I really hate clutter. I cannot understand why it’s awesome to accumulate things that make someone’s house look like a thrift store on spring break in Cancun, getting drunk and exposing itself to strangers. It’s difficult for me to purchase things for my house that don’t have some type of function, and knick knacks are probably one of the top 5 function-less things to hit America in the last century.
This aversion to useless household items has never created any sort of marital conflict until recently, when my husband’s grandparents passed away. They were wonderful people, and big lovers of knick knacks. Their cute little yellow house was stuffed full of small ceramic items with no purpose other than to make dusting an enormous pain in the ass.
After they passed, Ryan had the opportunity to inherit a few of their items. Now, I will stop here and say I trust my husband. I have full confidence in him. Which is why I was shocked when he came home with a wooden bucket, filled to the brim with little objects wrapped in brown paper.
Me: “Those can’t possibly be knick knacks. Did you forget that I hate knick knacks?”
Ryan: “Just look at them. They’re Occupied Japan!”
I will stop here and tell you that the Occupied Japan engraving on many of these knick knacks apparently means they are worth something. Which is fine, but the problem I have with it is that WE’RE NOT SELLING THEM. Instead, they’re sitting in my house, generating ugliness in place of of income.
Here is an example of one of the knick knacks, just so you get an idea of what we’re dealing with:
This ceramic shoe has been painted with some type of farming scene featuring a woman who looks totally defeated and a man with a huge package snickering behind her.
The other items include (but, of course, are not limited to) a mini-vase painted with gold and roses, a tiny teacup and saucer painted with gold and roses, an antique hand warmer, a ceramic box with gold detailing, and a metal ash tray.
Does anyone else notice a bit of a thematic redundancy? (I pull out the big words when I talk about knick knacks.) Several items actually feature both gold and roses.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that few things say, “an old lady decorated this room” like the combo of gold and roses. Actually, if this blog really takes off I’ll probably create a companion perfume called “Gold and Roses.” It will smell like rapidly accumulating dust and anger.
So after a bit of “discussion,” I agreed to display some of these knick knacks where people could actually see them. As hideous as I find them, they actually mean something to my husband since they remind him of his grandparents. And doesn’t being married mean you are willing make concessions like this? I mean, if I had some piece of junk I wanted to display that made me feel connected to my dad, I would expect Ryan to be cool with that. And by the way, he would be, because 9 times out of 10 I am way more selfish than he is.
That being said, we had the matter of the knick knacks settled – or so I was ignorant enough to believe. A few days later, Ryan came home from his mom’s house with an excited look in his eyes and more or less pretended like it was World War II and he had just received an executive order to drop a bomb on the Hiroshima of my emotions.
This is a cabinet. Built exclusively for displaying knick knacks. In my house. A KNICK KNACK CABINET IN MY HOUSE. Because if someone already hates knick knacks, why wouldn’t this someone be totally fine with an entire cabinet dedicated to displaying them? I can’t think of any reason except that it’s THE MOST AWFUL THING EVER.
At this point, it’s possible I started to shoot laser rays out my eyes. It’s difficult to tell, since I’m behind my eyes, or because my eyes are in my head, or whatever. But I’m pretty sure something like that happened because the scent of Gold and Roses was suddenly all up in my kitchen.
This cabinet is like a big, heavy ode to uselessness. It gives me the feeling that if there was like some type of a Jesus program for furniture this guy would totally get left behind in the rapture. There’s no time to change your mind, knick knack cabinet! You spent your life displaying knick knacks and now you have zero chance of making it to furniture heaven.
Now, I’d love to tell you all this happened last week or something, but the fact is this went down months ago and if you didn’t notice from the photos there are still pretty much ZERO knick knacks making their home in the cabinet. Instead, they’re parked in a dining area built-in that I love but also ends up corralling a ton of random household crap, like last term’s algebra textbook, a broken XBOX controller, or my Mother’s Day card.
So maybe I should add to my summah plans to at least get those knick knacks into their cabinet and out of the dining area. Mostly what’s stopping me is that I can’t decide whether the cabinet is worse with actual knick knacks in it or without them.
Since writing this, I realized I actually have my own version of knick knacks. Someone gave me this little praying figuring once that looked like it came from the dollar store. Instead of throwing it in the trash can, I beheaded it and named it Headless Praying Doll. It has been my faithful cooking companion ever since.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re a lover of knick knacks I don’t judge. Even I have apparently have some special figurines around the house, though they do require some adjustments.