Thursday, June 16, 2011
Yesterday afternoon, Lucy came over and we tackled what were supposed to be "paper lanterns." Well, they really aren't lanterns and despite having only a few ingredients, they were not as simple as I'd expected either. The silliest and most ominous thing I said was "All we have to do is read the directions. How hard can that be?" Ten minutes later, we were Googling the name of the product to figure out how to REALLY put them together because the directions were dumb.
As many of you may have noticed, Teri and I are lucky--with five grown kids, we have access to various experts and helpers. We have tried to involve them as much as they want to be with the wedding planning process--crafts are not everyone's thing (my son Stuart was at a grave disadvantage in kindergarten when he expected to learn how to read and instead had to sit with scissors and glue and finger paints--all activities he hated, but I mustn't get started on historical horrors of inadequacies and limitations of the public school system) so we have had to piece things together where we can.
Teri and I are not really crafters either--and for various reasons--Teri tends to be a careful perfectionist who spends so much time on the details of the first piece/element/item that after accomplishing one, she's done. I am NOT really a perfectionist when it comes to crafts, preferring quantity and completion or as much as possible in as little time as possible--I am not one to linger over details but more a "that's good enough!" sort of person. The more steps, pieces, and tools and the more likely I am to seize up with annoyance and frustration. I am no Martha Stewart Wannabe!
That said, where did we finally find decent directions for how to put together our tissue-paper-not-lanterns? Martha herself. Although they were called tissue paper pon poms on her site and well, that is really more like what they are. In the process of discovering, Lucy also taught me the importance of reading the reviews before making purchases (So, I'm a dedicated Consumer Reports reader when it comes to automobiles and washing machines, but who knew cheap paper products had reviewers too?) I think her exact words were something like: "Two stars mother? You still bought it when it only had two stars?"
I honestly thought those stars were for how easy it was to assemble.
After reading the scathing reviews from the other consumers who had either wadded all the tissue paper up and threw it in the garbage or wadded all the tissue paper up and threw it in the recycling bin, we searched for better directions because I am so working-class-frugal I couldn't stand to throw away $7 worth of tissue paper (although Lucy did point out that I could use it for gift wrapping if we abandoned the project.) In the end, we each made three big floofy tissue balls for a total of six crinkly rounds. They will join the much easier to assemble colored "lanterns" on the big day but for now, (and I didn't really think this through when we started putting them together) they are a big jumble hanging on a hook in our spare bedroom--looking a bit like a giant paper tutu. I told Lucy that after all the hassle, they are now family heirlooms and will be used at every wedding from here on out. Lucy's response?