01 July, 2008

Garden Gnomes

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.)


Anonymous said...

awwww...but hes a cute gnome.

Andy said...

I think "Enchantment for 279" is a band name, isn't it?

Either that or you've been watching too many Travelocity commercials... :)

Amalie said...

For shame, Joanne-- he is hardly a plastic lawn flamingo! He does look a bit hypnotizing, though...I've also almost bought one of those lovely Target gnomes several times, and now I may have to see what's on the clearance rack today!

Jean Martha said...

It's only tacky if you can't convince people that you're being ironic. ;)

The Fiance's Mother has such a hatred of gnomes...that we torture her with them. Remember when Target had all those Nick & Nora gnome pajamas? She got LOTS of them...from everyone...

Jennifer said...

what a cute little gnome! He needs a friend.

Lady Quilter said...

When Joanne put the little guy back on the shelf, I had to go looking for the tip of his hat. When I found it I gave Joanne a choice, buy the little guy or I was going to get another flamingo since I left my old one at the other house!! Bigger too! It would look "so cute" on the front lawn!! . . . Joanne bought the gnome! :)
They don't call me "Evil Momlady" for nothing! :)

Sparkle Plenty said...

Lady Quilter ROCKS!

That gnome is such a canny-looking little fellow. He kinda looks like this guy who works in the small-town hardware store near me.

Joanne said...

just cool design blog--Thanks for stopping by! I visited your site and followed the link to the monoface; that was 15 minutes of fun!

andy--You know, I Googled "Enchantment for 279" just to see what would come up, and found a book: Sweet Enchantment (Second Chance at Love, No 279). Weird, eh?

amalie--confession time; I actually do have a flamingo lawn ornament, although it's in the garage at the moment. Mom brought it back from North Carolina, where a local artist had carved it from reclaimed wood from a pier. But at least it's not plastic.

ILU--We can only truly torture the ones we love. I hope she wore them!

Jennifer--Let's not get carried away, now...

Sparkle Plenty--That's just what I mean. He looks too real to be just a plastic gnome.

us said...

I support you.

Beag Óg Bramblefoot said...

Why wouldn't you be convinced he's real? Why wouldn't he have an attachment to you after you fixed his hat?

Joanne said...

Thanks, Hallie!

Beag Óg Bramblefoot: Tá an-athás orm bualadh leat! I have to admit, I do find myself chatting with the wee fellow when I'm working in the garden.