Sometimes I peruse the internet for craft ideas. Please don’t stop reading this blog after reading that sentence. Although this is precisely the type of behavior I would normally mock, I must say that I have fallen victim to the “I can make that” feeling that occurs to many of us in the aisles of our local WalMart. But, like many of us have discovered, does not always turn out quite like we had imagined.
Whenever I think about doing something myself, I immediately have flashbacks to my eight grade “Home and Careers” class. Previously called “Home Economics” by more tolerant generations, my “Home and Careers” class was where we went hoping to eat something halfway decent. This of course, usually meant we had to make something halfway decent, which was not as easy as one might think. Our teacher, Mary Stewart, was a constant whispered joke because our schedules ironically said “M. Stewart” at a time when Martha Stewart was at her height of popularity (before the whole prison thing). I don’t think Mrs. Stewart found this humorous, or anything humorous for that matter. One day we were slated to make donuts, which sounded exciting at first. We were presented with giant pots of boiling oil and dough. My group rolled dough into balls and dropped them in the oil as instructed by Mrs. Stewart, who was at this point standing, arms crossed in the corner of the room, saying nothing. Ordinarily we would have had enough time to deep fry the dough, leave the balls to dry and roll them in powdered sugar for a delightful finished product. But as the class period came to a close, we found we had to skip steps and began plunging the piping hot dough balls directly into the plastic bag of powdered sugar. It didn’t take us long to figure out that hot dough balls and plastic didn’t mix, although it did take the melted plastic bag to clue us in. It seemed a terrible amount of trouble for donuts.
There are times when I do something myself and feel as though it’s a terrible amount of trouble. As a child my cousin and I decided to make our own toothpaste by mixing together all the toothpaste in the house. This, of course, was no trouble. But when I look up recipes for making my own face lotion and body scrub, then I start feel differently. And yet at the same time, there is something slightly empowering about being able to make something yourself. I suppose in the end that is all I really seek, the ability to choose whether to something myself or not, and perhaps make the more empowered choice to not. I’d love to say “Of course I can sew my own clothes” but I choose to buy instead. But every once in a while, it’s good to make cookies or cupcakes from scratch instead.