There are few chores sadder than taking stock of the possessions left behind by an older relative forced by circumstance to move into a “home.” The things we gather over time define us in our own minds, but say something completely different to the outside observer. Some people–my mother, for instance–want everything to be new and flashy and modern. To them, anything vintage or outdated belongs in the dumpster.
Me? I like retro anything, even if it’s so kitschy as to be rather…ugly. I wouldn’t want a room full of kitsch, but a few crazy pieces of tacky history here and there can make an otherwise bland a room POP. People who visit say, “Oh my goodness, where’d you get this? My crazy old aunt had one just like it!” A ceramic cat or a crazy lamp really take people back…to spring vacations spent at the houses of grandparents…to their own childhoods. Everyone sees something different.
The story behind this photo and the ones that follow is this: I have a friend whose aunt is moving into a home, and it fell upon said friend to catalog the stuff left behind. His ladyfriend, Jennifer P., took pictures, and I found them to be quite moving.
A pig head screwed into the wall is unexpected in and of itself. The inset doll eyes that catch the light are even more surprising. Is it a towel hook? An object d’art? Only the aforementioned aunt knows for sure.
Ninety-nine out of one hundred average Americans will hate these kitty statues. I, some might say sadly, fall into the other one percent who for whatever reason thinks they are totally cool. I think I’m going to hit up eBay and see what kind of crazy ceramic cats I can find.
I’m pretty sure these fruity reliefs are made out of some sort of icky plastic, but I like them anyway. If I saw them at a flea market, I’d seriously consider snapping them up. For reals. I have zero clue where they could go in my house without looking utterly ridiculous, but I’m fairly good at integrating weird stuff into my abode.
Anyway, there you have it — someone else’s life in four simple photographs. It makes me ask myself what someone would think of me if my house were treated as an archaeological dig site. What, do you suppose, people would think of you?