I used to be an old woman.
When I was young, I collected small figurines. Do I mean action figures and little toy soldiers, to satisfy my small, raging male psyche?
Oh, no. Not at all.
These were pleasant animal figurines, picked up in touristy beach shops and yard sales. Y’know, the kinds of places old people go to find flower-printed dentures and racist porcelain statues titled “negro butler” to greet their visitors at the front door with an alarmingly white smile and a tray of liquified sandwiches.
Although my figurine collection was no porcelain cherub clown collection you find at your grandmother’s house (sounds terrifying, doesn’t it?), if it were in a Pottery Barn catalog, it would probably be described as the following:
– “Quaint as *&#@.”
– “Adds to sense of quiet-ass ambience and an atmosphere that’s so goddam pleasant, you probably wouldn’t notice it if a terrifying chubby cherub clown was eyeing you from your Rustic Cottage Closet ™.”
Yes, I spent my hard-earned allowance money on figurines like this:
But I wasn’t quite at shawl-knitting level. In fact, my childhood days were marked by a perpetual mental struggle between my inner Mr. Rogers and what I call my inner Barbarian – or, my inner typical little boy.
My Inner Barbarian would hit me very suddenly. These were the times I would stalk my parents around the house like a panther, hoping they didn’t notice the stealthy, half-naked, growling 10-year old boy on his hands and knees in the middle of the kitchen floor. These were the times I would run around naked with magic marker muscles scrawled all over my body – my mind full of bloody violence and gnashing jaws.
Then I would buy a very pleasant statue of dolphins jumping into a rainbow-lit harbor. I just couldn’t decide. I think my favorite TV show would have been a mix of the two:
And, while most children wanted to be cowboys or astronauts, I was convinced that I wanted to be an interior decorator. Knowing my boyhood self, I probably would have scattered pleasant otter figurines around the floor, covered the walls with a small arsenal of swords, hung up a few charming inspirational posters, and then designed a bed to look like a spiked Orcish battleship.
There was a battle going on in my head. In fact, it’s still going on. One moment, I’m entranced by an adorable photo of a kitten wearing a frog bonnet:
And the next, I watch a bloody fantasy movie.
I’ve decided: when I grow up (which will probably never happen), I want to be an adorably bloodthirsty kitten space barbarian.