As you may know, this project took an unexpected turn after 3 trying weeks of “Family Travel” in Paris. Carting the Familyquins around in a foreign city that did not offer mannequin-friendly transportation, truly wore on me. I had bruises everywhere. I had worn out my welcome with friends and well wishers. I was more than sick and tired of my “family.”
I had spent all day on the last day in Paris, carefully wrapping them in bubble wrap and cardboard cartons (see photo below):
…all to send them back to the states safely. But when the UPS Man arrived and told me the true cost of sending them back…my jaw dropped. I could have duplicates made for half the price. So I decided then and there to abandon my husband in Paris. But keep my daughter since she was lighter and cheaper to ship.
I felt wild as I rolled my “husband’s” body on a hand truck down the streets of the Septieme neighborhood near the Eiffel Tower. I was going to leave him standing on a street corner, with none of the expensive clothing that I’d bought for him. Buck naked and vulnerable. Then I took pictures of it. It seemed a little cruel and a little crazy, considering the expense and trouble I had gone through to get him there. But really, I was giddy, and very happy to be leaving him behind. Perhaps, it was because I felt free, and weightless. Perhaps, I was done with the whole project. Perhaps, it was because, deep down, it felt like I was dumping the baggage of my mother’s generation. That guilt that I felt for living my life wrong. I didn’t really know. I just knew it felt good.
When I got home, my friends couldn’t believe I had done that. Was I nuts? After all that? Dumped him on a street corner? Was I done with the project? After 14 years! “Wow,” they said. I didn’t really know. I figured I would wait until I did know.
After reading a story about it in France24, a French News Publication, I realized that what I had done on my summer vacation was actually noteworthy to the French. Then, the Oslo Times ran the story. Then a Polish magazine did a story. I was kind of taken aback. It seemed that this weird photo project of mine, appealed to people. A lot of them. Sure, there was a “freak factor” to the story. Yet, I kept hearing from people who could totally relate to the pressure that I was struggling with. It actually struck a chord. Imagine that!
Then I started to think that I just couldn’t be done with the project. If it really was going to make a dent in the social pressure I wanted to change, then I needed to spread its message to a larger audience. It needed to keep going from place to place to place, until it might actually hit critical mass – enough to make at least a small impact in changing how we think as a culture, as many cultures, that all share a similar nature. That nature being, to raise the next generation as if it had the identical structure and beliefs as the last, which is fundamentally impossible at this time in history. The next generation has to adapt to a changing social landscape, yet they are still held to the standards and traditions of their parents.
Oh, I could go on and on, but my point is that I need to go on. So, after much consideration, I have decided, it’s time to get back with my “husband.” I plan to Renew our Vows, so to speak, before God, Man and the 6 O’Clock News, in a lavish photo and video shoot Ceremony in June of 2014. It will speak to the concept of Wedding as Fantasy Fulfillment, amongst other things. It will also be a very strange situation for a “Spinster” to find herself in. I can’t even imagine how this is going to feel, and I don’t want to try. But I’m sure that I’ll learn a few things about myself in the process of wedding, that I never thought I would.
Stay tuned. This is about to get really interesting.