As is usual when I am within a half-mile radius of a TJ Maxx, I become pulled in to it's orbit. I hate those commercials, but I probably am (as I shamefully admit) a "Maxxinista." I have found many a good deal in the clearance racks of the TJ Maxx, and the opportunity for a good deal is hard for me to pass up.
The main problem with my love of the TJ Maxx is that Doug hates it there. Ultimately it's probably a good thing, because I spend far less time in there than I would on my own, but I feel guilty whenever I want to go Maxx it up, because it's always when Doug and I are together and he considers that place one layer of his living hell. He's a good sport about it and always says "take your time!" but we both know he doesn't really mean it.
On this particular visit, I did a whirlwind trip through the clearance section, tried on some stuff and then abandoned it. I then decided I should try to include Doug in my shopping so that he might have a positive trip at The Maxx, so I found him and dragged him back to the lamp section with the intention of looking for a lamp to put on the end table on my "side" of the couch.
The lamps were awful, but we were drawn into a random aisle and I began looking at bookends, which is a new obsession of mine, as I have an excess of bookshelf space (for the first time in my life!) at both home and work.
In the bookend aisle, we found the most amazing thing:
It's a bust of a random old creepy dude, over a foot and a half tall. We are pretty sure that it was supposed to go in the Halloween aisle (evidenced by the bat that is keeping his jacket closed) but our luck had it that he was just hanging out next to a sailboat and a big plastic horse.
I should probably mention that both Doug and I have a love of really weird tacky stuff. This isn't something we found out about each other early on, but became clear over time, to the point that we have said that if we ever get rich and have a big house, we will make a room into the Worst Stuff Ever Home Museum. To avoid this actually happening, we don't usually buy the
Then we decided we had to name him. After a few short hours, the perfect name came to me: Archibald.
Why is this perfect? Well, (a) he's bald. Secondly (b), it's an old fashioned name, for clearly an old fashioned dude. Third, and most importantly (c), the name has an Arkansas attachment.
I believe I've blogged about the weirdness of streets changing names around town. One block a street has one name, and another block it's a different name. We've got one (major) street that is called College Ave (though it becomes 'Thompson' once you cross the town border into neighboring Springdale) in the northern/central part of town, and School Ave in the southern part of town. In between those, the street curves twice, and the curvy part is called Archibald Yell:
It's kind of like the street grows up; starts out going to grade School, then it gets Yelled at a bunch, it goes to College, and eventually becomes the adult Mr. or Ms. Thompson.
In any case, Archibald Yell is a small but important part of Fayetteville geography. I like to call it "Taking the Yell" and almost every time we are on that stretch of road, I either just yell "Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" around the curves, or Doug, adopting a deep paternal voice, yells (as if he's chastising a child or employee) "Archibaaaaaaaaald!" It sounds stupid, but we have to find our amusement somewhere.
So our new housemate has been named after Archibald Yell. We love him. When it becomes winter, I might put hats on him to keep his head warm. Even Margot loves him; she confides all her secret hopes and dreams to him:
We will find a rightful place in our home for him, and he will be visible year round. To us, he's not a mere Halloween decoration. He's our Archie.