Right, don’t get me wrong. There are few places I love more ON THIS PLANET than Canadian Tire. Where else can you go to buy deer whistles, screwdrivers, auto paint, Valentine chocolates, and a tie for dad, all in one place. Oh, tires too. And Canadian Tire money? Don’t get me started on how awesome that is! Sandy McTire (the guy on the money) for prime minister. I mean, just LOOK how cheerful he is! He’s Santa in a tam. I LOVE Canadian Tire.
But I realized today that Canadian Tire is one of the most practical places you can imagine. Which is good and right. Just don’t take in headless Barbie dolls and expect to be looked at as a normal person. Which is what I now know.
The incident began like this. I have been popping heads off of thrift shop Barbie dolls. The heads have gone into a bubble gum machine. Like ya do. The bodies are being clothed and I’ve made new heads for them, which are clear blown glass bubbles. I am painting the inside of the glass bubbles “bubblegum pink” so that the glass, when attached to the Barbie bodies, will look like blown bubblegum bubbles. You know: now we’ve got gum-snapping bimbos. In brief, the project is about how we’ve been encouraged to look a certain way and how Completely. Stupid. that is.
(Above is the hotshop setup so I could blow the glass bubble heads. I’ve been taking headless Barbies to a lot of strange places they never thought they’d go – and to places where I never thought I’d be taking headless Barbies.)
So, I needed some of said “bubblegum pink” paint and where else should I go to get this but my local Canadian Tire. No problem. Canadian Tire carries paint and pretty much everything else I need except an actual glass hotshop so that I can complete this project. The “incident” occurred when the paint department clerk who was assisting me noticed the headless, naked Barbie in my shopping basket (which I had there so I could find and fit out a connector for it). So she asked about that because – I expect – that is a thing you might converse about out of curiosity. I gave her a standard low-key “oh I’m an artist” answer, but she seemed to want to know more. So I started to tell her about the whole project. It was when I got to, “… so the heads have all gone into a bubble gum machine”, that the rot set in. Her eyes grew concerned and she started to edge away. She said, “I guess I don’t get out much because I’ve never seen that.” Right, because I just made it. I replied, “No, you wouldn’t have seen that – it’s something I’ve put together … for this project … for which I’m purchasing pink paint.” Me, nodding reassuringly like it’s all going to be ok. She straight up – and I kid you not – turned her back on me and started fiddling with things on the counter. [Security! Crazy person in Aisle 3!!]
So, here’s what I realized at Canadian Tire today. Not everyone thinks deeply. Not everyone knows how. Probably many don’t like to because, let’s face it, it’s not always a comfortable thing. Many people, perhaps most, are content to live normal, calm, ordinary lives, untroubled by social issues outside of the spectrum of abused animals or hungry children in Africa. I do not have a problem with this. In fact, how lovely for them. I guess it just comes down to the simple fact that I’ve been immersed in the delightful company of deep-thinkers for so long that I have forgotten that the thinkers are a bit more rare. Not BETTER, understand me; just a little harder to find.
Therefore, thank you my pals in the arts and glass communities. Thank you, Facebook friends. Thank you, “followers” and those I “follow” on Instagram. Thank you, all you beautiful weirdos on Pinterest. How I newly appreciate that what you share feeds my soul and helps me to think deeply in such a way that the creative results are interesting to me. And, I hope, interesting to a few others – if only us artists. Just not Agnes at Canadian Tire …. she’s completely weirded out.
And that is all.