Thursday, February 12, 2009

My talents end at sniffing the glue.

I went to a Mormon baby shower last night, so of course I feel bad about myself now.

Grr.

Crafts.

Double grr.

Uh, maybe this excerpt from my last manuscript can best sum it up for me:

I turned the rock over and over in my hand. It wasn’t as pretty as I remembered it. And the dried up carnation was just an old, dead flower. And the dozens of scraps of paper? Clutter. Worse, it was emotional clutter.

“I want to show you something. It’s arts and crafts night,” I said. Sandy snorted. We both hate crafts. Not doing them together is another way we’ve bonded. I waved the rock at her.

“What are we doing with that?” she asked. “Stoning Jason’s pictures with it? Let the healing begin!”

“No. I told you, it’s craft time. I need a Sharpie.”

She jumped up and grabbed one from the junk drawer in the kitchen. “Make it quick, sister. You know it was my craft allergy that finally drove me from Relief Society,” she said as she handed it to me.

“No, I didn’t realize that. I thought it was existential angst.”

“And that.”


Yeah, that's an instant where my personal opinions most definitely informed those of my characters.

I'm mature enough to admit that all the kvetching I've done about crafts in my life (and it's a lot) is rooted in a deep sense of envy because I'm just not so good at the craft thing. You know, it's like at girl's camp when everyone braided those plastic lanyard key tag thingies, and I'm working away at mine, and then the stake YW president walks by and is all, "Oh, you're doing something abstract! How neat! You're such an individual, aren't you?" Then picks it up and turns it over and says, "Okay, so you're making a plastic giraffe, right?" And I nod but really? It was just a plastic key thing that went really, really wrong.

So when I go to these baby showers, it feeds my massive inferiority complex. When we used to have baby showers at work, I was a star because my ONE craft skill is crocheting and after HOURS and NIGHTS and WEEKS, I would give the mom-to-be their baby afghan of choice, chosen from my favorite pattern book. Oooh...aaaah...you're so talented, Melanie.

Then fast forward to any Mormon baby shower I've gone to EVER, and you know that's eleventy million, because hey, we're MORMON and love us some kids, and then I feel like a total loser because crocheting is basically remedial crafting. Say what you want about how the shower is about that growing baby. Whatever. It's a craft show.

I might still feel bitter and inferior.

*I can't discuss...you know. She-who-shall-not-be-named. T*****a. I wish AI had a number for voting people OFF. I think I'm going to get an aneurysm.

22 comments:

LisAway said...

If it's any consolation, I like crocheting more than most other crafts (I mean the finished product).

I'm not crafty, but I think it's mostly because it's just not my style (like I wouldn't have stuff with bows or anything like that in my house). At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Shellie said...

I use to be more crafty but it's getting less as I get older and more busier.

OH and I did look for medium beans at the store yesterday. I saw:

Small Lima Beans
and
Large Lima Beans

along with other small and large beans

but you are right no "medium beans"

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Ha, well, let me just say that crocheting actually rockets you up the craft-ability list and still leaves me in the basement. Now Sharpie crafts? That I can do. And you just never feel diminished at a baby shower; just remember that YOU don't have to push a watermelon out of your body soon and I'm sure you'll feel much better about yourself.

Luisa Perkins said...

You funny lady.

A good friend of mine once said, "Anything I can make in an hour is not something I want on permanent display in my house."

Come on over. I'll teach you to knit.

Debbie said...

It has been a while since I've been to a baby shower. And I've never had the pleasure of going to a Mormon one. But crafts? What is up with that. Maybe that is another fine difference in where you live. We eat, play stupid games, talk about our husbands, and eat again. Oh, and there are gifts.

Stephanie and Co. said...

For years at yw camp I struggled with crafts. I too did "abstract" in my efforts to make cute, and I always felt crappy about it. Then one day, when we were painting birdhouses, I said, "Screw it," and didn't even try to make it cute. I painted it bright yellow (everyone was using deep greens and blues) and then put garish purple dots all over it. Ugly as sin. I loved that birdhouse. It was very liberating.

Annette Lyon said...

See, and I think knitting is so much easier than croceting. Hate that thing. But give me a couple of needles, and I'm a happy girl.

(Great dialogue, by the way.)

kelberology 101 said...

creativity has many forms. And I prefer abstract. And if I could write like you I might just think about giving up all the other "crafts" together. Crocheting in not a craft for me-it's therapy. I may not be able to craft like mormon shower givers, but I could give you a better flu shot than all of them. Try living in a family of crafty sisters, again I prefer creativity and good writing. and by the way, come to a shower of mine and there will be no games and lots of good food! and you can admire all the crafts that are not in my house. Now I have to go make valentines for my kids school classes.

Kristina P. said...

Thi sis why I love Martha Stewart's line. It makes me feel crafy, when all I have to do is glue something on a line, and it looks like it took me hours to make.

I like to make others feel inferior with my Martha Stewart cratfy skills.

April said...

That's why I give Bumbo's at baby showers. People oohhh and awwww over them and forget about the craft!

And if I have to listen to Tatiana screech one more time I will be right beside you on the floor having a massive coronary!

Chris said...

I wish I could crochet! :)

Heidi Ashworth said...

Hey, I'll make you a deal. I'll be a lemming (b/c I really do enjoy reading your blog) if you would even give mine a flying chance. (I pretty much only read the blogs of people who read me b/c I'm ruthless like that.) It turns out we will be in Utah in April and will probably run into each other so let's cry pax and shake hands.

Keli said...

Ha ha ha, totally craft shows!

And I can't even crochet.

Kazzy said...

I am in deep craft trouble if crocheting is remedial, because I can't even do that! I have never ever been into crafting. I am a minimalist in this kind of stuff. No bows, no toll painting, no stenciling. And anything with little sayings... uh...

Emily said...

UGH! Tatiania is the WORST! She made the top of this list at www.votefortheworst.com!

charrette said...

I am truly the WORST at crafts. Which usually shocks people, since I am an artist. But they are polar opposite skill sets, I'm convinced. Case in point, this hilarious conversation between me and my bishop when we moved into our old ward:

B: I'd like to call you to be the Enrichment Leader

C: I'll serve wherever you want, but I'm not very good at crafts

B: But I thought you were an artist. Don't you do lots of artsy-craftsy stuff?

C: I am an artist. I'm a painter and a graphic designer. I don't really like artsy-craftsy stuff at all

B: What --You mean you don't like your JOB?

(I can't win. Nobody gets it. I don't even remotely let on that I crochet. That would only confuse people.)

So...Baby showers. Yes, I felt a little inferior that I didn't create the argyle-appliqued onesies or the vintage baby blankets, but using a credit card and shopping the sale racks are special skills I sport. So my presents still rock, as does my presence. :)

And I'm sure the reason they kept Tatiana for one more week was entirely because of the histrionics. So annoying! But they LOVE over-the-top drama!

charrette said...

Embarrassingly long comment -- sorry!

Lee of MWOB said...

Oh geez - I love your post title. That is totally ME. And please if you can crochet you can NOT consider yourself lame in the craft category. I can't even sew a button back on shirt. And if I could, would that even be considered a craft? Probably not.

All I can say is thank God I'm not Mormon 'cause I can't even pretend to be decent in one thing craft-related.

:-}

(I mean that in the nicest of ways I hope you know..)

Alison Wonderland said...

I don't even crochet.

Kimberly said...

My feelings 100% exactly. Freakily so, actually.

All I can do is cross-stich and crochet, and people outside the church are just amazed by me. In the church - I have to face "that look." Oh yes, that look that says, "What? You don't scrapbook? Or sew? Or paint? Or carve intricate ice sculptures?"

Sigh.

nevadanista said...

Hahaha! I loved this post. Yeah, I've suffered a few Mormon baby shower inferiority moments too.

Wouldn't it be so awesome if someone kneecapped she-who-shall-not-be-named a la Nancy Kerrigan?

Elizabeth said...

love this...

i'm not "crafty" either...but LOVE LOVE to crochet and pretty good at it even. :-) i baked cookies last week w/ some friends and they had all sorts of stamp stuff at the table to make valentine tags to go w/ each bag of cookies...it was way too overwhelming! and there were rules...yes rules about how to use the stamps!!!!!!