Can you ask me a favor?

The hard drive in my brain is shorting out today. I’m talking orange juice spilled on a laptop keyboard kind of fried.

Tomorrow night I leave for Miami. I have nothing prepared, as usual. So after I picked the kiddos up from school, I took them with me to shop for art supplies that I need for the workshop I’m teaching. I have 20 students who are aspiring writers, and I’m assembling each of them a pretty, inspiring shadowbox kit so they can create a desktop muse (plus a mini journal – perfect for character development on the go!).

My kids just, um, love to go shopping with me at times like this. As soon as we enter the store, they know they are no longer Mommy’s beloved children, DeAngelo and Maya. They become Crafty Chica’s Personal Assistants No. 1 and No. 2. I send them out in a mini-fleet to price check, retrieve the last can of hi-gloss varnish, put items back on the sheleves that I changed my mind about and scour the latest craft magazines for press clippings. They are as efficient as Ethan Hunt in the third act of a Mission Impossible film, and each child is ultimately rewarded with a Virgin Mobile phone card, which to them is the Holy Grail of payment.

So it’s after school today and we are at Michaels Arts & Crafts. I’m focused and determined to enter, get what I need and leave as swiftly as possible so I can come home, pack, assemble the kits, wash and straighten my hair, dig up my favorite pair of Spanx from the bottom of my dresser, etc.

ANYWAY – Everything goes as planned until I see it: one of those scary “50% off any orange clearance sticker!” signs. My peripheral vision expands to see orange stickers everywhere! They were on smooth-surfaced chunky wood frames perfect for wood burning. Packages of foil tape in copper and silver. Thick tablets of watercolor paper postcards and blank greeting cards ready to be rubber stamped. Did I mention as soon as I get back from Miami, I have a HUGE show in Brooklyn? This was good stuff Patrick and I could use!

But I restrain myself, even though I begin to breath very heavy in disbelief. I didn’t want to go into red alert mode and scoop up everything off the shelves like a rabid finalist from Supermarket Sweep. I’ve done that more than once before and it wasn’t pretty. So when I see Maya pass by holding a pack of my favorite colors of Swarovski crystals, I squealed and called her over.

My goal? To ask her to please ask the clerk if this chunky wood frame, that is perfect for woodburning and has a $2.00 orange sticker on it is really like the sign says: “50% off all orange stickers”. Does that mean it is $1.00? If so, I want the whole shelf of these wood frames!

This is where I lost it.

ME: “Maya, will you ask me a favor?”

MAYA: “Will I ask you a favor?”

ME: “Yes, sweetie, Will you ask me a favor? Please? I’m in a hurry!”

MAYA: “Mom. Slow down and listen to what you are saying…”

ME: “Don’t play with me right now! I have 24 hours to get everything together before Miami! Please, can you ask me a favor!”

She stares at me with a frightened blank look. I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode, I’m speaking but she can’t understand my words. Finally, she lets out a laugh and pats my arm the same way I laugh and pat my Nana’s arm when she tells me she prefers her tea water heated on stove rather than the microwave because she likes it “hot”. The sad thing is Nana is 88 and I’m not.

Maya, bless her heart, is only 13, but somehow deciphers my double talk.

“Mommy, calm down about the sale for a second. You meant to say “Will you do me a favor?” and were thinking “Can I ask you a favor… What do you need me to do?”

Right then it clicks in my mind that I’m officially insane. What would I do without my kids? And to think I’m about to travel across the country in this erratic state of mind all by myself!

We make it home in one piece, everyone is happy. We take a break from the madness to rest on my bed in my room with our three chihuahuas and watch America’s Next Top Model (yay, Danielle!), American Idol (yay Katharine!) and Lost (Michael, I still hate you) at the highest volume, while Patrick’s seven-piece reggae band practices in the living room for their next concert.

Currently I’m trapped in my room because I’m in my paint shorts and the art room is on the other side of the living room and you couldn’t pay me in buckets of sanity to walk by the those musicians with my chubby bare legs.

So that’s why I’m here sharing this lovely story with you!

***
Author of Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life ($19.95, Rayo Books, an imprint of Harper Collins).
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Love & light,


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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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