Posts Tagged ‘tacky’
I’ve really been enjoying some of the names of things I’ve seen lately. It’s spring and my friend Alex is a rose expert. Give him tulips or daffodils and he looks at you the way any man would. But give him roses and he’ll start talking about bare root season, organic ways to get rid of aphids, and planting only within color families. The man knows a Mr. Lincoln is a bold red, a JFK is bright white and a Barbara Streisand is a soft purple. What he was surprised to find this season was a new climbing rose in pale yellow called “Golden Showers”.
He and I laughed about that, imagining old ladies in their gardens waxing poetic about their Golden Showers. People really should think before they title things. Then again, maybe they meant it. Alex is already threatening a hybrid rose of his own. He’s debating calling it a “Dirty Sanchez” or a “Cosby Sweater”.
There are a ton of useless or tacky things you can buy, either online or from catalogs. Doesn’t every dog need steps to get up on the bed? Every dog trainer I know says dogs shouldn’t be on the bed, so buying steps to help your arthritic friend do something he shouldn’t do anyway seems to be a waste of money. I always wonder about these poor dogs who use the steps to get up but aren’t agile enough to save themselves should they get bumped or frightened. Then they fall, mercilessly, to the hard floor. Aren’t you glad you got the steps now?
There’s always some old lady out there, thinking she and her friends are God’s designated judges of good taste. And the words out of her mouth are almost always “That’s just tacky.”
But what is tacky, really? And why does tackiness change with the region of the country?
Think about it, in Florida there are lawn flamingos. Pink birds, often with whirligig arms that do nothing but look . . . well, tacky. These often go hand in hand with the sofa on the front porch and maybe a car up on cinderblocks. Well you need something to look at from your Lanai. (That’s Floridian for what the rest of us call a screened-in porch.)
If you go to the Midwest, they have cows. Fake ones. Sometimes these are clearly something an enterprising soul cut from plywood and just painted up. Sometimes these are life-size, life-like reproductions, done well enough to make you turn your head as you drive by and ask yourself “Was there a cow just hanging out in that front yard?” It’s always disappointing when you realize you’ve been had.