to folded out an entire splash of color if the
towels don’t match?!” I started to panic; my design was being hacked
apart. Doesn’t she understand her designer has her bathroom’s color
I did what every eight year old gay boy did. I threw a tantrum in the
middle of the Montgomery Ward’s catalogue department screaming that I
wanted all matching towels. Candice Olsen would have done the same. She
too would have been marched crying to the car.
For years I had to triple fold and hang a green hand towel on top of a
red bath towel, which is why to this day I only have all white, Egyptian
This post originally appeared on Steven Bennet's website Nice to See StevieB. Republished with permission.