Sometimes I miss being in Dallas where, on a whim, I could pick any Dollar Store and peruse the porcelain-packed shelves for decorative objects d’art. Whatever the item is- a vase like this one, a jewelry box, a pitcher, or any of the many other such “must have” items on display- there are common characteristics of the Jesuses enameled to their sides. Let’s list three:
1. Jesus is always shiny. Very shiny.
2. Jesus always has golden hair.Perhaps this is a stereotyping faux pas being made by the Chinese workers who laboriously dot these creations all day with paint. They’re all being shipped to America, after all, and doesn’t everyone there have blond hair and look the same?
3. The paint-dotting always- always!- includes blue dots on the eyes and bright, cherry red dots on the lips, giving Jesus a very “Come hither” look. I don’t know whether this says something about the dot-painters themselves, or about their further stereotypes of the intended market for these trinkets. But it is very queer.
On aisle 6, one can find BVM night lights and Holy Family flyswatters. But it is the porcelain- formed and fired, shimmering in its decorative declass- that keeps me coming back. Row upon row upon row of semi-sacred icons just waiting to fill that special niche over the kitchen sink between the gallon jug of Sunshine Dishwashing fluid (aisle 5) and Bobby’s “Good Sportsmanship” Soccer trophy.
(Thank you again, Jesus of the Week (always a risky click!)