Today, I want to talk about pineapples. Surprisingly or not, I have so many things to say about pineapples that I don’t even know where to start!
For one, pineapple is my favorite fruit. Not super relevant, but it’s my start. But I love the fruit for more than just its sweet, juicy essence. What I really want to discuss is the SYMBOLISM (what up 10th grade Lit class) of the pineapple. That’s right, "symbolism" is the practice of using a symbol to express a particular idea or quality. (We’re talking AP level literary terms, right thar).
It’s a long standing fact that the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality. Just the mere image of this fair fruit is meant to signify warmth, welcome, wealth and friendship. And because pineapple growth originated in the warmer horticulture environments of the Americas, I like to associate it with Southern Hospitality: A favorite concept of mine, since I love the South (my mom’s a bonafide Southern Belle from Georgia, ya’ll) and I love the idea of hospitality, because (hello!), it relates to entertaining. If there’s one thing you can’t deny, them Southerners know how to throw a party!
In an attempt to summarize (not my strong suit) the history of how the pineapple came to represent hospitality, I will tell you this: When pineapples were found in the “New World” they were rare and as a result, became a coveted commodity of King Charles II of England during the 1600s, who humbly told his constituents that they would make a suitable gift for him. Yes, you read that right, pineapples were once deemed a gift fit for a king! As they became more prevalent, especially in these here American parts, larger, well-to-do homes used them to appoint the tablescapes of feasts during parties.
What I find particularly amusing is that during a feast party (now referred to as: dinner party) of this nature, the dining room doors were kept closed prior to dinnertime to heighten visitors’ suspense about the table that awaited on the other side. And THEN… at the exact, premeditated moment (and with the maximum amount of pomp and drama) the doors were flung open to reveal the table, which would be adorned with, none other than, PINEAPPLES, as decoration! And that, is the tale of how they came to be associated with the high spirits of social events.
Now, if you were thinking storytime was over after getting through that “fairly brief” history lesson, then I’m sorry folks, but you were sorely mistaken. Actually, I’m just gearing up to spin my favorite yarn about hospitality + pineapples. You see, as pineapples developed this reputation, home décor began to feature the beloved pineapple. Including, but not limited to, bed posts. There is this thing, that's common below the Mason Dixon line, called a “Pineapple Bed.” It has wood carved pineapples on each of the posts of a four poster bed, which is how it got its descriptive name. See below.
The tradition is that you put the Pineapple Bed in your guest bedroom to show your visitor what a grateful and hospitable host you are. However, should the guest get a little too comfortable in your home and as southern manners would label it, “overstay their welcome,” the pineapple bed makers have got you covered! Conveniently, they have cleverly neglected to properly secure the pineapple ornament on the front right post of the bed, making it so that you can remove it and place it on the foot of the mattress. By sneakily “and politely” placing the pineapple on the bed, your guests would then get the subtle hint that it was time to "kick rocks" and thus no one has to talk about any messy “details” or god-forbid, create an unpleasant situation. So much more civilized!
My grandmamma had a pineapple bed in the guest bedroom of her “river house” and I inherited it when the “river house” was sold. And one day, you can bet your bottom dollar, I will be putting said bed in the guest bedroom of my house when I graduate to home ownership and the luxury of excess bedrooms.
Ok kids, NOW story time is over. It’s time to get down to business. More specifically, my wares. Have you seen these babies in the Keeley Kraft Shop?
2 of these...
... plus 4 of these = the perfect recipe for a dinner party!
It is my intention that whoever the lucky purchaser of any of these items is, that they understand just how meaningful le pineapple is. Now doesn’t it make sense why I chose to put an illustration of a pineapple on dining chairs (tablescape) and pillows (guest bedroom)? I know, I’m so clever.
How f*$%ing exquisite it this Studio Printworks wallpaper version of the pineapple drawing?!
I’m obsessed, and one day it will be mine. In the black and crème colorway. Are you thinking it should go in my future guest bedroom with the pineapple bed? Wow, you must have ESP, because you just read my mind!
So…I'm all like, what’s up with the name though? A pineapple literally could not be more opposite of an apple. A pine cone, ok but an apple, no. Explanation please!