Bored Housewife Typhoon
Do you really need a fake lobster trap filled with whimsical stuffed sea horses and dried flowers hanging in your kitchen? If it matches the bedazzled broken coffee cup mosaic of two kittens looking at a fishbowl you sure do.
Bored Housewife Typhoon.
Yep. Sounds like a pretty cool name for an Enya cover band, but it is, in fact, a name I had coined some time back to describe a certain style of interior, ummm…. decor.
You’ve seen it, I know you have.
You get invited to someone’s home, and, from the exterior, anyway, it looks nice enough. Normal landscaping, up-kept, nice. Then you enter, and holy shit, Batman…. it’s like a flea market collided with the Roy Rogers traveling museum display inside of a Cracker Barrel as a QVC marathon lumbered on during “Craft Week” at the county fair, while women wearing long, floral-patterned skirts and sweatshirts with silly ironed-on cats look at beaded hair clips created from old wicker baskets, telephone parts or rubber bands covered in old underwear cut to look like either fringe or, well, like my current pair of undies. There’s useless, decorative shit everywhere. I mean fucking EVERYWHERE. It’s as if they took hostage the interior decorators of Chili’s, fed them meth and crack for week, and handed them a box of nails and a Michael’s gift card.
What is it, exactly, that attracts people to purchase fake relics from farms, factories, old houses? I don’t mean actual tools or doors from an eighteenth-century brownstone in Boston, but newly-made, vacuum-molded props like a garden hoe or a plastic replica of a bear trap or some vase that looks like it came from some Hindu temple, but is made of styrofoam covered in glitter and was bedazzled by some seven year-old in a basement sweat shop in Bangladoor? Who is honestly going to believe that, above your IKEA futon, and scattered amongst your collection of Twilight paperbacks and Wal-Mart throw pillows, that you have a priceless artifact? That you took time to go on an archaeological dig in the lost tomb of Emperor Zhang-Wha-Shing from the second dynasty, and now display his ceremonial headdress along-side a broken TV remote and a dime-store prop photo of you and three friends headed over Niagara Falls in a barrel? At least put some effort into it. Grab that old muffler from the side of the road, and make a lamp from it. Have a story to tell, other than ‘Jeanie saw it there in Hobby Lobby and just had to have it. She added the fake pearls. She’s really creative, you know?’
No. No, I don’t know.
And please don’t try to explain it. I think that Jeanie is possibly brain damaged, and that you can do much better when selecting your next mate, and I’m happy with the conclusion I’ve arrived at.
Yet, there you are.
You’re overwhelmed. Your essential observatory senses crash from the input. The smells of potpourri and candles collide with Glade Fart-Be-Gone misters… your eyes attempt to take in eleven thousand needlepoint crafts. The paint-by numbers canvas boards framed with twigs and shit that most landscapers throw out. You’re being poked in the arms by peacock feathers arranged near giant silk sunflowers. Plates depicting some war between a French dude holding a beaver pelt, a pirate, and some guy that’s either manning an Indian trading post or opening a pizza parlor just off the coast of Zanzibar on a crudely-constructed raft, or maybe an island that has other-worldy vegetation and things that might be Moai, might be just fat tourists burying one another in the sand (which, coincidentally, the ‘artist’ has cleverly created using marshmallow and crushed Rice Krispies), which would look almost real, if not for the clock face drilled just below the storm clouds and stuck at 4:37… Meanwhile, you gaze in awe at the creative genius that brings someone to use a quilt as drapes, just as the cuckoo clock chimes in with some bluegrass standard as an eerily, anatomically-correct miniature of Dolly Parton dressed as the Easter Bunny and holding a taco twirls around. (Speaking of bluegrass, I have a theory that in a parallel universe, there never was any funk music, and thus, all porn has a soundtrack filled with banjos and jugs and that weird rubber band thing between the the three teeth that the player hasn’t yet relegated to his shirt pocket, which is just ever-so-slightly more creepy if you’ve ever fallen asleep watching Deliverance, and then wakened in the middle of Bound as I once did while suffering a flu.) Yet, above the mish-mash of utter ‘holy PBS mid-morning-craft-show-gone-fucking-haywire’ that is bombarding your senses, you marvel at how many kinds of plastic fruit one soul can purchase without a license. Apples, pears, grapes, melons, guava, durian, scale figurines of Richard Simmons. All there, like some Twilight Zone-esque world of torture from the lost episode “The Man Who Loved Fruit”. It tempts… yet, you can’t partake. Fuck.
What drives anyone to make their house look like this?
A genetic predisposition to waste money on fake foliage and small Grecian columns. Insanity, perhaps… but I’m leaning more towards boredom. My theory used to be that if you leave anyone alone for too long, and subject them to a life of cleaning products, daytime TV, and modern conveniences, they begin to crack, and yearn for a simpler time. Yet, over time, I realized that if this were true, you’d have homes decorated like the set of Gilligan’s Island, or maybe a cave. However, as I’ve devoted many hours while semi-conscious to thinking this through, I’ve come to blame Michael Landon. I blame him for that damn Little House show, which, when viewed by girls at the right age, plants the seed of “Country Home Decor”. I’d also blame Cracker Barrel, but damn you, your corn bread is too tasty to hold a grudge. Fortunately, I am not tortured by this illness in my home. My wife rarely watched that show, opting instead for the Three Stooges, which is great, as I am an artist, and thus too poor to afford decoration. And beyond the poking in the eye, wedgies and constant threat of being bopped in the head with a novelty-sized mallet, it’s worked out quite well.
However, if you are so plagued, I offer a remedy:
First, you must gather all of the decorative crap hanging in the home, and make a pile in the covered wagon that decorates your back yard. Set it on fire, only saving the Trigger and friends commemorative plate and a pie-shaped splinter from your barn door cabinets, and return to your kitchen. There, use elbow macaroni to fashion a crude ouija board on the plate, using the splinter as a pointer, and summon Landon, asking him to release the hold he has placed on your wife, and to say hi to Elvis for me.
Then break the plate, and bury it under a copy of Architectural Digest.