I promised myself I wouldn't do it. Not in a million years. I was not going to succumb and get one for the garden; no way, no how. They're tacky.
But I did it. I done bought me a garden gnome. Sheesh. I might as well invest in a flamingo lawn ornament.
To be fair, I think I was bewitched.
I was in the garden center at Target a few weeks back, and there was a whole box of them. Some were carrying little Amanita muscaria mushrooms, the classic red fairy tale mushroom with the white spots. Others carried shovels or watering cans. They were only three inches tall, with stakes on the base to stick in your potted plants.
Before I could make my way past them to the aisle with the fire pits and tiki torches, one of the gnomes caught my eye. He had a knowing expression, an intelligence behind those painted eyes. Sitting in a pile of simpering, dopey-faced gnome kin, he looked up at me and I swear he could read my mind.
You know you want me.
I picked him up. "Look at this guy," I said to my mom.
"He's kinda creepy. I don't think that's a lawn ornament. He looks too real, like a shrunken little man." (This is why I love my mom. She's goofier than I am about this stuff.)
"Okay, I'll get him," I said against my better judgment. What if he was some enchanted little creature? "He's only $2.79."
So I proceeded on to the fire pits, holding him by the stake end and swinging him back and forth.
"Sugar," I said as I dropped him. The little tip of his hat chipped right off. "I'm not buying him now." If it was a mom and pop shop, I'd feel guilty for breaking the merchandise like that. But not here. I stuck him back in the display stand.
And he stood there, bland little smile on his face, reproaching me.
"I found the tip of his hat," Mom said.
"Well, hell." For some reason, I couldn't leave the enchanted little thing on the shelf, staring up at me like that. "I'll still take him. It's a clean break, I can glue the hat together." And when I got to the register, I asked for a discount "because it's broken." Ballsy? Yes, perhaps.
So now I have a garden gnome, when I swore I wouldn't, and I'm half convinced the thing is real. (Even though I know it's my mom who occasionally moves him to a different pot in an attempt to freak me out.)