Mona Lisa--The Jacket
On Saturday my daughter, Emily Kate and I, went thrifting. Saturdays are a great day to hit the Goodwills because everything is half price. Half price! Any hoo, the thing about the Goodwill is you never know. You never know if you're going to find anything worth a buck and a half. But then there are those day when the ceiling cracks open, a shaft of smoky light beams down and shines upon something so wonderful, so out of this world that well, you have to have it. Such was the case this past Saturday. There we were at our second Goodwill of the day when I was perusing the aisles looking for, oh, I don’t know, just something that struck my fancy when I saw it. And yes, the ceiling cracked open, a shaft of light shone on it and angels sang. It was The Mona Lisa Jacket.
I stood there for a second transfixed in disbelief and wonder. It was so hideous and yet I was strangely drawn to it. Like the real Mona, I couldn't keep my eyes off of it and it seemed to follow me. "What was going through their mind?" I asked, "When they designed this?"
The Mona Lisa Jacket is just plain wrong on so many levels. It is and forever will be an affront and an insult to DaVinci and fine art in general, it's just good old fashioned tacky and white trash, and it's big and ugly. Yet, I had to have it. I paid one dollar and fifty cents for it. Imagine that, a fine art masterpiece for a buck fifty.
But I do have to ask the question—why? Why did I buy it? I certainly would not have paid full price for the thing. But for a dollar and half it was worth bringing home. Um, maybe that's it. Maybe I saw something in the jacket that made it worth the effort. Life is full of ugly. And yet, we embrace it, we embrace what is ugly hoping to find the beauty. We write about the dark side because we know that there is light just on the other side and you can't see the light until you've walked through the dark. We know that readers can't stand a diet full of good, devoid of bad. It's boring and tasteless and well, it's just plain inaccurate. The bad is what makes it possible for us to see the good.
Will I ever wear the Mona Lisa Jacket? Um, it's doubtful, maybe to a writer's conference just to make a point or get a laugh or as some extreme social experiment. But for the most part my Mona Lisa Jacket will stay hidden in my closet where the ugly stuff belongs, behind closed doors. Or, am I wrong about that?
What's in your closet?