All names and identities have been masked in this post for the sake of protecting the “Art of Having Fun.”
On a bright Sunday afternoon, a gaggle of smiling 8-year-olds gathered to celebrate a new little girl joining the fold. No longer would she be the oppressive age of seven, but now she could be the free and confidant 8-year-old she was always meant to be. So naturally the only thing that could commemorate such a monumental occasion was a pottery-painting party at Color Me Mine. When I found out that some of us “big kids” were invited to come to the party, naturally I RSVPed with an emphatic YES! Even though I fully understood that I would be pouring more Hawaiian Punch than painting ceramics, I knew that being present for such a magical occasion could potentially change my life.
While the life experience was certainly monumental – who wouldn’t begin to value life’s simple pleasures when surrounded by stylish yet affordable clay jewelry boxes – there was a threatening presence on the horizon. Her name, was Delilah. While we can only presume that this oddly dressed female employee wanted to help the children express the fullness of their artistic ability, she quickly became suffocating and stifling. The best part about having an 8-year-old paint a mug, is that it looks like an 8-year-old painted it: uneven brush strokes, squiggly lines, misspelled words. It’s like when your child comes home with some pottery project that can only be described as an ash tray… even though you don’t smoke. You make it an ineffective coin jar/paper weight, kiss them on the forehead, and say thank you. But not Delilah. She kept picking up the little girls’ pottery projects and violently applied paint with a sponge in an even and efficient manner that she called the “pounce, pounce, POUNCE!” method. And pounce she did. Any time a child was left unattended and with uneven, Delilah was there to pounce and rob the unassuming child of her artistic quirks. So what if the tree is supposed to have green leaves? I think little Suzy was trying to make a statement about modern culture by painting them blue and pink, perhaps about the “unnatural” dichotomy of political extremism that has taken root in our country. But don’t get Delilah started on color conversations. She scolded a girl for picking colors of paint before picking a piece of pottery. I mean, can’t a girl just use her favorite colors? Do Pink and Purple really not go with everything? (In case you’re wondering, I saw that little girl paint a cat those colors, and YES. THEY. DO! Also, this was an actual living cat, that I’m sure was very thankful for the new look.)
In short, Color Me Mine did change my life. It taught me not to take for granted my childhood optimism – a character trait that at my age is more often referred to as “being aloof” or “drunk.” I will not stand for the grown-up tyranny of the Delilahs of the world. We must stand for all that is good and beautiful in the world. FOR THE PINK CATS! Amen, brothers and sisters. Amen.