Thursday, October 29, 2009
I should not have been there and I knew it. But I wandered over to the magazine section just to take a peek, because I was curious. "It's a trap," I heard a voice say, "don't do it."
I ignored the voice, picked up the October special issue of Family Fun magazine, whipped it open and rapidly scanned the pages. With one look I was impressed with the clever cupcakes and the creative crafts and my mind began to race with possibilities. Ohhh, milk jug ghost luminaries. I can do that! Mummies fashioned from craft sticks, craft spoons, wire snips, muslin, glue and googly eyes. Easy! Would you like to know how to turn your entire house into a House O' Lantern with strategically cut and placed paper in the windows? Why yes, I would. And what's this? Oranges hollowed out, cut like jack o' lanterns and filled with fruit salad. Thematic AND healthy. I continued to turn pages and marveled at the enormous amount of ideas presented to me.
Jackpot. All the crafts and recipes I would need to make our Halloween party a smashing success were right here, in one nifty magazine. I placed it in my cart and headed toward the craft section to score supplies for those mummies. And then that little voice inside my head said, "Have you lost your mind? Put that magazine back right now. You know better than this." And the voice was right. Because the voice recalled the night I frosted and re-frosted a cake three times until it was "perfect". The voice also remembered the time I wasted hours trying to make my own mummy costume but abandoned the idea once I realized I looked less like a frightful mummy and more like the Michelin Man. And the voice remembered that I have painstakingly removed certain colors from a container of multi-colored sprinkles because they didn't go with my theme. The voice reminded me that when I get these grand ideas I also get grandly stressed because they don't always work out. Oh the voice knows me too well.
It's not that I'm opposed to arts and crafts and clever concoctions, it's just that I have to set limits for myself. I'm not knocking Family Fun magazine at all. With their help I made a space shuttle cake for Jake's 7th birthday that was out of this world. Pun intended. I'm simply saying that sometimes what women see in magazines can make them feel bad about themselves and that's what happens to me if I stare too long at creativity on parade. Plus all those smiling children in the photos, so happy, living it up because their mommies made cool snacks and crafty crafts. The pressure, the trap.
I put the magazine back on the shelf and held my head high on the way to check out. We are having a Halloween party and my boys are psyched for Saturday. We won't be making mummies and our house won't look like a jack o' lantern but there will be food and families and fun. And a trick or treasure hunt. And a giant moonwalk/slide for the backyard. And creepy cupcakes whipped up by the good ladies at the grocery store's bakery. Crafts scmafts.
My boys won't know all the neat things that could have been. They will only know that their mummy had snacks and treats on the table and she welcomed their friends and smiled and bounced and it was the best party ever.