A friend of mine threw herself a milestone birthday party at one of those paint-a-picture places recently.
My initial reaction which lasted about 5 seconds was – ohhhh not interested in that…
But I do adore this particular friend. Wild horses couldn’t keep me from celebrating with her; And I would dig ditches on the side of the road with this entire group of ladies, so I was going.
We kicked off the party with a popular new cocktail, The St. Germaine’s Martini. I was the bartender, as usual.
I don’t mind. ( Life Tip: I try to contract my abs when I shake a martini and am pretty sure it works to flatten the tummy.)
After the martinis got us all limber and loosened up, our instructors introduced themselves and got the ball rolling. One of the instructors looked at me and said,
“Hi! Don’t I know you?”
“Hi! I don’t think so,” I responded.
“Haven’t you been here before?”
“Nooooo…I’ve never been here before! I’ve always wanted to, but never have!” I added, practically cooing. The last part was a complete falsehood. I’ve never had a desire to go there, but couldn’t resist an opportunity at Teacher’s Pet.
About that time, one of my friends chimed in with, “Leslie has probably been coming here every afternoon since she found out about this party, taking private lessons, so she could “win” the night!”
Another friend asked, “Uh-Oh, is this a contest?”
“If Leslie’s involved, then it’s a contest!” another added.
A rumor is loosely circulating that I’m Uber-Competitive because, when our tennis team caravanned to St.Louis in August, for Sectionals, I took a wrong turn that took the group in my car off-course for about an hour.
These girls are still bitter because I wouldn’t stop to let anyone eat or pee until we caught-up with, passed and beat the other vehicles to our hotel. In my defense, it was the perfect kick-off for an extremely competitive weekend. It got our competitive juices flowing.
Nonetheless, they just know me too well. It could well be time to consult my wait list. (Another life tip: Keep a wait list of prospective friends. I find that life is too short and time too limited to be friends with all the fabulous people one meets, so keeping a wait-list of prospects lined up is a quick way to replace friends one may alienate along the way…)
We started our project by putting on an apron. I am naturally wary about anything that begins by tying on an apron, but I cooperated. The extremely patient instructor walked us step-by-step on how to paint the peacock that our hostess selected .
We painted for what seemed like several weeks.
It was fun to watch everyone so intent on their painting. I was more intent on watching everyone else’s intentness, to listen to the instructions. In this way, not much has changed since my high school days. I had to keep asking the others, “which brush?” and “which color?”
I feel everyone should try to express themselves in this world. We should all make an effort to find our “medium.” After an hour or so of painting, the instructor walked over to mine and said, “Here, let me fix yours…go visit with your friends!”
So I guess painting isn’t my MEDIUM. But, in all fairness, I’ve known this since the first grade.
Obviously, this man was concerned I would tell people I painted it at his studio and they might lose business.
After everyone finished painting, we posed for a group picture. I continued to add paint to canvas after the instructor “fixed” mine, so mine was definitely the worst in our group and possibly the worst ever done by a grown adult in the history of this particular business model.
After the picture, I hugged everyone goodbye, tucked my martini shaker and painting under my arm and headed home. When I arrived home, I promptly hung my painting on the wall for Jimmy to admire.
And then I sent everyone a text proclaiming my victory. I was the first one to get mine on the wall. Of course it was a contest…
Oh, and Jimmy’s response to my evening’s effort? “Woman, it’s a damn good thing you excel at other things, because you sure as hell can’t paint!”