Object(s): uh, various… wooden carts/toys??
Location: top of fridge, kitchen
Reason: This is the knickknack graveyard, near as I can tell. The stuff my parents don’t know what else to do with ends up here. Where does it come from? The mail? Stores? eBay? Probably not eBay, they use the computer strictly for email and online bingo. (Actually, that’s my mom—my dad treats the thing as though it’s radioactive.) Their own children? Who knows. What I do know is, I’ve unfortunately inherited the habit of putting junk on top of my fridge. Sigh.
Object: cat silhouette
Location: kitchen doorway
Reason: Not a real cat, but a silhouette of one. In a household of no cats, just dogs. Again, a reason? No one knows. Maybe to ward off Evil Gypsy Spells.
Object: duck picture
Location: front door entrance
Reason: Another mystery. This looks like the kind of picture that comes when you buy the frame. Which could very well be the case. Someone bought it for the frame, then decided they liked the picture so much they were not only going to keep it, but hang it on the wall for all to see. Good thinking.
Object(s): photos in weird frames, glass figurines, porcelain figurines, nuts in crystal bowls
Location: shelving unit, living room
Reason: An accumulation of objects, some with real sentimental value—a black & white photograph of my uncle and father (twins) when they were kids, in a toy airplane—and others put there because, well, why not: more recent photos of the family unit, crystal glasses filled with nuts, wine glasses with flowers painted on them, and porcelain and glass figurings of unknown origin.
Reason: My parents love dogs. We had a dog while I was growing up, a white Boxer with the somewhat incomprehensible name Keyo (according to my mom, named after the gunfighter hero of an old Western TV show). After I left home they acquired a couple of “barking doorstops,” as my good buddy Ed described their two poodle/terrier mixes, Balloo and Caesar. Shayna, the beast picture here, was rescued by my mom from a local elementary school playground. Scared of people then, she’s still pretty shy, and follows Mom around slavishly.
Reason: How many pictures of your grandkids do you need? In how many places? So that they cover every square inch of wall? When is enough enough, especially when you’re babysitting them every day? And why a frame with an inlay that actually asserts, “Grandkids”? These questions haunt me.
Object(s): pills, ointments, bandages, paperbacks
Location: shelves, hallway
Reason: Ah, the mystery shelves, the source of so much interest to me as I grew into my adolescence. Besides all manner of medicinal aids, rows of paperbacks—some steamy, at least to me back then—also reside here. Now, of course, I mostly go through the pills, looking for something to alleviate my psychic pain.
Location: the boy’s room
Reason: Like any 12-year-old, my nephew is asserting his independence and right to play video games for 24 hours a day in privacy. He’s doing so with a poster of, I believe, a professional wrestler and a handmade sign over said side of beef’s torso. Not sure what to make of this.
Object: paperback, The Freddie Prinze Story
Location: master (parents’) bedroom
Reason: I dunno. Were they huge fans of Prinze’s ’70s sitcom, Chico and the Man? Did they feel he met with an untimely death? Did it come with the “Grandkids” picture frame?
Location: master bedroom
Reason: Finally, to ensure no one is spared embarassment: a picture of me at, I dunno, 17? Just kidding. The hair was the same, though. No, I believe this picture might have been taken when I was seven, or eight. Ah, youth. Those were the days, before disillusionment and bitterness set in… but I digress. My point being, whatever faults my parents might have in regards to interior design, they loved my sisters and I, and raised us to be the dollar-store bargain-hunters we are today.