Monday, July 14, 2008

Donna Downey

SOOOOOOO, in a last minute effort to win friends and influence people, with a major emphasis on the first one, I signed up for a class last minute, at my local scrapbook store, for Friday night. I had about one hour to get a list of a gazillion supplies together, including recent and decent pictures of my beautiful children, which I had to find, crop, and print, a canvas, paint, gel medium, brushes, felt, on and on, so on and so forth, you get the picture. I didn't really have time to think and ponder, or color coordinate said supplies, let alone match them to my decor! The project was a canvas scrap book of sorts to hang on the wall. The class started at 6:00, so I slapped on some Berry Berry Merle Norman lip potion, and with supplies stuffed in two tote bags, and the only canvas I had on hand, a 36X24, tucked under one arm, I kissed my sweet family good-bye and set out to find a new circle of buddies. May I just add parenthetically,(that is my Pastors favorite word by the way, and my family smiles each and every time he uses it, just because we think it is cool of him that he likes it so much. I'm not quite sure that it fits in this contexts however, humor me) Since we have moved here almost nine months ago(Oh my word has it really been that long?????) I have not really connected with anyone on a personal level other then the weekly church how are yous, other then one person who is soon moving, and she knows who she is HEATHER. I'm still trying to pray her back, and yes she has already bought a house, and her husband has a job there, and they are extremely excited about moving,and her going away party is this Tuesday, but, hey, I serve a mighty God! anyway, I digress. Suffice it to say, I need friends, or even just some people who tolerate me.

SSooooooo, I squeal into the shop of said class at 5:59 only to find the parking lot full, so I end up parking in the back and having to schlep sp? all my meticulously determined synchronized embellishments and ephemera around to the front, through the rain, and enter a full class of women I have never met. This is where I would insert that screechy noise that they have on horror films if I could, (as if I have ever been to a horror flick). I take the last seat in the back next to a much younger, and definitely more organized, and color coordinated, classmate. The seat is directly in front of a fan that is blowing my hair toward my face and into my Merle Norman Berry Berry lip potion. I smile big, (my kids say I could make friends if I smiled more. This I was informed of one day after church on the ride home, unsolicited I might add, "Mom" he said, I won't reveal his real identity, but his name starts with Kart, and ends with wright "maybe if you smiled more, and didn't look so mad all the time, more people would like you" can I just say right now, Thank you Lord for teenagers, no really, just when we start feeling a little confident in the whole parenting thing you make them teens, and put us right back in the humble seat where we belong.)( well, I digress again.) I smile really big, thinking of my sweet son and the inferred promise of friendship, I smile as warmly as I can muster, and introduce myself to my neighbor. "My name is Amy" I offer, "oh" she replies softly, mine too. Great, I breath a sigh of relief, perhaps I can actually remember that one.

Did I mention that our teacher that evening was Donna Downey, renowned scrapbooker of simple scrapbooks magazine, blog aficionado and world traveler??? Well, it was, in all her has lost 40 pounds glory (you look fantastic girl). Donna (yes we are on a first name basis, well I am, she doesn't even know mine)was up in front talking, laughing, smiling (really big, and warmly too), and preparing to teach if all the late pupils, namely me, would get themselves together. (And, can I just say, if you are still reading this, you are so in need of better entertainment? wow,you deserve a medal just for getting this far)

OK, picture it here, let me just set this up for you, new town, nine months, no friends, a bit frazzled, trying too hard to smile, damp, fan blown, uncoordinated and ill prepared, just a bit comical isn't it? laugh with me here.

SSSoooooooooo, Donna starts into her schpeal, and immediately points at me "YOU, she projects rather loudly "YOU, I can tell are not a type A personality" a r e a l l y l o n g pause ensues. I don't know what to say back, I am dumbfounded, perplexed, paralyzed......."me" ???, I question??? Time stands still here people, it stands still, and a week goes by in my head, I just wanted to be part of the crowd I thought, just one of the girls, not singled out, not different, not on display or with a need to meet any expectations, just another scrapbooker, no drama, no pressure........suddenly I'm back "Yes, she remarks, I can tell, because anyone who would bring that large of a canvas to this class could not be a type A personality" sheepishly I stammer a reply " well, well, actually..... well, actually, I just signed up for your class, just ummmmm like umm like two hours ago, and well, well, this is the only canvas I had".......... "Oh", she exclaims, and throws her hands in the air, "SO, You are an artist then!" all eyes are on me now, not warm and happy smiling and I can't wait to be your friend faces, faces of distrust, faces of judgement and contempt. Faces that now expect an artist to emerge from this fan blown, Berry Berry potioned, late, and bewildered stranger, that dares to infiltrate their scrapbooking cult.

why,why,why,why,why,why,why,why,..............why can't I just go to this stupid class, and blend in, and just do some stupid home decor project, maybe get to know a few people, do a little painting, a little gluing, no expectations, just me in the corner with my fan, creating, smiling, why??? The rest of the evening is sort of a blur. Very few people ventured a peak at the corner artist that was me, and even fewer dared to speak. I most likely was no longer smiling, so perhaps Kartwright was right after all, perhaps had I smiled more, and didn't look so mad all the time, more people would have liked me!

Sooooooo, can I just say, that Donna was terrific, and the reason I feel like we are on a first name basis, is because she is so very genuine, and real, not an ounce of pretension there, and I really liked that about her.

I didn't get my picture taken with her, because that whole star struck thing, where people stand in line to get a photo with someone just cause they're famous, kinda creeps me out, I mean if she knew my name, and we went to dinner or something, then maybe a picture would be in order, but otherwise .....not so much....anybody out there with me on that???

ssssooooooooo, the conclusion is this, Donna Downey, loved her. The class, kinda pushed me to think in a different way, and I liked that. Making friends,......not so much, I was pretty much that girl with the gargantuan canvas, with the goofy fake grin, that thought she was all that, but was no where near an artist. Toooo funny!!!!

soooooooo, if you read this whole boring post please make a comment just to prove it. I would love to know!


Lisar said...

Yes Amy, I read the whole the finished product...I have absolutely no idea who Donna Downey is....not being a scrapbooker myself...I find it very hard to believe that you would have difficulty making friends...and thanks for your message on my blog...Hugs, Lisa

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I look forward to reading it every morning, as I sip my coffee and enjoy my few moments before the troop of kiddies surround me demanding breakfast. Please keep writing. I enjoy it so much!

Have no clue who Donna is, either.

ginger said...

Amy, I anxiously read the whole thing. I have cried with your blogs and smiled with your blogs. Your strength and courage are inspirational.

Melissa said...

I don't know if you remember me, but I am Monica's friend, Melissa. You might remember meeting me at her Harvest Party last fall - I was pregnant. Anyway, I enjoy reading your blog!!!

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

I found you through a link from The Homespun Heart. Yes, I read the entire post and have to applaud your effort to make friends. I don't think I could step outside of my box and go to a class where I knew no one. Love your finished project! ~Wendi

sweston said...


I did stick around to read the whole post! Your "gargantuan" canvas probably turned out better than anyone elses project in your class. It looks wonderful! Great job:) Very Creative:) Hoping you have a fantastic week.

char said...

Although it is hard to read continuously while you are laughing really hard and saying.. hey Zach listen to this.. (about Kart Wright) I eagerly read the whole post although I also don't know the scrappin' goddess Donna. :) I love you though, but will fight you for Heather. char

ps Hey Summer!

gail said...

oh i can so relate! i have moved alot, and another one coming up in 3 weeks. at least this time i actually know 3 people in the town we are moving to. but i have tried joining classes and demos to make friends and haven't had much success either.

if my son could talk he'd probably tell me to smile more too! i catch myself frowning and looking glum. if people could just look past the lack of smile they would find us to be very interesting people.

God bless you! gail in idaho

Hannah said...

I made it and could read much more! Can i take personal credit for the "not so much"s? I only dream of being thought of as an artist, so just think that everyone probably thinks you are way toooo cool for them! That's how I feel with artists, I stare in admiration as I sit in my chair trying to copy what they do! However I share the sentiments of just wanting to meet friends and not stand out! Keep smiling anyway! LOL, wish I could go with you, so fun!

thehomespunheart said...

Hi Amy,

I did read the entire thing - not because I need better entertainment, but because I am thankful to be your friend! :)

I love how your canvas turned out!

Have a great day!

Lee said...

Hi Amy. I just giggled my way through the entire post. And I LOVE the finished product! You are a hoot. :) Lee

Dawn said...

Of course I read the whole thing!! Nothing like getting your laughs from another's sheer torture!LOL!

Oh how I long for the days at the good ol'Paper Company. Man I miss scrappin at that place.
Your writing is getting so good Amy. Keep it up! Love keeping up with y'all this way at least.

Anonymous said...

I read the whole thing and enjoyed it. Keep up the prayers! I'm not sure what God has in store for us.