Gettin' Crafty

One of the most important things I know about myself is that I am a creative person, but I am not a crafty person. 


Some people can pick up a pair of scissors and a piece of construction paper and turn it into something fabulous and original.  I can pick up a pair of scissors and a piece of construction paper and turn it into a piece of construction paper with uneven fringe along the edges. 


At my childrens’ school, I’m on a committee that hosts a monthly “appreciation” luncheon for the faculty and staff.   I am allowed to draft the e-vites and transfer the food onto serving platters.  I am not allowed to decorate the table.   Further, due to my illegible handwriting, I am also not allowed to label the Chinese take-out containers filled with leftovers that we give the teachers to take home with them.


This is why, as a mother, I dread Halloween.  Every year, my children think up elaborate, clever costumes that require sewing and vision and craftiness and beg me to make them.  And every year, I end up talking them out of it and buying them something out of the Costume Express catalogue.  At the costume parade at school every Halloween, I see them looking longingly at the kids who have brilliant, perfectly-fitting, homemade costumes, while they struggle not to trip on the cheap, polyester getups that I’ve had to safety pin in twelve different places just to get them to stay on.   I truly never feel more inadequate as a woman than I do each year on October 31st.


Last Halloween, however, my children both wanted to be sheet ghosts.  When I went online to see where I could buy a sheet ghost costume, my daughter put her hands on her hips and gave me a "you-are-pathetic" stare. "It’s a sheet ghost, Mom," she said.  "You have to make it.  From a sheet."  


I could see that it was a test.  First of all, there’s never been a time in the history of their existence when they both wanted to do the same thing, let alone be the same thing for Halloween.  Second of all, my son was a ninja for three straight years in a row and was, at the time, obsessed with Pokemon.  Yet he just coincidentally wanted to be a sheet ghost for Halloween?  I couldn’t even imagine what she bribed him with to get him to go along, but it must have been really good.  Third, I could tell that they didn’t think I could pull it off.  So of course, I had to prove to them that I could.


We went to Jo-Ann Fabric (points for me for even knowing a crafty place like that exists) and we picked out a white, satin-ish fabric.  I carried the bolt (I know it’s called that because I watch Project Runway) to the front desk and the woman asked me how many yards I needed.  I, of course, had no freaking idea how many yards I needed, but I wasn’t about to let my kids know that.