Tag Archives: skull

Cleaning for Company

A few days ago my wife and I had a couple of friends from our church over for dinner. It just so happened that the day they were coming over was also the day I was off work, so I was stuck cleaning the house.

I vacuumed and straightened and did all the dishes that had been piling up in the sink.  I worked for a solid hour and a half so that our house would look better than it usually does for our guests.  In fact it looked so good I’m thinking we should have guests over more often, so the house might actually stay somewhere close to clean (Let’s not talk about all those rooms the guests will never see that got piled up with junk.

While I was cleaning it made me think about how we present ourselves to others.  I didn’t just clean.  I gave a lot of thought to what exactly I was comfortable with my guests seeing.

Should I leave the skull salt and pepper shaker holder on the table?  Should I hide the Stephen King short story anthologies? Would they be more impressed with my intellect if I left Jaques Derida’s Writing and Difference closer to the top of the bookshelf?

And while I was thinking on such things I was reminded of a recent post by Chuck Wendig in which he talked about the writer’s platform. Specifically he said,

[N]ow is a good time to slap a new coat of paint on who you want the world to see. Want to know a secret? This should be the best and most interesting face of who you already are. No ruse, no illusion.

In other words, don’t go out and buy a new house just because company is coming. Clean up the house you already have. Think about the things you want them to see, and the things you’d rather throw into that unused bedroom down the hall.  Maybe you’ll decide to leave some of the weirder stuff in plain view and let the chips fall where they may.  Maybe you’ll keep anything that might put people off well out of sight. The choice is up to you.

But remember, if you’re a writer you’re going to want your company to come back as often as possible.

Addendum: My friends totally dug the skull salt and pepper shaker holder. Goes to show you, it pays not to put too fine a polish on your “image.”

Serious Shakers

I was at the flea market last weekend and I saw this beautiful piece of work. It came with a card that read, “Add charm and delight to your home with this timeless keepsake. This collectible reminds us that imagination is limitless and dreams are forever.”

I’m not really sure I want these kinds of dreams to be forever. I am pretty sure these are the kinds of dreams that I would hope would end eventually.
The card further went on to assure me that my skull shaped salt and pepper shaker holder “was individually hand crafted by professional artists to present life like character.”
I wonder what it must be like to be one of those artists. Imagine this: You’re at a party. Someone comes up and asks, “So what do you do in life?”
You puff your chest out and proclaim, “I’m a professional artist!”
“Really? What kind of art do you do?”
How do you answer that question? Is the timeless “I hand paint life-like skull shaped salt and pepper shaker holders,” line really going to get you very far in the dating scene, or for that matter any scene? I think not.
The same card further assured me that this skull was one of a limited edition of 5000 pieces, which makes me sad for the “professional artists” who are out of a job now that this limited edition run is over with. With this shaky economy, we cannot stand for such things. Which is why I bought one. Because I refuse to stand by and let “professional artists” starve in the midst of this recession.
(Also because it’s freakin’ awesome.)