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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Craft Is Words

If there is a stereotype of women I wish I could shake it's the one that says I must be good at things like sewing, knitting, crafting, and baking. Just because there are certain genetic cues in my physical being that make me a woman there is nothing that states those same cues mean I am a) naturally inclined to be good at the above things and b) find great joy in being good at those things.

There is a group of women in my office that sit in the conference room behind me nearly every day at lunch and they craft things like Christmas ornaments and Thanksgiving baskets and such. And it's a wonderful thing that they are doing, since all of this will be sold at some charity event with proceeds going to charity. But they have done this every year that I have been there and there are two consistencies: 1) I am never in there crafting with them and 2) there are never any men in there with them either.

I bring this up because these women seem to take it personal somehow that I don't craft with them. I always smile and say something along the lines of, "I'm not good at that kind of stuff," and then they just give me a blank stare as if I'm lying and what I really mean is, "I'm too good to hang out with you ladies." This irritates the hell out of me. First of all, I'm not lying! I'm terrible at that kind of thing! Ask my art teachers from kindergarten on, I am terrible at making things with my hands! Seriously, the first time I realized I sucked at crafting things was in the seventh grade when mine was the only paper mache butterfly that looked as though it might drop bombs over Nagasaki. And come on ladies! You are the same women I make smile and laugh at the lunch table, office happy hours, and business meetings. My craft is WORDS and that's about all I'm good at. You need me to write a letter for you? I'll do it. You need me to help with your child's reading and writing? I love it. You need me to argue a point for you and make sure you win that argument? HELL YEAH! I'll do that any day of the week. You need someone to help make a dozen doilies? uh... sorry, I have to go floss my teeth, it's very important that I keep my gums healthy.

So... the reason this is on my mind at 7 in the morning is because, well, it's 7 in the morning and this blog post should be delivered to you right now but it won't be because I didn't post it on time. Why? Because I couldn't say no when one of those same knitting circle ladies walked up and asked if I would bake for the Pumpkin Bake Sale today. Yeah... me... baking for the department bake sale. Granted, I am a good cook, but baking is not my specialty. It takes extra time and it has a different feel to it than cooking a meal. And I'm a busy woman with a schedule that strangles me like a boa constrictor sometimes and the last thing I need to do is stand around the kitchen for hours and bake. However, the minute the word "uh..." came out of my mouth that lady focused a stare on me that I'm pretty sure could send me to Hell if I said no. I could see it in her eyes. Her non-verbal cues said to me, "You never craft with us, you never knit with us, and I'll be damned if you don't bake with us. I like you Pandora, but after this you will be on my list!" So, I'm sure you understand when I tell you I signed myself up to bake.

I planned on baking this past weekend. I do have an excellent recipe for a pumpkin cheese cake and I started to see it as an opportunity to show the ladies that I am not totally a home-making outcast. The problem was that I completely forgot about the stupid bake sale until yesterday at four thirty, as the same lady was walking past my cube and said, "Don't forget the bake sale tomorrow, Pandora. Have a good night!"

ARGH!!! At that moment I stopped what I was doing, sat back in my chair and just stared at my computer screen. There was no possible way I could bake that stupid cheese cake last night and have it come out as though I actually know what I'm doing in the kitchen. My boss, gentleman that he is, walked in and said, "Bring in a frozen cheese cake. That's what I'm doing." And I'm thinking, "Yes, but you don't have the same chromosomes as me and they don't look at you as though you belong on the Island Of Misfit Toys." So, the best solution I could come up with was to go to Trader Joe's and buy two boxes of their awesome pumpkin bread mix and bring it to the bake sale hoping they all forget that Pumpkin Cheese Cake is written by my name. That was the easiest way out, and I'm sure the clan of "made it from scratch" ladies will still frown upon me somehow, but I guess they need to learn the hard way that it isn't personal... I... just belong on the island of misfit toys.

(Disclaimer: I did not want to break my daily posting streak and I wrote this as fast as possible without review for errors. If you must grade it, at least grade content separately from grammar. -- Pandora)

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