Look What I Can(‘t) Do

My life is a lot easier when I remember which things I do well, and admit where I need help.

Recently, I made an awesome, fabulous trade that saved me hours and hours of time.

Abby had an important event at school.  A really cool event, actually.  Each middle school student picked a notable historical character to research as a cross-curricular project.  There were language arts, science, and social studies components.  The project culminated yesterday evening in a “Night of the Notables” event where we parents got to meet the costumed characters in person and learn about their contributions to our world.

Abby was Maria Mitchell, American astronomer who discovered Miss Mitchell’s comet.  I am all for my daughter studying strong, smart, driven women.  Woohoo!  And I’m not a bit embarrassed that I’d never heard of Miss Mitchell before this project.  Nope, not a bit.

Unfortunately, I’m grossly underqualified to costume my child as a scientist from the 1800’s.  Oh, I could’ve thrown something together.  Could’ve gone to thrift stores to do Dreaded Shopping.  Could’ve gone through my clothes (some of which I feel are hundreds of years old), the dress-up clothes (mostly pink wigs and butterfly costumes), and our giveaway clothes looking for something suitable.  I could’ve done research online.

But I’m really patting myself on the back for this one, ’cause instead of all that, I traded labor.

Best. Thing. Ever.

See, I can do hair.  It’s probably one of those cocky or confident things, to be perfectly honest.  I probably couldn’t always do hair… I just thought I could.  But enough people believed me and let me practice that I became pretty OK at it.  Here’s a shout-out to all those guinea pigs out there for letting me play!

I have two theatre-type friends.  They have a costume closet in their house and access to theatre and costuming supplies elsewhere.

They also have a daughter who needed her hair done for a dance.

Look what I can do!  (Are ya Mad TV feelin’ me, here?  I’m doing the Look What I Can Do dance.)

I can take hair like this…

….and turn it into hair like this:

And then I can shellac it with bright, sparkly hair spray (by making the child bow before me, which I bet they don’t allow in beauty school):

In return, my theatrey friends took all of my costuming woes away and turned my lovely daughter into this notable creature.

Look what I can’t do!

Isn’t she pretty?

Like a comet burning bright.

I’m so proud of her.

I have to say, though, that the best moment of the evening came from one of Abby’s friends who was wearing a gorgeous Victorian-style dress with a hoop skirt and a bustle.

She walked by me and muttered:  “My butt is enormous.  It’s exhausting.”

And I did not say to the 12-year-old:  “Oh, honey.  I totally know what you mean.  Tell me about it.”

Look what I can do!  I can keep my mouth shut!

Hey – sometimes you have to give yourself credit for the little things.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
20 comments
  1. ps: the day got a bit better, fortunately! my bike was repaired, twice… it’s okay now. my MIL is fine too, bruised and all, the people that caused her to fall have not met my wrath (love that word!) yet, luckily for them we’re off for a week now, my anger might have faded a bit in a week 😉

    1. So glad for the update! Glad the bike and MIL are OK. And I assume you got into your house, too?

      1. just now saw this reply, sorry bout that! yes, we did get into our house, just had to walk all the way back to the village (about a mile) to the bike shop wearing my not-suitable-for-walking-for-miles-boots… 🙁 ah, blisters, how I dislike thee!

  2. first of all, abby looks absolutely beautiful. you be sure to tell her that.

    second of all, next time i get married, you’re doing my hair. we can trade. i’ll write your status updates for a year, you will give me glitter. or a easy-bake oven… so torn!

    1. Will do, Miss Alisa, on the compliments to my daughter. You’re so kind. And right. 🙂

      Second of all, I’m not sure I should tell your Papa that there’s a next time for you getting married. 😉 But I’ll come on board to do your hair in a heartbeat in exchange for status updates! The easy-bake oven you’ve already co-earned w/ Sara.

  3. The hair is amazing and with the amount of it- I’m glad you were using the purple shellac outside!!!

    1. Thanks, Dana! Yes, when harming the environment, I always try to be outside. 🙂 Sorry I missed seeing you and your little ones a couple weeks ago! Wishing you all well!

  4. btw: I’m probably gonna make all you American laugh and shake your heads in disbelief, but tell me: what’s this Mad Tv you keep referring to?

    1. in my head I typed ‘American folk’ but somehow the wire between my head and my fingers got disconnected… that happens to me a lot… I should probably have that checked out, if only my bike wasn’t in the shop! (which caused me to be locked out of our house this morning as well, which was just the start of a series of lovely events throughout the day, but I’ll save that marvellous story for later 😉 )

      1. Sounds like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! I hope things look up soon!

    2. Sending a link your way shortly via email. Just brushed up on my Mad TV youtube links… they’re not pretty! Funny, but not pretty. Prepare yourself to see a grown man (likely in his undies) pretending to be a child… fair warning!

      1. I laughed so loud. Soooooo loud. And then I showed it to my 15-year old pupils. And they didn’t laugh. (that might’ve been because of the lack of subtitles though, yes, let’s just say that’s the reason!) So then I watched it again. And I laughed till I cried. And my pupils went home thinking I should be heading for the looney bin any day now. I’m used to that. It’s okay. Everything’s okay. I’m gonna watch it again now. 🙂

  5. All’s well that ends well, right? Right! Abby’s gorgeous for sure, so how’s that wall Greg must be building ’round your house coming along? 😉 (I sure hope you got that one! That actually what we always say in Holland when someone’s got a beautiful daughter!)
    Ps: I simply cannot properly express the amazement I feel when looking at that hairdo… You rock! I bet you couldn’t do that to my hair though… (that’s a challenge you have to take, right? 😉 )

    1. Ah, yes. We know all about building the wall ’round our house. And polishing the guns (hard – since we don’t own any). 🙂 I guess we should get right on that, since she gets prettier every day.

      And hair challenge accepted! Now I just have to figure out a way to get to Holland to get at your hair.

  6. You’re ALL winners!

    1. Oh, dear, Papa! Now you’re channeling your lovely wife, my lovely mother… who thinks we’re all winners. We knew she’d get to us in the end, but I thought we still had a little fight left in us.

  7. WOW – that is all I can say! Amazing – you have talent for sure, sewing may not be one, but God gifted you otherwise and isn’t it great when we relinquish that notion and hand things off!??? You are pretty darn amazing to me my friend! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Susan!

      Laughed out loud at the sewing comment. I forgot to mention that I once made a doll… with superglue. It was kind of crunchy.

      Beth

  8. Yay-Good for you (all!) And yes, your daughter is beautiful.

    1. Thank you! I didn’t fish for that compliment at all, did I? 😉

      Beth

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