Friday, March 02, 2007

The Evils of Feng-shui

Since this appears to be the week where Pretty Lady is allowing her Darker Side to show, hairy eyebrows and all, she might as well go the whole hog and confess her innermost sins. Pretty Lady, darlings, is NOT the wholesomely economic housekeeper that she has led you to believe. She is Frivolous and Wasteful, and should any poor sot be foolish enough to marry her, she will surely bankrupt him.

Yes, tragically, it is true. Pretty Lady is consitutionally incapable of buying an ugly Kleenex box.

This addiction to attractive tissue-dispensers at all costs has persisted for years, and has cost Pretty Lady a pretty penny. She is unable to calculate the precise rate of financial drainage, actually, because her mania extends to an utter disinterest in even checking the prices of ugly tissue. It simply does not matter if Kleenex goes on sale for ninety-nine cents per box of 250; she will continue paying $2.59 for an impractical 85-count ovalesque frivolity, no matter how desperate her financial circumstances.

You see, back at an impressionable age, Pretty Lady skimmed a book on feng-shui. Most of the business about compass-points and such was wholly uninteresting to her, she having little luxury to consider such things, but one phrase in particular rather stood out. "Have nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Pretty Lady took things one better, and cast out everything which was not both useful and beautiful, as far as practicably possible. And Kleenex, in Pretty Lady's line of work, is not a dispensable item. One never knows when one's client will suddenly sneeze, or experience a Toxic Drainage of some sort; one simply must have a goodly supply of disposable serviettes ready to hand. Since Pretty Lady's office is also her living room, this guarantees that, like it or not, the Kleenex remains a consistent, minor point of aesthetic focus.

And Pretty Lady confesses that it gives her a profound soul-satisfaction to glance at the top of the microwave, or the corner of the desk, and glimpse, not some horrendous kitschy cardboard box with some floral banality printed across the side, but something with Art and Taste to it, which harmonizes, more or less, with her eclectic decor.

Of such tiny things are the makings of Disaster born.


Anonymous said...

some horrendous kitschy cardboard box with some floral banality printed across the side

I'm sorry. I didn't know... and didn't care. This reminds me of my father's favorite saying. "It doesn't take all kinds, there just is."

Desert Cat said...

Don't they make attractive, artistic covers for those kitschy cardboard boxes?

Pretty Lady said...

DC, are you seriously suggesting that Pretty Lady should waste her hard-earned resources on such a trivial item as a Kleenex box cover???

You thoroughly misunderstand the mentalities of the Economist in Denial.

Chris Rywalt said...

My mother-in-law is insane about pretty Kleenex box covers, fuzzy toilet seats, shelves of dustcatching tchotchkes, samplers with homey sayings on them ("If you pray for rain, be prepared for some mud"), and so on ad nauseum in extremis.

The least comprehensible, though, is the toilet paper roll cozy. Atop the toilet tank in her bathroom resides an extra roll of toilet paper which is, for reasons beyond understanding, hidden under a knitted cap topped with a small teddy bear.

My wife takes after her father, which is why I was able to marry her. Our extra rolls of toilet paper are sensibly stored two doors away from the toilet.

Pretty Lady said...

Auuuugh! Auuuugh!

What you describe, Chris, is Kitsch. Kitsch is not a Functional Object Made Attractive. Kitsch is Functional Objects Made Cutesy and Non-Functional. Horrible. Horrible. Do not mention Pretty Lady in the same time zone as you mention owners of fuzzy toilet seats and shelves of tchotsckes in the shape of teddy bears. The horror.

Anonymous said...

I got out my biggest dictionary, and then my 24 volume encylopedia set and couldn't find "tchotsckes".

But if it's anything like a TP roll hidden under a slip cover with a Charmin bear on squatting on top, I got the general idea.

I just now remembered wikopedia, but I've already said my piece, so it gets send anyway.

k said...

PL, I hope you'll forgive me - but I could no more help hijacking this tchotchke thread than you can help buying those fancy Kleenexes.

I throw myself on the mercy of the court. Especially the Court of bobert, for wondering about Where Tchotchkes Come From. Well, the Courts of prettylady and en and desert cat and chris rywalt too.

Um, also feng-shui, while I'm at it.

If I missed anyone, just let me know, okay?

Chris Rywalt said...

Pretty Lady, darling, I didn't say you and my mother-in-law had anything in common in this regard. I didn't even mention you, did I? No I did not.

The Aardvark said...


(It's the best Shatner I can muster at short notice.)

k said...

Mr. Chris, my mistake, not hers. In the interest of maintaining the integrity of hijacking the thread in the first place, I willfully ignored the fact that you did NOT actually make any such insinuation. None at all. And I said what I did only, solely, and purely for effect.

So I guess I throw myself on the mercy of the chris rywalt court twice over. At the very least.

I do humbly beg your pardon.

I really don't commit this sort of crime very often, so you see, I'm not actually a smooth sort of hijacker. Kinda...clumsy, and untried.

Ya know. The dumb crook that's so easy to catch.

Pretty Lady said...

Oh, k, relax. Chris is on the rag this month. You are not at fault.

Chris Rywalt said...

You know, just once I don't quote who I'm responding to, and everyone gets mixed up. K -- are we in a Kafka story? -- K, I wasn't responding to you or your hijack. I was responding directly to PL's "AUGH!" comment. Your digression and post on your own blog were fine and as on topic as anything else. No need to apologize, sincerely or otherwise.

What I was trying to say was that I never meant to imply that my mother-in-law's horrifying need for kitsch and tchotchkes and gingham had any relation to Pretty Lady's tissue box obsession except insofar as being obsessive and related to decoration. It was just one thought leading to another.

Personally, I don't care -- Pretty Lady can attest to this, since she's seen my home and me -- I don't care one thing for how things look. To me, tissues, cars, shirts, shoes, and lightbulbs are tools. What they look like doesn't matter; how well they do their jobs is what I care about. I don't even know what my tissue boxes have printed on them so long as the tissues in them don't have any colors or additives.

But that's just me.

k said...



So I didn't need to delete the last sentence after all.

The one that said, --And I'd do it all over again inna heartbeat! With SPATS on! Cause what hijacker really feels remorse, anyway?

Sometimes, I think, I plant my tongue in cheek too gently.

And definitely ditto on the colors and additives. Ewww.

Desert Cat said...

BTW for those of you guys who have never been married, the above is a good example of what is called "Fair Warning".

When you receive such, pay heed! Pay very great heed.

You can't say you didn't know...