The Walking Gingerdead

Last week was my second week of SAHMness. And even though, I was technically still working my last week of regular hours for my permalaance, I considered myself full-fledged SAHM. AND I WAS GOING TO WIN!

So, on Tuesday, Ellis and I made trips to stores that normally give me panic attacks. Michael’s and Joann’s. But hey, I’m a SAHM now. We ladies have powers that make us impervious to aisles of ribbon. So, I soldiered in there pretending to care about the difference between normal paper and acid-free paper, and we bought crap like Popsicle sticks and modge podge so we could be amazing and crafty and make Christmas mother freaking magic.

I want to explain something to you. I’m not crafty. I mean, I can DIY the spleen out of a living room. But  gluing together beads and mason jars so you can put them on your mantle? It makes me twitchy and morose. Its the same feeling I have when someone at a party yells, “TIME TO PLAY GAMES!” Um, the hell I am.  Crafts are the same. Why should I spent my time gluing things together when I could read this book, or look, Vincent D’Ornofrio is solving crime and also, wine.

But I was the girl in High School who cried because she got a 99.9% when she wanted a 100%. Despite years of therapy, I still felt like I had to glue all the things and win at all the crafts.

By Thursday night, my fingers were scarred with hot glue burns and my dining room was a disaster. Dave came home to me swearing under my breath as I glued candy to Styrofoam. “What are you doing?”

“I’m making this Christmas wreath magical.”

“Why?”

“BECAUSE I AM A MOM AND THIS IS WHAT WE DO!”

“You can just put the glue gun down and walk away.”

“NO! I may be a crappy crafter, but I am not a quitter.”

“Can you eat that candy?”

I shook my head. “No. I thought it would be lovely. But now it’s just a symbol of first world excess. But I’m in too deep.”

I stuck it out. I had miracles to create and a toddler party to festoon. Friday night, I started baking, cookies on a stick, gingerbread men on a stick, and I was going to cut pizza dough in the shape of snowmen for lunch. I was going to make it rain Christmas for those babies.

Dave wandered into the kitchen at 11pm. “You can quit now.”

“I have to make the pizza look like snowmen.”

“Did you ever consider not doing that?”

“Well…” I actually hadn’t

I looked around the kitchen. My cookies on a stick look like they’d been pooped out by a snowman and my gingerbread men were now the walking gingerdead, so I threw in the towel. And this is what all those years of therapy were good for. This moment, when I looked at myself sinking in disaster, and sprinkles and glue, and I quit.

Just because I see it on Pinterest doesn’t mean I should make it. Just because I know someone who knows how to turn oranges into magical little pumpkins with Jello, doesn’t mean I should. Crafts are a gift. They are a talent. It’s like being skinny, sure we can do some things to help ourselves get there, but at some point you are at the mercy of your priorities, your genetics and a ready supply of booze. Also, Cheetos.

I told a friend about my craft freak out. “Step away from Pinterest!” She said. “Why haven’t you learned yet? What tube of glitter has to die for you to realize that this is not for you?”

And I’m sure there is a lesson here about wisdom and being yourself and loving who you are. But all I really learned is that the next time I have a party for babies they get Oreos and Little Ceasar’s. Because when it comes to motherhood, there are no winners and no losers, there is no grade. There is only the happy and the ones who are sobbing on their floor at midnight because the hot glue gun is an evil Benedict Arnold.

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