Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A few days ago, I gave in to that overwhelming human desire. I did something just because everyone else was. I just wanted to be like all the cool kids. It worked out for me about like dancing in public did. And trying to have straight hair. And wearing a do rag. And buying the corduroy purse with the fuzzy trim.
Sometimes when I try to be like the cool kids, I eventually figure out how to blend in. But it's never without lots of work. The decision to give up or trudge forward through the humiliation of fitting in is typically correlates to the cost. For example, dancing in public, the only hope for me would be to take lessons. Lots and lots of lesssons. That costs lots and lots of money so, instead, I choose to sit at a table and talk. Trying to have straight hair, that requires a lot of time and I'm not a foo-foo girl so I go curly. As much as I'd like to forget the do-rag, it was from the dollar store so heckling from my family made that an easy one to give up. And the purse with the fuzzy trim, garage sale. The look of horror on their faces when I brought it home cued me in to what lay in store for me if I dared to carry it outside the house again in anything other than a donation box. Not worth $3.
The decision to try and blend comes with things like decorating my kids' birthday cakes. I've always admired mothers who create unforgettable birthday parties with hand-crafted banners and pretty little party favors. I have boys and boys don't care about hand-crafted banners and pretty little party favors. But my tooshie parked in a La-Z-Boy chair the entire first year of Caelan's life, rocking him while I watched every episode of Martha Stewart ever produced, the holes in my day filled with crafting and cooking shows on TLC only fed my need to find my gimmick to fitting in with the cool party-throwing moms. I wanted people to "Oooh!" and "Ahhhh!" like I do when I see those pretty parties. But I wanted the "Ooohs!" and "Ahhhs!" to come from my kids.
My focus became a cake coordinating with a theme, something the kids are passionate about at the time. If you go into a bakery and ask for, say, a cake shaped like a raccoon, that can be pretty expensive. So even though I humiliated myself with the Farmhouse cake incident (the off the chart level of praise over the wonderful flavor of my Betty Crocker cake mix birthday cake let me know I needed a little practice), I eventually got to where I could make a not-even-close-to-perfect-yet-very-identifiable raccoon shaped cake. No one wanted to eat it because they said it felt like I was serving roadkill. But it was what my kid wanted and it saved me money. If I would have been smart, I would have made a big tire track over the top of it and called the uneven parts of the cake intentional.
I've gotten good at knowing my limitations, able to quickly size something up and know whether I have a chance at blending with the cool kids or not. But I somehow allowed myself to get sucked into the Glimmer Mist craze. And it wasn't pretty.
Unfortuantely, my zeal for being cool clouded my judgement. I started an assignment, with a fabulous image of the finished project in my head, the day before it was due. The results were so bad I contemplated having Will come spray a few squirts on it so if anyone happened to find it in our trash, I could say, "Oh, ha, ha! Will and I were playing around and I wanted him to feel really good about his part so I made it look like that on purpose." Instead I just licked my wounds and buckled down on a replacement project which I ended up turning in late.
I'm going to have spend a lot of time learning to blend with the cool kids on this one. It's not one I give up on. I have $30 invested here! I'm starting small this time. I made this little project.
Then I got cocky and decided to take it one step further.
My motto on this one is a quote by Charles Spurgeon.
By perseverance the snail reached the ark.