In more turning-into-our-parents news…
My folks have various artworks in their house, each with some story attached that’s meaningful to them, but utterly unmemorable to everyone else. Over the years I’ve heard many of these little anecdotes repeatedly, retellings often accompanied by exasperation that I could have forgotten since last time. I can’t even recall details to illustrate – all I’ve got in my memory associated with the explanations is white noise. Artists related to people who they met while going somewhere and who knew someone who did something or studied somewhere or… sorry, I’ve tuned out of my own paragraph.
Anyway, for our anniversary in December, Keri and I have decided to buy ourselves an Art of our own. We don’t actually know anything about Art, but we thought it would be nice to have something unique hanging on the wall that we picked out together that speaks to both of us. It might not be great art, it might not be a future classic, but it’d be ours, and it would be pretty, and we’d enjoy looking at it.
We were driving back from lunch with my parents yesterday when we saw a sign advertising an art show just around the corner, so we stopped and wandered through. It was one of those shows where the artists are actually mingling around the paintings, so you want to be careful just how candidly you criticise a work, since its creator is probably standing just behind you.
We selected some Arts – we’ve also settled Christmas to each other, now – and had a little chat with the artists while we were negotiating the purchase. Each had a story associated with that painting – and if I were to relate that story to our kids, they’d probably die of boredom. This painting was of a friend’s paddock in Emerald and when she died she made a special point of bequeathing it back to me; it has special sentimental value. But you can have it for $x! This painting is of a pretty little bluff down near Anglesea where my husband took me for a picnic one day and sparrows flew out at us! RIVETING. Oh, I cannot wait to inflict these on innocent children.
The painter of the third one we bought, an indefensible impulse purchase, was no longer present by the time we arrived. It’s a happy little country scene and we have no horrifically uninteresting story yet associated with it.
Rather than spare our future offspring with the non-painful truth – it’s just a painting we liked, nothing more – we thought we might make something up. It’ll be bizarre, unbelievable – but so boring that they will be able to hear it multiple times before they notice the implausible. If they ever do. That’s the challenge of being a parent.
Only problem is, I can’t seem to make up such a story without falling asleep myself. Maybe I’m not all the way there yet.