When I first encountered a beaded curtain as a kid I found it mildly annoying. A fabric curtain would hide what was going on on the other side of the opening, but a row of beaded strings hanging in a doorway, what does that hide? Obscure slightly, maybe. That was a goal? I didn’t like going through the curtain, afraid a bead string would catch in my hair. Plus, it wouldn’t go away. Every time you went through that door you had to deal with it.
A beaded curtain could be decorative, I conceded. I kind of liked the way it rattled as you went through. And I kind of didn’t. And I guess that’s where my engagement with beaded curtains ended. I’ve never considered hanging one.
But then there’s this footnote in Mary Roach’s latest:
[B]eaded strands that hang in doorways in Middle Eastern homes, allow breeezes, but not flies, to pass.
Who knew? Makes me thankful once again that flies were never much of an issue in my neighborhood.
Or, as Mary Roach puts it:
Who among the thousands of youthful 1970s doofs who hung these in their bedrooms had any clue as to the beads’ provenance as fly control? Not this doof.
source: Grunt: the curious science of humans at war by Mary Roach
2016. W.W. Norton & Co, NY