i was gonna make a pretty post showcasing all the kitschy stuff i’ve gathered and inherited and scored over lo, these many years, just because Mad asked…but then i remembered the yard sale i had when i left the country, and the flood that devoured the boxes stored in my mother’s basement while i was gone, and the divorce, and i realized…i don’t own that shit anymore.


the ceramic fish i painted in grade seven art class during my brief affair with the colour peach? gone to Jesus, fisher of men.

the gigantic red and white ashtray commemorating Canada’s centennial that i haggled relentlessly for at a flea market during my college years, because squishing roaches out on the faces of Canada’s early prime ministers was just too much fun to be passed up? now lost to history…though i suspect a long-ago ex-boyfriend of having snuck it into his box when we split at graduation.

the clown cookie jar that sat leering on top of the fridge all through my mother’s childhood and my own? crashed to the floor one day, finally, having outlasted its rightful life span by about four decades in a family this awkward.

the streamlined bowling shoes, circa 1962, Jetson-style, that i kept wistfully when my grandmother could no longer bowl because i secretly hoped my feet might shrink? given to Goodwill with good wishes, when i eventually came to terms with reality.

oh my treasures, my beautiful treasures…i miss youse.

i am the only child of an only child, and my home is filled with old things handed down, but few of them – to my surprise, when i really took stock and looked around – are nearly as kitschy or bohemian or just plain funny as i’d thought they were.

except, perhaps, this.


it’s a very, very old vase, about eighteen inches high and repaired in many places, which currently sits at the foot of our bed (safely on the floor, kinda). Oscar likes to drop things in it. Dave likes to hope it will shatter and disappear, leaving less garishness in its place. i just like it. it was a wedding gift given to my great-grandparents when they married in 1901, from the old couple across the street, who had been given it at their own wedding some indeterminate number of years before…apparently regifting ain’t new. my grandmother kept it in a place of honour, on a table at the foot of her staircase, for many, many years…where her many, many cats repeatedly knocked it from its perch and into pieces on the floor. it’s worth little, monetarily, despite its age…and yet i value it. i find it cheerful, and odd, and kind of beautiful. i will carry it with me through my life, if i can, and bestow it upon Oscar or some sibling of his like a noble albatross some day, even if he comes to see it with his father’s aesthetic eye.

i wanted to show it to you…but i know, it really isn’t kitsch, per se, except to Dave and his philistine ilk.

on that front, unbelievably, i got nothin’. if you’d only asked ten years ago, Mad…oh, i was rich, i swear! but time, the devourer, has eaten my kitsch.

i got to get me to some yard sales, clearly.