The thing is…. III

20 October 2010

The thing is I took the jello because I couldn’t get the pudding

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“The thing is I took the jello because I couldn’t get the pudding,” the analogy went. “It was the next best thing, but it symbolises our friendship – two flavours, two personalities, one friendship. I left it here for a better purpose. I would have thrown it in the bin, I’m glad it’s not going in the bin. Not yet.”

The thing is my father made it for me

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“The thing is my father made it for me,” she told me in earnest. “It means a lot to me, he’s in Hong Kong, I’m here in London. He made it, I created the design of the motif – it’s kind of like a connection between us. I carry it with me all the time, when I leave today I will feel like something is missing, but I can cope without it for a week.”

The thing is it’s an unwanted gift

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“The thing is it’s unloved, an unwanted gift,” she said straight. “It’s been cluttering up our kitchen since it was given to us as a house warming present. Some people think they’re cute, but I think they’re hideous. They were won in a tombola and then given as an ‘ironic’ present, with the expectation that they would be given to some other unsuspecting unfortunate. I’m taking them out of that cycle.”

The thing is it feels like a holiday romance

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“The thing is fleeting, a new burgeoning relationship,” he declared. ” It feels like a holiday romance, it’s been in my hands for the last five hours, being moulded. But I feel quite attached to it already. I didn’t have a thing when I arrived so I found a thing and now it feels like my thing. I’m worried it’s going to get squashed, I made it into such a perfect shape, but I doubt it will stay that way for long.”

The thing is it’s about a dream

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“The thing is it’s about a dream,” she confided. ” My sister wrote the lyrics and I helped her write them. I have the first line written large on my bedroom wall. I wanted to be part of the project and share it with other people. I’m glad other people will see it.”

The thing is fetishistic

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“The thing is fetishistic,” she whispered. ” There’s something about having a dead thing around, that is gawping at you, a beautiful dead thing. I tend to move it around, I don’t know quite where it should go. For the last two weeks it’s been next to a puppet on a shelf. I brought it here to get it re-curated, I like the whole premise of the project. I’m fine about leaving it but my son wants to take it home, he has more difficulty letting go of things.”

The thing is symbolic of our childhood

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“The thing is symbolic of our childhood,” they shared. “Our dad used to buy them for us when we were little. My mum had broken her arm and gone in the ambulance with our passports, so we were illegal in Germany for a few days and our dad didn’t know what to do, so he bought us these and we made monsters out of them.”

The thing is it wasn’t quite what I had in mind

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“The thing is it wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I created it but it’s frustrating. I usually keep it on semi-display on a book shelf. It would be nice to think of it being kept and looked at after I’m dead.”

The thing is difficult

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“The thing is difficult,” she told me, “with the anti hunting debate. Who would want it now? It’s been in self-storage for nine years, but was in the family home on display years ago. It’s been with us since 1985, but it’s not the kind of thing you could throw away. I feel relieved that I don’t have to think anymore about what to do with it. I think other people will appreciate it as an object, historically perhaps. Art should be challenging as well as enjoyed.”

The thing is it allowed me to answer one big question in life

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“The thing is it allowed me to answer one big question in life,” she said, “Am I a mother? Genetically I am, but not practising. I kept it hidden, in a box under my bed, visible to others by invitation only. I leave it behind here knowing that it’s in the right place, that things are more than just things, it’s the value and meaning we give to them. This was my chance to prove it, to share it and pass it on. And at least I still have visiting rights.”