For the last 20 years, a print entitled, “End of the Alley” has been on display in my house. I fell in love with this picture, I think because it reminds me of a print my mom had when I was growing up.
Whatever the reason, I spent my birthday money on it some years back, and hung it in the most prominent location in my home: the wall behind the toilet.
Sidebar: I have this long-term goal of one day becoming a successful minimalist by eliminating one possession per day. Unfortunately for my online-shopping-self, it’s kind of a ‘one step forward, two steps backward’ process.
Anyway, my quest for simplicity finally led me to this 16×20. I love it dearly, but it is woefully dated and needs to go (much like that herb-laden wallpaper border in the kitchen. But that requires a stepstool and a boxcutter and two hours of my time, and I’d rather whine about it than strip it. But I digress.)
I took “The End of the Alley” off the wall behind the toilet and placed it in the Goodwill box.
A couple of days later my husband announced he was having urinary issues. “What’s the problem?” I asked, “UTI? Prostate? Asparagus? What?”
“Well,” he said, “for years I have been peeing at the ‘End of the Alley’ and now I don’t know where I’m supposed to go.”
Later, my son was generously helping me pack up the Goodwill box when he saw the frame and mourned the loss of the familiar picture that brightened our bathroom since he was in Pull-Ups. “Don’t you like it anymore, Mom? Cause I think it’s kinda cool.” And I admitted that I really do still like it, but the frame makes it look out of style.“Maybe I could reframe it and hang it in the bedroom.”
“You COULD reframe it,” he said, “but I wouldn’t advise hanging it in the bedroom. Dad may still try to pee at the ‘End of the Alley’.”
Good call, son. Good call.