I know a Chinese man named Fred. He is a good friend.
When Fred goes to China, he brings me back some really interesting gifts. A couple of years ago, he brought me an antique opium pipe.
Now I've never had the occasion to use this pipe, but if you happen to have some opium laying around, I would smoke it.
Years ago, I saw a movie called "Indochine" with Catherine Deneuve and I loved it. She smoked opium in the film and it looked like something I would like a lot. I told my doctor I wanted to smoke opium before I died and he laughed. He said he had tried it when he was very young and it made him very sick. I don't think it would make me sick, and I'd take the risk.
Fred also brought me a 100 year Chinese calendar. It's the round piece on the table with the pipe. The other object is a lamp and it's not Chinese or old either. I think we got it from Lamps Plus.
I love getting gifts that are really unique. Still, people give me a lot of things and I feel obligated to keep them even when they are a little on the squirrely side. I finally told Alex yesterday I was going to clear out some of the "clutter" because you can get carried away with clutter.
My mother was a great collector of "pretty things". She at one point had about 30 little objects on top of her toilet tank. Now lest you think she had the "pretties" sitting on the porcelain tank she did not. They were on the toilet tank cover which matched the fluffy blue toilet seat cover.
Mom was never a fastidious housekeeper. These little objects were never dusted or even noticed by her year after year. I think people gave her pretty little things and she couldn't figure out what to do with them so she stuck them on the toilet tank. Bless her heart.
I used to shudder when I would do a little housework for her after she was older and in poor health. I would suggest from time to time that we "ix-nay" (pig-latin for "nix") some of the arty little objects but she wouldn't hear of it.
Several years ago, a friend gave me a little statue of Mary with a lamb. I mean the holy Mary, not the "Mary had a little lamb", Mary. Well, my friend didn't realize that I am not religious in the slightest and that a statue of Mary with a lamb might not be the perfect thing for me. Since I could not throw it away, I put it in the bathroom.
I woke up after about 5 years and really noticed that religious statue sitting on my toilet tank (not with a fluffy tank cover either) and I was horrified. I took the holy Mary and tossed her. Yeah, I felt guilty, but it had to be done.
Today I went through several rooms in the house and tossed some things that I had received as gifts. They are simply not my taste. And they were pretty much butt ugly things.
Oh, I'm keeping my opium pipe though. You never know.