Friday, May 10, 2013

Busted. Or, How My Daughter's Artwork Details My Stubborn Refusal To Wear Festive Nonsense, by Allison

So I love it when the girls bring home artwork from school, because I am delighted they get to do such cool artistic stuff at school, and I love seeing their creations.

Except when those creations expose me as Holiday Silly Nonsense Outfit Refuser Who Spoils All The Fun.


I have a finite number of hats, chapeaus, head adornments that I am willing to wear, and I can't be budged.
I know when I look like an idiot (most of the time) and I do not like actively, willingly looking like an idiot.
I look like one enough due to my ridiculous behavior or such anyway. Car dance, flash mob . . .
No need for overkill on that.

Allison's Approved Hats:

1. Big downward brimmed hats a la Audrey Hepburn's in Breakfast At Tiffany's, because:
She knew what she was doing sartorially, and I need a big brim to shield me from dreaded hot sun at endless swim meets or other forced outdoor activities.

2. This tweed bucket hat type hat that I wear when I pretend I live on the moors of Scotland.

3. Berets.

I love berets.

I am Francophile most all the time, but berets are so great because they don't mess up your hair, but yet do the head-warming thing that hats are supposed to do,
and because they are awesome.

I realize I may be in the minority on Team Beret as headwear over caps or whatnot, but that is fine, to each his own.
My daughter V sometimes objects, like "Ug, Mom, really???" when I don one of my assorted happy collection of berets in the wintertime.

My reply is always "Pardonnez-moi? Je ne parle pas l'anglais."

At that point, V realizes my beret is probably the least embarrassing thing I will do that day, and chooses to pick her battles.

And last year in Ireland, I refused to wear a lunatic jester hat or a spangled fedora leprechaun pimp hat for the St. Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin.
Because garish does not even begin to describe them, and also, I am not an idiot - those hats are expressly made for looking like an idiot.  That is their entire reason for existing, and I balk.
I do not want to look like an idiot.

It's like the Eleanor Roosevelt edict "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent?" except way less meaningful and important, my application of her words of wisdom are diluted and twisty turned in this case into:
 "No one can make you wear a stupid hat without your consent."

I realize I am not winning Nobel Prize for that insight, and I am basically acting like a toddler about stupid hats, but toddlers are actually quite savvy regarding stupid hats.

When they are babies, with no ability to participate in their wardrobe choices, babies are bedecked in an array of silly hats with bear ears, silly hats with pom-poms, silly hats with intricate ribbons and lace, no end to the silly hats we put on babies.

I'm as guilty as anyone, and Matt loved this bear ear hat thing we had for the girls, but that is the fringe benefit, the silver lining of having babies that need total attention and care all the time -
you can dress them up like a sweetpea or a rabbit and they can't stop you.

Once they turn into toddlers, the first thing most toddlers do is yank the stupid hat off of their head and throw it as far as they can away from the parent trying to make them wear it.

I mean, I think I have shoved hats back on the heads of my girls eleventy billion times, and if they were not having any part of that hat, they'd throw it right off.  Ties under the neck just become choking hazard.

Frustrating, especially if it is cold out and you don't want old ladies at the grocery store yelling at you about putting a hat on your baby.
But I understood - I am a lifelong rejector of stupid hats, how can I expect them to willingly submit to a stupid hat?

So in Ireland, I rejected the absurd hats being thrust upon me, and dug in my heels, like the mature toddler that I am.

I was like "I'll wear my tweed moors hat and a muted forest green sweater. That's all you are getting from me. I am not a clown."

The rest of the family is happily sporting layers upon layers of nonsense, which is great and I took pictures, but I am not a clown or a leprechaun pimp, and those hats did not feel authentic to me, and I knew I'd look like an idiot.

Allison's Law: You have to want to wear the nonsense hat to happily pull off the nonsense and whee yay vibe you are going for. Otherwise, idiot.
I did not want to wear it.
At all, ever ever.

LONG story longer, M the seven year old stylist brings home artwork from school from the Cinco De Mayo celebrations, and it is darling picture saying "Go Mexico!!!" with assorted happy colorful people celebrating.

Or is it??
(Spoiler: It is not. It is an expose on How Mommy Refuses To Be Festive.)

I look at it more closely, because there are also bubbles with words in them, dialogue between the people in the drawing.
(Note: M is my only kid who both writes things and draws them.
V is my enigma, creates sculptures and gorgeous artwork, but she feels no need to embellish with words.
I understand that about her, admire it, even though it is the most unfathomable thing ever to me.
And  E, my Writer of Documents, has no need to illustrate what she's written, because she's written it already, duh.
I totally get that.
You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words?
 I was always like, that's fine, I'll write a thousand words, no problem.
She's similar.
But M both draws very detailed drawings, focusing on attire and hair, of course, as she is stylist, but also she editorializes with dialogue as well. )

I realize it is not just a bunch of random people celebrating Cinco De Mayo, it is our family.
She's got our height, hair color, outfit choices (She's even drawn a representation of V's favorite preserve the turtle reserve shirt and I get a dress and red high heels) all down pat.

And four of the five people in the drawing are wearing sombreros.

The Matt in the drawing is holding an extra sombrero as well as wearing one.

The V, E, and M figures all have sombreros on and smiles on this happy festive day.

The me in the drawing is sans sombrero.

With her hands on her hips, belligerently refusing when the Matt figure says "Wear this hat," by saying in my word bubble:
"I am not going to wear that silly hat!"

I am beside myself laughing and charmed at my daughter's astute drawing of any scenario in which someone tries to make me wear a sombrero. (She was not around for Spring Break in Cancun when I was in college and she does not need to know about that).

I am laughing because we have not all of us gone out clad in Cinco De Mayo attire to celebrate this fun holiday, but M the seven year old stylist totally knows what will go down if that happens.

I am all for festivities.
Parties are awesome. I will always agree to parties.

But not silly hats unauthentically worn be me, making me look and feel like an idiot.

I will start bastardizing Eleanor Roosevelt's sage wisdom, pointing out brim issues and how it clashes with my outfit,
stand just as she drew me, acting just like she knows I will,
before I run off in my red high heeled shoes far away from the stupid hats.