"Junk: a haphazard assorted collection of discarded remains of unrelated items of little value - to the untrained eye."
What every good junker knows is this: that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all junk has potential! My case in point, I have been trying to train Handy Hubby in the fine art of junking. His poor untrained eye cannot see past what an object is to what it has the possibility to become. Most of the time he just sees junk.
For my Valentine's treat he took a half day off work on the Friday before Valentine's so we could spend the afternoon together. He wanted to take me on a junking date. I suggested a big antique mall about 45 minutes from here because it has a great mix of what I like and what he likes so we would both enjoy browsing.In the very first booth I was kicking up my heels with glee! I found a plastic bag full of vintage photos in wonderful paper frames. Handy Hubby wrinkled up his nose and said he would not buy those and why would you even want old photos of someone else's ancestors. See, I told you, he needs lots of education.I didn't bother to explain, I just shoved the photos in his hand so I could snag another little gem, a set of sweet bisque place card holders in the original box still bearing the label as sold at Mary Roth Originals in Little Rock, AR. The set is mix matched but who cares when they are so sweet?I piled on other items of a little faux green pearl necklace, a child's bird book, a pair of silhouettes, and lastly a set of the most chippy perfect bookends ever! These things could be used as a weapon, they are filled with some sort of metal weights. I also found a perfectly rusty patina pink candy tin for 75% off with the junk inside for free!I could see the wheels turning in the mind of my poor package carrier as he puzzled over each squeal of delight as I piled him with my junk finds. By the time we got to the check out he still thought the stuffy old ancestors needed to return to their shelf until the clerk gasp at such a find for such a price, $1.50 for a dozen photos. She asked if we knew how much just one of these photos goes for in our area and I just smiled and said yes I did. Poor clueless Handy Hubby said he never would have bought them.
She said the lady who brought in the bookends marked them so low because they were in such bad shape that they probably would not sell - ah, another poor uneducated junker. Some of the booths were having sales so our grand total was $7.00! Handy Hubby said I was cheap date.Our next stop netted a bird in a nest for me and some kind of truck part tailgate thing-a-ma-bob for him and we called it a day ending with dinner at a favorite restaurant and a dozen red roses. Over dinner I tried to explain what every junker knows - rust is not crust it is patina, chippy is spiffy, cracks are never whacked, mix matched is perfect, bling is king, old is gold, tattered and battered pings and dings are character, and everybody just loves instant ancestors. He still did not get it.I didn't think it was the right time to expose him to junkers overload so I let him off the hook on my next excursion which netted four half size ledgers, I gave one to a friend, a crazy wooden candle holder (hopefully it will turn into an art doll in the future), a trio of vintage tins, cork coasters (using the back side for a project), a couple of shaker lids, and a couple of vintage metal receipt holders (more project fodder).I also decided that this shortsighted man would never appreciate a doll part ballet...Where dancing feet pirouetted across sheet music to a tune that only I could hear...Where these boots were made for walking to the march of a different beat...Where little Betty Blue lost her other shoe and hopped about upon one foot...
They laughed themselves silly and lost their heads...Pulling themselves together enough in the end for a hearty round of applause...Now this next junk story he will get and appreciate when I tell him about it over dinner tonight. I needed a box for an art project so yesterday I dropped in a favorite antique store that carries lots of primitives knowing they would probably have what I was looking for. I quickly found the perfect box. The only catch was I had to buy the box and its contents. The tag said "old wooden box with plane parts." I took a quick peek at the rusty assortment of parts in the box and thought to myself, now what in the world am I going to do with air plane parts. I made the purchase and headed home.
When I actually unpacked the box contents, I laughed myself silly, they were not air plane parts but plane, the wood working tool, parts. How I even thought an air plane part would fit in such a small box is beyond me. I have never once claimed to be the brightest bulb in the box and this proves it.When I show Handy Hubby the parts, he will see a plain for smoothing wood, nothing more and nothing less. He will want to reassemble it to its original condition so it can once again serve its original purpose. I will not. He will not get my vision, but he gets me, he will let me run with my flights of fancy cheering me on and even lending a helping hand along the way.
When I look at the parts I will see potential projects, interesting artifacts, rusty crusty perfection in the haphazard collection of discarded remains of unrelated items of little value that to the untrained eye just look like junk. I will see the usefulness and beauty beyond what lies in front of me where the flight of imagination can make these things anything I dream them to be. And that is what my guy sees in me, a beautiful mess of parts and pieces, some interesting, some rusty and crusty, a pretty haphazard collection of humanity.
What every good junkers knows is that nothing is what it seems, everything has potential, and beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. Maybe I don't need to train him as a junker, he does after all have pretty good vision, he knows on the surface I am not what I seem and he believes with his whole heart that I have the potential to do or be anything I desire. He knows that I march to the beat of a different drum and allows me to dance though my days with creative fun. He lets me be me with all my imperfections and quirks. He sees my usefulness despite my scattered brokenness. For that I am eternally grateful. Perhaps it is me who is the student and he who is the teacher, for when he looks at me, he never just sees junk.
P.S. I hope this post will tide you over for a few days as I am taking a small break to actually focus on completing all my unfinished projects. The next three days are going to be one huge craft-a-thon! Hopefully I will be back by the weekend, if not, have a great one and I will see you next week.