La Vie Boheme

In Lifestyle on September 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Bohemian Mona Lisa (Wm. Adolphe Bouguereau)

“…(T)he word bohemian first appeared in the English language in the 19th century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through free love, frugality, and voluntary poverty.”

                                                            [Wikipedia definition of “bohemian(ism)”]

Wikipedia enjoys its special status of being the bohemian encyclopedia.  One quotes Wikipedia in any truly scholarly work at one’s academic peril.  That said, I find Wikipedia’s summary definition of “bohemian” succinct and vivid.

It is also the definition of Phyne Dyning.

As the Obamonomics economy sputters and fails (and the equally evil Republicans have less of a clue), more and more people are discovering the joys of bohemianism…albeit their discovery is often absent of choice.

There is a whole interior design school based on repurposed home items and furnishings.

For example, taller legs get put on a battered coffee table and the table is repurposed as a sofa table.  Or, legs are put on shelving units or they are hung on walls.  Or (even), the table gets hung on the wall as a shelf!

In short, it is making old stuff new again.

But Phyne Dyning/bohemianism is not limited to décor.  It is an entire lifestyle.  After all, to park one’s late-model yuppiemobile outside of a home that has been scrupulously decorated in the bohemian style is the poser’s betrayal of bohemianism.

You have to “walk the walk”.

My neighbor, who had bought my snow blower, dropped by the other day.  He and his family are discovering bohemianism.  His company decided he was no longer needed and he had been working two subsistence jobs to keep his two leased vehicles and pay the mortgage.

He had finally reached the end of his auto leases and returned the cars in mid-summer.  In return he got…


The poor sod actually believed he would get some money back for the returned, leased cars!  He spent the next two days in a real rented car, plying used car lots.  He settled for a “Bohemia-Vagon”, painted in trademark “primer grey”.

I was in the driveway, working on my own (white and primer) Bohemia-Vagon (the truck known as, “The Yom Kippur Klipper”) when he stopped by.

“Hey” he said, “Do you think you’d be interested in buying that snow blower you sold me?”  It turned out my favorite neighbor was moving out of his home and into a small apartment that would be hundreds cheaper per month.

Coincidentally, I had begun to grouse the day previously about selling the machine and then having circumstances (again!) delay our departure for warmer climes.

“I’ll let you have it for $250 less than I paid.  And, I never even got a chance to use it.”  His face had the look of a child who had awakened to find the lost tooth still under the pillow.

“Deal!” I said.  “I’ll even come by to pick it up.”

He smiled sadly.

Our conversation drifted to cars.  I explained that I was overhauling the “EGR system” on the Klipper.  Then, I would return to sanding off the peeling paint, applying a bit more primer, and the (perhaps) even a new, white topcoat.

“I guess you saw my new ride?” he asked quietly.

“Sure did.  Nice!”

He began to mumble a bit about how he missed the heated seats of his leased car when I stopped him.

“So, how much are your payments?”

He looked puzzled.  My question was as impolite as if I had asked whether or not he washed his hands after using the toilet.

“Um, zero.”  He smiled self-consciously.

I grinned back.  “Pretty cool, huh?”

I wiped my dirty hands on a shop towel and invited him in for a quick (morning) beer.  He looked both shocked and grateful.

We ambled inside for the beers and I laughed out loud as he took in our décor, which can only be described as “Western American/Lebanese Whorehouse”.  Our ancient greyhound “Jack” hobbled to our guest and sniffed his crotch, while the younger hound, “Adi”, loudly thumped her tail on the wall.

Fresh out of beer (I rarely keep the stuff.) I offered my guest a glass of jugged red wine and Mrs. PD set out a baguette and plates of olive oil.

We munched our bread and sipped the wine as I welcomed him to the lifestyle.


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