These two ball-jointed mannequins were standing on a card table at a neighborhood yard sale, jammed between a Sunbeam mixer (with only one beater – what’s with that?) and a stack of old pie plates and bread pans.
I knew that I had to have them.
I shelled out five dollars for the pair and brought them home, scrubbed them up a bit.
They’re made of hardwood, are mounted on slender metal rods on solid, circular bases; they have precision joints for flexibility in positioning. They’re used in art classes for the study of the human body – they help students learn about correct scale and, if some strategic lighting is added, they provide dramatic demonstrations of shadow and form.
They’re supposedly well-proportioned (although I have to say that most people I know don’t quite measure up to this standard).
I put them in my living room, and nearly everybody who comes here seems to want to fool around with them – they’re apparently irresistible!
I first set them up in classic ballroom dance poses:
, maybe, or Fred
Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They looked wonderful together – his arm around her
waist, hers nearly on his shoulder (she can’t bend quite that much); their opposite arms extended, palms touching...
their feet poised for the first step of a Fox Trot. Vernon & Irene
I could almost hear Sinatra, or Benny Goodman.
And then one morning, after a night of good food and laughter with friends, I found him leaning against the wall of the bookcase, head down, her standing just behind, a comforting hand on his shoulder – hungover!
Another time, they ended up on the windowsill, looking out over the front lawn to the street.
It’s become a routine now: friends come over, twist them into all kinds of positions, move them around my house. I’ve found them kissing behind the coffee pot, on the bedside table in the guest room. Once they were on opposite sides of the living room, looking at each other – one peering from behind a lamp on an end table, the other from behind the television set.
Even my cleaning lady gets into the act occasionally, and I suspect she’s responsible for this last one...
I have no idea how long they’ve been waiting for me to notice them (probably since Wednesday, when she was here cleaning), but I nearly choked on my coffee this morning when I spotted them standing in the geraniums.
Adam and Eve, I thought instantly.
Geraniums are no Garden of Eden, to be sure, but it’s as close as you’re going to get in my house!