The other day I was perusing the Country Curtains catalog, which has “fresh window fashion for every style of home.” I’m not overly fond of “fresh window fashion,” but BeBe ate the temporary paper blind in my bedroom, and when they take the vines away to replace the window (I’m already making this a long story, but I’m attempting to cut it SOMEWHAT short) I won’t have any privacy. Granted, it’s the neighbor kids (who love to doorbell ditch, leave tricycles in the driveways and put themselves in varying degrees of danger by playing in or near the street) who would see me starkers, but I figure they have enough trauma in their lives.

ANYHOO, I was flipping through the catalog (because, as I’ve mentioned, my Mother receives ALMOST EVERY CATALOG IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD), mostly skipping through pages saying, “TOO frufru,” or “TOO Baroque,” or “TOO DAMN CUTSEY!!!”

To be fair, the same people have run this company for fifty years. And here they are:
Ah - the Festive Fitzpatricks.

I guess they have been involved in this endeavor long enough to take perfectly lovely pictures of windows and curtains. The things OUTSIDE the windows are another issue. The background scenes are very poorly photo-shopped in, and while most of the settings attempt to be lovely and pastoral, a few of them give the impression that a big ol’ tornado and the Wicked Witch of the West plunked the house right down in desert wasteland. And I swear one view is practically swallowed up by a field of poppies (POPPIES WILL PUT YOU TO SLEEP….).

I had pretty much given up on the Country Curtains catalog; I’m looking for a simple roman shade in a very neutral colour, not “Crinkle Voile,” “Anniversary Fringe,” or “Barrington: A Decorator’s Dream.”

Unexpectedly, something caught my eye. It had been on the “Cabin Check” page, so I’d turned past it rather quickly and was on the “Point d’Esprit” page, but I had to turn back because I realized that something VERY STRANGE was lurking outside the window festooned with “Cranberry tailored curtains on alabaster crane rods.”
Sorry, this image is ONLY in the printed catalog, not on the website.

No, your eyes do not deceive you, there is a FREAKIN’ BEAR outside the window! A LARGE, DANGEROUS URSINE CREATURE!!! It does seem to be sauntering away the window – perhaps it realized that the luscious-looking decorative fruits and pastries were made of wood.

Still, you must pardon my asking, what in the hell??? All I can say is that bear best beware (how’s that for alliterative festiveness), for Stephen Colbert (and RHYMING) always has grizzly bears ON NOTICE (and even if it’s not a grizzly bear he considers bears, in general, a menacing danger in our great Country, and he is, after all, “A JOURNALIST WITH GRAVITAS – WITH DIGNITY – WITH BALLS”).

Knowing that Stephen always has bears ON NOTICE, I can safely ponder other matters. Like, for instance, did they NOTICE the bear? There’s not an animal in any other picture (and you can be assured I checked) in the entirety of the publication. And, if they DID notice, did they think it was AMUSING? Or, rather, did they think that the lumbering bear beautifully captured the “Cabin Check” flair? Perhaps this shall just be one of life’s great mysteries.

*I’ll explain this another time. It still won’t make sense.