Funerary Relief Bust Lament

I took my daughter and her friend downtown today, hoping to catch some remnant of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. But there was none. Day before, my daughter and I braved the steady (and pelting rain) for a few short hours. We gave up on the parade, but managed to shop the merchandise along Pennsylvania Ave. I bought her a kimono jacket and trinkets.

But, today, cars rather than merchants filled Pennsylvania Ave. So we continued the walk up 12th Street to the National Mall. For young girls the mall means someplace to shop, so I explained the difference of this Mall. I have yet to break my daughter of calling the Washington Monument, which flanks one end of the Mall, the “big pointy thing”. 

I wasn’t about to let go the girls’ looked-forward-to Asian experience, so we walked over to the Smithsonian’s Freer & Sackler Galleries. I knew the museums kept permanent art exhibits from China and Japan. While the girls delighted in the galleries, the gift shops captured their bigger—as in much bigger—interest.

The galleries contained amazing, centuries-old artifacts, but (sigh) shopping took precedence. If I wanted them to shop, we could have gone to a shopping mall. I don’t begrudge their purchases (I paid for them). Nevertheless, I still lamented over the funerary relief bust from the Roman Empire (circa 231).

As a kid, I delighted in the past and the wonder of what came before us. With little appreciation beyond the present, girls just want to shop. Maybe Pink is right about “Stupid Girls“.