Monday, June 30, 2008
Okay, check out this list and tell me, what do these 15 gentlemen have in common?
Stumped? Okay, their pictures all appear on the walls of my 25-year-old daughter’s cubicle at Kohl’s, where she works in the ecommerce department. Clearly age is not a factor in her mind, nor is race, creed or color. Young and old, chefs and second basemen, noses big or small, these guys all serve together as Manzi’s décor of choice.
She is quite new at Kohl’s and enjoys when other employees are brought to her cube to be introduced to her, especially the females. They try to keep their eyes on hers politely, but invariably the “art” is too distracting and they are forced to check out who they might spot on her walls. “You have the Daniels!” exclaimed one visitor. Nice.
Not all workplaces are suitable for this sort of hobby, but it hasn’t been that long since I kept an array of male faces under the plastic mat on my desktop. I had a job once where I had a lot of cabinets, and I stuck dozens of photos of Sting on the inside of the cabinet doors. Nowadays, being a mature 51-year-old Marketing Communications Specialist, I tastefully limit my face displays to computer wallpaper (I’ve made some dandy ones of Kerry Wood, Neil Gaiman, and Les Stroud recently).
Years ago at our last house, I kept a “Mini Sports Hall of Fame” on the inside of the pantry door. I recall it included Wayne Gretzky, hockey goalie Ed Belfour, Eric Kramer of the Chicago Bears, the Brewers’ Paul Molitor, triathlete Mark Allen, and even sports announcer Bob Costas. Of course the ultimate expression of this sort of thing in the sports genre is card collecting, and I used to pour for hours over my collection of hockey cards, trying not to drool on the more valuable ones.
In my opinion, the best male décor is, like Manzi’s, eclectic in nature. Variety is the spice of life and all that. One room can really make a statement if you combine, say, a bit of Josh Holloway here, some Anthony Hopkins there, and over there, a nice Chow Yun-Fat. Of course, keeping to a single theme can be fun too: I can see designing a space that includes all “Love Actually” men: Rodrigo Santoro, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, etc.
Well, if I have any point today it’s that I don’t think a woman of any age should feel embarrassed or shy about male décor. Beauty is to be celebrated, savored, and treasured in all its forms, and that goes for Elijah Wood’s eyes, Hugh Jackman’s smile, and yes, Manzi, Adrian Brody’s nose.