Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?


Not so long ago Joe was deployed in Australia. My e-mails to him were filled with daily this and that. The ups and downs of parenting and living alone laced with more cheer than I typically felt. His e-mails were vague and mostly just let me know he was still alive and loving us from afar. You know the dance.

Then there were the e-mails about what souvenirs to buy. He suggested I might like a sundress. I fainted and then suggested that I might not like a sundress. He suggested art. I nodded yes. Art as in something between tschotskes and fine art. And he delivered. And I loved it and we were merry. We agreed that art was our favorite souvenir. We hugged and loved art and each other.

Now we are knee-deep in another deployment filled with the same flavored e-mails. Except there was no back and forth about souvenirs because we love art so art it would be. Art forevermore.

New art was bought. I know because I received this e-mail today.

Art purchased. $500 art. It is super awesome and I just couldn’t pass it up. I think you will love it. I’m sure I didn’t overspend for it, but I spent more than I thought I would. I think this is the sort of art that you base a room around. Maybe even a house. It’s that awesome. I really love it. I didn’t have a credit card or I would have used it. Try to use a credit card so that we don’t run out of cash in the account. I don’t expect to need more for a while. I know you will really like the art. It is oil on canvas of Buddha. You know I love Buddha! This is the kind of art that came with a fancy certificate.
Oh. Art to base a house around.I see.

Wait, no I don’t.

While Joe did a bang-up job getting some art in Australia, I have spent the hours post the ART e-mail in a state of concern and then shock and then hysterics. There are so many vital unanswered questions. This is a man who waxes poetic about video game graphics, ya’ll. For real.

What are Buddha’s dimensions? Does Buddha wear velvet? Is Buddha laminated? Does Buddha glow in the dark? Does he cuckoo at midnight?

I hate to even mention that we aren’t Buddhist because that seems irrelevant. And maybe irreverent. I mean I prefer Buddha over gaggles of other folks, I suppose. I must not love Buddha the way Joe does. But maybe that fancy certificate will win me over. Or maybe I’ll get busy with credit cards and surprise him with my own art. We could totally use a Karate Kid 2 poster above the kitchen table.


  1. The Buddha is in a sealed tube which I carry like a quiver…a quiver of enlightenment. I may have pretended it was a bazooka on several occasions during the ferry ride home, but I couldn’t resist imaginatively sinking the other ships in Hong Kong harbor…sinking them with enlightenment.

    It is also important to note that this item was a ‘new arrival’. When I first saw it I was afraid that the paint hadn’t even dried. It was lying on the work bench with no frame or mat or anything. It’s like God or Jesus or whoever Buddha followers believe in (maybe golden cows…I remember something about golden cows). Ok, ok…It’s like a golden cow willed the appearance of the painting as I stepped into the gallery. Praise be to golden cows!

  2. Joe, the kids may fight over the $500 Buddha and a huge ASS tv, but they sure won’t fight over the DUMB ASS Steelers video catalog you have amassed.

    Maybe the painting cost $500 because it’s Buddha in several different positions from the Kama Sutra–aesthetic and educational at the same time. Talk about irreverent!

  3. Joe – you had us at “new arrival”. If only we’d known sooner.

    From the quiver, imaginary victories and the cows…cannot imagine ANYthing funnier that I’ve read or heard in a very very long time.

    Oh how the Mere and Joe show is my new favorite show. Mere + Joe = hilarious!

  4. Hey, sounds like we all have great husbands who think of us while they are gone!! My husband went to Korea and brought back 2 shot glasses. However, we don’t drink. He thought it was a cute way to display where he has been and he didn’t want anything to remind him of the places because he called it “dirty”. He figured the shot glasses were at least washable!
    I’m sure the $500 budda painting is beautiful and I can’t wait to see it(let alone find out how big the thing is or isn’t!)

  5. Yes, being so very entertained by the mere and joe show – thank you for the giggles! reminds me how i looked forward to see what beautiful souvenirs Bob was going to bring back from his first TDY to Hawaii and turns out I was the recipient of a lovely hula skirt and coconut shell bikini top! men! gotta love ’em! 🙂 (btw, joe, you’re one up on bob – he happens to love the wooden fighting dragons carvings. i was lucky enough to talk him out of that one!

  6. Joe, my artsy yet manly husband,

    I plan to love Buddha. I might even want to see Buddha more than I want to see you. You understand.

    Can you give me a few more details? Is it a full-body portrait? A bust? Is he being Buddha-ish? And how will you carry it home?

    I picture it in a tube.

    I can’t wait.

  7. You guys… you are so funny. This should be an episode of a comedy show. I can’t wait to see the $500 Budda painting. Can I touch it? I might get a good luck. By the way, I look like one right now being 8.5 months pregnant.

  8. Joe, Joe, Special Joe ~
    There’s just SO much to say and yet not.
    Kaho is RIGHT! This IS an episode of a comedy show and I feel COMPLETELY special to have been able to watch it unfold last night. Truly was in dismay and hysterics right along with Mere.
    With baited breath we await the arrival of THE Buddha! No pressure Joe…but the entire island is waiting, watching.

  9. Listen…This art is not velvet. Not neon. And I steered away from the dragons fighting sorcerers wood carving. But if you expect that you will be pleasantly surprised. This is something our kids will fight over when we are dead. Well, this and my huge ASS TV!

  10. Oh my… laughing and laughing… reminds me of when I asked hubby to buy me batik in Thailand. He walked up to a souvenir place that had a “batik” sign out front and purchased a gift for me. He was so proud. When it arrived I openned it to find a velvet painting of Thai landscape. I figured it was a joke, but when he returned he inquired as to why it wasn’t framed and hanging. I got it framed the next day. Our husbands get so excited and we just get confused. 🙂

  11. oh mere . . . i will pitch in $20 for the entertainment alone brought on by this event. maybe we could take up a collection. on the bright side, i’m sure it is really lovely and will provide YEARS of great storytelling. now all you have to decide is what room it’s going to be. strictly buddha? historical figures? religious historical figures? remember that he taught life included suffering. i’m sure he didn’t mean to cause it for you though 🙁 sorry.