Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Black Heads




When I was growing up my grandmother owned an antique store for many years and had a house full of expensive antiques in a variety of shapes and sizes. She still has a house full of antiques, though she’s long retired from the business, but she’s also distributed many things out amongst my mother and her siblings. One of the things my mom inherited when my grandparents retired and moved to the country were these three black heads, which were near and dear to my heart.

When we were little and stuck for hours at my grandparents house, which wasn’t all that fun for us kids considering we couldn’t take two steps without touching something old and expensive, I would stare at these three heads that sat on the fireplace mantle and just admire these three heads. I loved them and always thought of them as my sister, brother and myself up there, regardless of their skin color. They were appropriate in age to each of us and for whatever reason I made the association between them and us, and was just always very fond of these three heads. I once told my mom that I wanted the black heads one day so when my husband and I moved back home after our Military days, my mom gave me the black heads.

I was excited, although I wasn’t sure how they would look in my very plain house, minus the variety of antiques and things to go with them. When I brought them home about ten years ago, my husband asked me exactly what I was planning on doing with these three black heads, laughed and told me flat out they would look really stupid up on our entertainment center. I guess I was a little unsure myself, so I stuck them in a glass cabinet sort of hidden and waited until we moved into our new house then tried pulling them out and he again gave me a hard time again so I kept them hidden.

A few years later I redecorated our living room and was feeling really good about the “new” look, which wasn’t really done in a theme. I’d just decorated with lots of flowers and had new rugs and lamps and accessories, so I felt brave about going out on a limb and putting my beloved black heads on display, so I finally put them out on one of the shelves on the entertainment center and decided that if they meant something to me then I was going to display them, regardless of whether they went my motif.

They’ve been up there for several years and as recently as last week, I had a visitor whom looked up on the shelf and asked me why I had those three heads up there. Normally, my husband will just smile that I told you so smile and let me tell them about where they came from and why I have them. Apparently, they are out of place in my plain and simple living room. My oldest daughter informed me that her friends were also asking her about the heads. Seriously, if anyone came inside and sat down, their eyes would eventually find the heads and they would ask why we had those heads up there.

One night she had friends over and they decided to take the following pictures of the heads and then made them their own My Space. I was mortified to see that they had been carrying around my priceless heads and could’ve broken them while posing them for these pictures. They even took some outdoor pictures that almost sent me over the edge. Actually, I don’t think they’re all that “expensive” but they are sentimental to me. I also learned from my mom they were a Jamaican mom and her two children, not siblings like I had imagined them to be.

So, I ask is it really that out of place to have these three beloved heads displayed up on the entertainment center? Whether we were also black, or the heads were white, or brown or whatever, what’s the big deal? Do they really look that out of place? I love these damn black heads! If it’s such a controversy would it help if I changed the entire d├ęcor of the house to make them fit in? Maybe I’ll just print this out and every time someone new comes in and inquires, I’ll just give them this print out and let them read it for themselves.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

the truth about the heads--the mother head came from your great grandmother. grandma got it from her and it sat in our living room. when we lived in beaumont--b4 you, i found the brother and sister in a department store. i think they go wonderfully with your decor...its actually not a black and white thing--its a thing of beauty. glad you have them.
(yeah...i beat paul this time)
m

teedee said...

Carri, that is a beautiful story. They are your heads and you can stick them (um-um), if you want & nobody can say anything about it. I can't believe you are questioning something that is so special to you. Maybe you should encase them with a plaque that states "a memoir of my dearest greatmother", & then tell the poeple that still continue to ask f. off..
I love them. Keep them out.

Paul/dad/grandpa said...

Doggone...I'm third?????...Oh well'

Black heads?? you be talkin about them shiney heads with no bodies??

Well it is halloween' Just kidding Carri, I think they are ...well...uuh..well..one of a kind!! ...uh..unique'

I like em, I just don't know why. Uuumm.. are you gonna start collecing heads??

Third..I just can't believe it'

Carri said...

I love my three beautiful heads! For real. Antiques or not, I do love them so KMA, Les!! They're staying! Need a place to live???? :)

Ronni said...

Keep them out. I think they are beautiful.

We get way too hung up in "decor." You have eclectic tastes and eclectic memories. Let it be.

Anonymous said...

Your daughter must have her mom's sense of humor--you have to admit giving them a myspace page is FUNNY! I think they are beautiful too. I would have little name plates made to sit in front of them. Nothing is more beautiful in a person's home than what they love. Be confident, show your true colors!

Carri said...

Thanks for the feedback. I wonder if they'll be fighting over them when I die. I will keep them out. I just wish people didn't seem to think they were odd or out of place and always ask as if having them is strange. I think they're beautiful.
Yes, Paul. I just might start a head collection. I can think of a few in particular I'd like to see stuffed. HA!
Anonymous, Yes, I'll admit that the My Space was actually very funny, along with the posed pictures. I left off some of them playing XBox and a few other fun poses. The girls thought it was hysterical.

Paul/dad/grandpa said...

what's the my space add. for your shiny little 'black heads'?? black heads??

Mark just set up my space for me--its called the "bickersons"

Third...Hmmm... maybe I'll at least be last this time,(nobody remembers who came in, in the middle, but they usually can tell you who came in first and last)..

there should be a prize for that too! right? Like-- "Oh yeah, I remember you, it was a great race and you came in last and won the 'pink' ribbon'

Ps. Carri, since you be collecting heads now, you can expect a lot of flattery from me...

Just kidding, you be the real thing.

Paul/dad/grandpa said...

Ignore the Black heads add question,

my left handed brain thought yu had set up their own space..click! click! whirrr! Whirr! Grind! grind!! What the H was that?--that
was the right hemisphere of my brain going into gear

If being left handed wasn't enough I was also the quasi middle child too, (#3 out of four)If I had been just one more, #4, I would have been doted on and snd spoiled everytime I threw a tantrum instead of my little seister getting all the attention.

Of course I'm not trying to suggest with that remark that I have an attention deficit disorder, but being #3 could be part of the problem.

This is getting messy, /Carri I think I'll quit here while I'm still irrational.

Kelli said...

Hmmm, not sure what to say about the black heads but if their sentimental to you, then I say keep them! If you start a collection, let me know! ;)

Anonymous said...

i'll never forget when you told me this story in person! :o) Funny stuff!!! They were my friends on myspace forever...