A Scintillating Stamp of Professional Approval

For my third recovery birthday, my brilliant friend Tod gave me a card of one of his paintings, and in gratitude I ran off in search of the perfect picture frame:

tb chairs 2
The upholstery matches the upholstery.

As you can tell from the radioactive, mutant-green wall, the card ended up in my office, where it immediately stole focus, because it was the only innocuously work-approriate piece of art on display. In contrast, everything else looked… not gaudy, exactly, but like it was trying too hard to make a statement when there was really nothing to be said.

It was time, I realized, to start treating my office like an actual workspace, and not like (as my ex used to call it) a “white trash Pagan temple.” Making a valiant attempt at objectivity, I began pulling decorations that felt in any way over the top. The cauldron and the skull pillow were the first to go, followed by the Poseidon bottle and, with sad reluctance, the vagina bird. The place definitely looked a lot more like an office and less like an occult shop from the 1980s, but it also looked (at least to my eyes) a little colorless and drained of personality, even with the giant, affected Mona Lisa that was here long before I was.

I needed replacement ornamentation, but I needed it to be professional. I needed it to say, “I am salaried and keep my religious beliefs to myself.” I needed it to cost next to nothing and come with free shipping.

And I found it:

Click to see life-sized. Totally worth it.

I’ve been trying to get a better picture of it, but I just can’t capture how blinding the lettering is — seriously, it’s like it physically emits concentrated awesomeness. Alan walked into my office right after I’d put it up and was all, “Oh holy God. I can’t look directly at that.” And I was like, “I know! It’s vintage. Isn’t it wonderfully hideous?”

“No,” he replied. “Just hideous.”

Then my boss walked in and shielded her eyes and asked, “Is that… pink? Or… orange? Or… what color is that?”

And that’s how you know you’ve arrived: When your titles and qualifications can literally dazzle your colleagues. I’m sure a diploma or an award or something would have made an impact as well, but this particular plaque sums up my accomplishments perfectly, in that I sent $80 to the State of Texas, and they sent me back a stamp with my name on it.

My next mission is to find a matching sign that reads, “I Got Ordained Online.” But, y’know, I’ll probably keep that one at home.

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