The poster

Last Sunday, I decided that I would finally get started on decorating my room. I’ve been meaning to do this since last Christmas, when my boyfriend got me a gift certificate to Home Depot. Yes, my room looked that bad.

I didn’t want a piece of generic art. Warhol knockoffs were out of the picture. No hypnotic paintings of Campbell’s soup, no Marilyn Monroe in technicolor, thank you. I also wanted nothing to do with anything remotely related to James Dean. Too many kids in college had that one James Dean poster that said ‘Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today,’ which ultimately gave them an excuse to inhale multiple bottles of bottom shelf vodka and attend naked foam parties. No need to relive that.

I did want something unique. And, I wanted to establish my room as ‘grown up,’ since it does happen to be the same room I learned my times tables in. I wanted people to walk in and say, ‘Gee, this is a far cry from when she had the 7 life size posters of Leonardo DiCaprio plastered on her wall.’

So, like any budding interior designer, I made a visit to the internet. Google Suggest tells me that my searches looked something like this:

  • cool hipster posters
  • new artist designs
  • edgy posters
  • cool urban posters
  • vintage art

You can imagine the things that came up. It ranged from pictures of graffiti to people getting their heads bashed in on an urban sidewalk to vintage porn. After that, I put safe search on my computer.

Then I found it. It was perfect. A simple design – muted, yet strong and bold at the same time. And the language – how mysterious. ‘This is No Ordinary Love.’ That could mean anything – romantic love, love for friends, my family, for good pho. This was it. This was what I was going to hang in my room. Using Snag It, I copied the image and saved it on my handy USB drive.

At Kinko’s, my conversation with the clerk went something like this:

Me: ‘Hi, I’d like to take this image and blow it up into a poster.’

Kinko’s Guy: ‘OK. What size poster?’

Me: ’20×30.’

Kinko’s Guy: ‘This image is 1×2.’

Me: ‘So?’

Distraught, but not interested in having the design of my dreams mutilated into a pixelated monstrosity, I tried plan B. I emailed the artist.

Dear Jonathan,

I found your design on and I absolutely love it! Is there a place I can purchase this as a poster?


My new friend Jonathan let me know that it would be far too costly for him to print, frame, and mail the poster, so he just sent me a larger file. In awe of this artistic stranger’s kindness, I leaned over in my swivel chair at work to tell my coworker of my good luck. He was not as excited as I was. Rather, he was confused.

Chris: ‘Why does that silhouette of a girl have a large red dot between her legs?’

Me: ‘I don’t know, it’s part of the design?’

Chris, obviously skeptical: ‘OK…’

Slightly insulted that Chris was not as enthusiastic as I was, I pinged my designer friend Steven, also known as Esteban. ‘Esteban! Do you think this red dot between this girl figure’s legs is weird?’

Esteban: ‘Yes, that’s what I was trying to tell you at Kinko’s.’

Me: ‘I just thought the poster wasn’t artsy enough for you.’

Esteban: ‘It’s not that. Did you read the text below the images?’

Me: ‘Absolutely not.’

Esteban: ‘You probably should…’ It’s never a good sign when your usually grammatically correct friend starts using excessive ellipses.

Here it was:

Of all the posters on the internet, I had chosen a tranny poster. A poster for transvestite rights to hang in the childhood bedroom of my parents’ house. I’m not ashamed of the poster, but am a tad embarrassed that it’s been confirmed that I really do pay zero attention to detail. But, I don’t care. This is a sweet poster, and it’s going in my room. Hide yo kids, Hide yo wife.



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