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 actually 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 the entire group of fun ladies at this party – so there it is… I was going. (FYI- I always use the example that I would dig ditches on the side of the road with someone, to illustrate that this is a person/persons with whom one can have an infinite amount of fun, even while performing the most detestable of assignments….ie: roadside ditch digging. Not sure why I’m so enamored by this analogy, as I rarely, if ever, see groups of people digging roadside ditches. But you get the idea!)
We kicked off the party with our new favorite drink, the St. Germaine’s Martini. I was the bartender, as usual. I don’t mind. ( Tip: I try to contract my abs when I shake a martini and am pretty sure it works to flatten the tummy.) I have many other simple fitness tips one can incorporate into their busy day – that’s just one….
After the martinis got us all limbered up 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?”
I said,”Hi! I don’t think so!”
He said, “You’ve been here before!”
I said, “nooooo…I’ve never been here before, I’ve always wanted to, but never have!”
(I know… I know-liar, liar, pants on fire….but, I lie all the time just to be nice!)
About that time one of my friends said, “Leslie has probably been coming here every afternoon since she found out about this party, taking private lessons, so she could “win” tonight”
Another friend said,
“UhOh- is this a contest?”
And another added,
“If Leslie’s doing it, then it’s a contest!”
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. Got our competitive juices flowing. Besides….we won!!
Nonetheless, these girls just know me too well. It could well be time to consult my wait list. (Another 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, however, I think that it was actually just a couple of hours. 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 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 it was painfully clear that my MEDIUM is not painting. But, in all fairness, I’ve known this since the first grade. I honestly think he was worried 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. Because I continued to add paint to canvas after the instructor “fixed” mine, (a few friends have nicknamed me “Les is more” as a play on the name Leslie, but clearly I have always thought that “MORE IS MORE”) Mine was definitely the worst in our group and possibly the worst ever done by a grown adult in the history of this particular type of business….
After the group picture, I hugged everyone goodbye, tucked my martini shaker and painting under my arm and headed home. I promptly hung my painting on the wall when I got home and sent everyone a text proclaiming my victory. I was the first one to get mine on the wall!!!! Of course it was a contest…can’t believe anyone thought it might not be….