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Seven Hills

Boston-area exploration, travel notes, crafty things, and other Somervillainy.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Last summer at a friend's wedding I remember overhearing her mom talking about finding "the perfect ribbon" for the decorating scheme of their reception. At the time I thought, wow, they really got into the details. But now I understand.

Wedding planning must bring out different obsessions in different people. For me, it's meant that I haunt Paper Source on a weekly basis, and that I have become a horder of ribbon. Blame it on too much Martha. Also the orange ribbons at that wedding last summer really were used to charming effect, laid like runners on the white tablecloths and punctuated with daisies ... Ack! See what I mean?

I was in New York a few weeks ago and hit M&J Trim for their polka dot ribbon selection, and then found some more from my best friends at Paper Source. Never in my life have I spent so much time thinking about ribbon. The last time I paid it any attention was when I was working on an article about handmade Christmas presents, and hit up San Francisco's Ribbonerie for supplies for the then-trendy ribbon belts. Before that, I guess it was when I was a little girl, when satin vs. grosgrain was an important decision when it came time to beribbon one's hair for Easter morning.

Speaking of "beribbon," it's a word I love, but one that I got wrong for many years. It isn't a word you come across that often in modern life, but in the world of old-fashioned girls' books it is a real work horse. Many things are beribboned there. One of my favorite books, "Heaven to Betsy," described Betsy and her sister wearing their "dressing sacques," which were always lacy and beribboned, as they gossiped and lounged in their bedrooms. I read this book multiple times, and each time I read "beribboned" I pronounced it "berry-bonned" in my head. I understood that ribbons were involved, but thought the word somehow also indicated the presence of decorative berries on said garment. I found this concept very pleasing, and was disappointed when I finally realized it was just a fancy word for bows. Still, my allegiance to "beribboned" remains.

Unfortunately, every time I think of berry-bonned now, it's hard not to be distracted by a certain unrelated contemporary homonym. And Major League Baseball is not exactly the look we're going for with our wedding decor.


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