Colds and flu aren’t the only maladies this season. I swear I saw a good friend bolting from the local arts & crafts store, clearly stricken and near tears. I was tempted to stop her and ask what was wrong, but that would have simply added insult to injury.
We all know what was wrong. She needed something simple, perhaps some Christmas ribbon or a frame for a photo, and made the decision to brave Craft Central to find it. That can be dangerous any time of year, but just before the holidays, it is just asking for a beat-down.
If you are like I, and apparently, like this lovely friend, not terribly gifted in the make-it-yourself arena, just getting in and out of one of those places is like dodging demoralizing land mines. Actually, if it’s your very first visit, you will waltz out with at least two projects that the well-meaning people who work there will have convinced you can be done to perfection by any 2-year-old.
Things change once you have tackled either of those two projects, and ended up with some lumpy, crooked, tacky, half-baked creation you wouldn’t give to your least-favorite stranger. Most of us were raised around someone who loved this stuff and was good at it all. That’s the first pitfall, my optimistic friends.
My mother, for instance, was my well-intentioned flim-flam artist. She presumed that if she could do it, why just any ol’ gal could. She never really accepted that her own lil’ flesh-and-blood could not.
First it took me six months to finish the sequin-and-bead-covered apple my mother bought for me, and it still looked diseased. After I tore out the zipper for the third time in sewing class, I knew I had better find something else to fill the hobbies/interests section on future job applications.
My friend later confessed that she was fine until she had to stand in the viciously long, slow line at that store, staring at the cunning, clever displays of wreaths, floral arrangements and gingerbread houses. Don’t get me started on gingerbread houses. Yes, I make them. That is, I buy the pre-baked kit and decorate it with pre-made candy. I get the bends just looking at a recipe for honest-to-Betty Crocker gingerbread meant to be cut and built into a house. “What is a person to do when you know your gingerbread house will be condemned as blight upon completion,” my friend reasonably pointed out.
But that’s not my only cheat. They give you this bag of powdered icing that is supposed to double as glue. Oh please. Unless you are a genius chemistry major with nothing to do but sit around and watch icing dry, just set that hateful bag aside and grab your glue gun. I burn the heck out of my fingers, but the roof stays where I put it.
Just remind those greedy little children that the scrumptious creation is for decoration, not for consumption. Usually one or two bags of glue-free candy tends to satisfy them.
To those who whip out beautiful scrapbooks, divine baked goods and perfect gifts for all your friends, I salute you. You are the gifted ones and we truly admire you. Just be kind to those of us who have to make two batches of cookies because one inevitably burns. We are the ones who truly appreciate the talent and time that goes into any craft you present to us. We are your true fans, and we need three-dozen biscotti by Monday.
Filed Under: Small Talk