Any one that has read my blog knows my childhood was a bit, shall we say, unconventional.
While kids were playing Atari and watching Dukes of Hazard on Friday nights, I was at home church or re reading my Little House on the Prairie books for the umpteenth time.
In my later elementary school years I attended a Christian school down in the bay area where the Principal's name (I kid you not) was Mr. Godshall. As in God Shall. No joke.
We wore school uniforms and I would make my way to class every morning in my white knee high socks, Nike tennies with the pink swoosh on the side and my Amy Grant Age to Age cassette tape in my backpack so I could show it off. It was the first music tape I had ever owned so I was especially stoked about it. Never mind the ones pimpin' the Rick Springfield's, 'Jesse's Girl' tape. On extra special days I would swap my Nikes out for my kickin' Kangaroo tennies, complete with the Velcro pouch.
Anyway, pilgrim costumes were required at our lovely little play. I was in trouble. My mom at the time was the farthest thing ever from a crafter or a seamstress. Unless it involved stringing hippie style beads in the entry way I knew I was pretty much screwed.
My mom was also a gal that thrived on doing things at the last minute,
The night before the play I was still without a costume. I had my Laura Ingalls dress from 2nd grade that still fit so at least that was cool but the problem was I needed a girl's pilgrim bonnet. Mom started rifling through drawers of linens until she came to a set of calico quilted place mats.
"Here we go!", she announced cheerfully. "All I need now are some safety pins."
My mom proceeded to fashion a pilgrim bonnet from a single place mat that she actually expected me to wear on my head. She simply pinched the 2 sides and held with the pins to create the look of a bonnet and called it good. Just so you know, it didn't look like a bonnet. It simply looked like I chose to wear a place mat on my head.
Given no choice in the matter and time being of the essence I begrudgingly took the place mat bonnet, shoved it in my back pack and prayed Mr. Godshall would cancel the event.
No such luck.
The time came to get in costume and I pretended I couldn't find mine, stalling for time.
Before long, I was being threatened so I pulled it out, shoved it on my head and buried my head after noticing all the carefully crafted bonnets all the moms had sewn. They even had the white brim and the side ribbons to tie it under the chin.
I refused to make eye contact with anyone as I was catching the double takes my way out of the corner of my eye.
The tension was finally broken when a fellow student asked in front of the class,
"Are you wearing a place mat on your head?"
Dang, if I didn't rip that thing off. Better to face the consequences of insubordination in the class room versus wearing part of a table setting.
Moral of the story? If you have never crafted or sewn anything in your life, don't decide to start with your kid's holiday costume the night before their play.
Unless you are OK paying for their therapy later in life.