Culture and the art of not getting it

As a mother I occasionally have a yen to throw something a little different at The Codefendants and see what pans out.  Most times we’re all pleasantly surprised and wind up feeling a little smug and worldly as if to say well, we never had any doubts.  Piece a cake, baby!

Unless it’s food.  Generally speaking, if it’s food what pans out is vomit.  Here’s a tip for ya: NEVER FORCE A CHILD TO EAT BROCCOLI UNLESS YOU’RE COMMITTED TO CLEANING IT UP.

Where was I?

So, school’s out for summer (any Alice Cooper fans out there?) and they’re already bored.  Fortunately, His Awesomeness’ boredom is somewhat alleviated by a little thing called a job.  Sonic slush, anyone?  

Which leaves The Diva.  

She’s already made homemade slime.  Think snot, only purple.  She gave me a makeover because, at forty-three, I have no idea how to apply makeup.  She fussed over my lack of appropriate brushes and primer (isn’t that for walls?) and bemoaned my crepey eyelids and orange-ish complexion a la The Donald.

And then there’s that mecca for all brainiacs…the library.  ๐Ÿ“š.  It’s the summer of the biography in our house and she’s already devoured tomes on CS Lewis, Audrey Hepburn, Henry VIII’s six wives, and Mickey Mantle while I’m over here speed reading through raunchy romance novels.

Not to cast aspersions on our town, but there isn’t much to do here.  Which means you have to drive.  And hope that what awaits at the end doesn’t require funds from a body part you sold or a bathing suit.

Dallas, here we come.

It’s deja vu all over again!  It’s like Dallas knows we’re coming and just rolls out the welcome mat right along with the crummy weather, traffic accidents and nutty drivers.


We finally arrive, after driving the I-35 corridor at 50 mph most of the way, at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Four floors of old stuff (apparently that’s me); really old stuff (pottery, textiles, paintings, furniture); and ancient stuff (as in sculpture).

Homage to Victory Boogie Woogie #1 by Leon Polk Smith.  I see a quilt here. ๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿป

A Baltimore album quilt with trapunto attributed to Martha E. Keech.  ๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿป

We’d been there maybe thirty minutes when I realized The Diva was extraordinarily quiet and I looked over to find her stone faced, responding to my questions with one word answers.  Are you okay?  Fine.  Are you sick?  No.  What’s the matter?  Nothing.

Sensing a mood swing of epic proportions and not wanting either of us to lose our shit in what was essentially a mausoleum for old, really expensive stuff, I was trying to think fast.  And quietly.  

Light bulb ๐Ÿ’ก 

Are you overwhelmed?  

I got a look that was part relief and part duh ๐Ÿ™„ and after giving ourselves permission to skip the stuff that made us check each other for a pulse, we more or less hustled ourselves through the remainder of the early American section and most of Africa.  I’m pretty sure there was plenty of other stuff to see, but most of it was a blur interspersed with me asking myself  what is THAT and what does it MEAN?

Forgive me for being a philistine, but I don’t get art at all.  To me, it’s like attending car shows with Himself.  A car’s either pretty or ugly and sounds good.  End of story.

With art, I stand there, head cocked like an eager spaniel and hope I don’t scratch or widdle on the floor.

Like this ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป.  It’s cool and it’d look great as a quilt, but ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Or this ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป by Christopher Wool.  What does it mean?  No more home and no more coats.  Huh?

This (by Leon Frederic) ๐Ÿ‘‡๐ŸปI get, but the gratuitous display of breast unsettled The Diva.  Do we really need to see that? she intoned.  Beats me, but it’s just so beautiful and nurturing and hey, I get it! 

The detail…swoon.

Anyway, we’d made it down to the lower level with all the sculpture.  My favorite!  It never ceases to amaze me how ancient dudes got the drape of fabric, the curl of a lock of hair, the detail just so from rock.

How did they do that?!  Genius.

I’m marveling at it all when I hear a huge sigh, one generally reserved for a climactic final cinematic breath and the words every mother wants to hear uttered aloud in what was a fairly crowded room.

Another penis.  What is it with all these penises?!

I was stuck somewhere between wanting to be zapped by lightning on the spot, hoping for a huge sinkhole to open beneath me and making that ugly braying donkey laugh I generate when I’m really amused and trying not to be.  Nevertheless, I had some splainin’ to do.  She didn’t believe me about the ancients’ love of the human form and isn’t it beautiful, etc, etc.  All she saw was nekkid men.  I’ll admit to never understanding the ancient use of urine to bleach items or grabbing ones testicles as a attestation of ones truthfulness (hence the word testimony) but whatever.  Naked people look good, even the fat ones and can we please bring back the appreciation of such from Rubens?!  Can I get a hallelujah?

Maybe I should just stick to getting my culture from yogurt.


  1. Best post ever! Trying to laugh quietly. What was “heaven and earth” made of. Definetly Quilt worthy. And the other one reminded me of disappearing 9-patch. The one with the babies and flowers reminds me of all those flower covered animal quilts people are making (giraffe, rabbit, seahorse, etc.). Yes, I
    see quilts in everything.

  2. Nekkid men…..I will just giggle like a very immature schoolgirl here…..I too love the “old” painters with their photographic rendition of everyday life. I peer up real close to try and imagine myself swanning around in such clothes, and would I be considered a “beauty” in them days of yore? It is hard to keep a young one absorbed in such details and especially one who can get overwhelmed with too much around. But rest assured those drips of culture will seep in and one day she will remember her wonderful trips to see art! …….whatever art is!

  3. That was good.ย  Try a modern art gallery.ย  Let me know when you figureย out the blank canvas.ย  However, I do love art. Love you, Aunt Paatsy

    • She’d probably enjoy modern art more. Me, not so much. I’m still puzzling out the gray draped fabric. Elephant maybe? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

  4. Oh my gosh, I’m am cracking up because I GET THIS! Which is really to say (about so much art) that I DON’T get it. If it has to be explained, it’s not working.

    On the other hand, the quilt in your header? Gorgeous. Happy. Exuberant.

    Have fun in Dallas ;D

  5. Funny post. Everything is a potential quilt. Of course, I’d have to live another 157 years to catch up with the pictures of every item I’ve photographed.
    Look at it this way, The Diva was really looking at the works, and she apparently knows what she likes. So what if she appreciates the human form in fabulous clothes?

    • Thanks, Mary ๐Ÿ˜Š. Our takeaway from the whole experience was we are a couple of easily overwhelmed ladies who will do much better if we view only specific exhibits instead of the whole enchilada. I can live with that. Our next museum experience will be the Smithsonian later this summer. Hahahahahaha!

  6. Yes, going to just a special exhibit that might strike a chord and then splitting is an excellent idea! When I lived in MD,, I would go to the BMA and just marvel at the huge bucks they spent on the “modern” aka whole canvas of one color, wonders! Best of luck finding exhibits that click with a group that includes people of varying ages (even if they are not teens) and interests. Cherry-picking is the way I like to visit museums and other art venues.

    • There’s no way I could get anyone other than my daughter to go do this stuff with me. At 12, she’s kind of a captive audience…lol! We have lost our minds and we TRY to hit 3 D.C. museums in one day. Yes, one day. We cherry picked those exhibits. I’d really like to see the Holocaust museum, time permitting. Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป

  7. Stephanie, you have two of my favorite things: common sense and sense of humor. I’m glad I found your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Greetings from Spain!

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