Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Time Flies When Your Life is Hard Cheese

I'm so happy to be back in cyberworld! It's been a looooong time; I'll write more about that later. It involves a giant beaver, two car repairs and my mother on a motorcycle.

For awhile there my life seemed like one empty roll of toilet paper. I was trying to find a synonym for 'bad luck' so I consulted a thesaurus. Perhaps I really am lactose intolerant but I've never used 'hard cheese' as a synonym for bad luck. I will now though. You should too.

Anyway, tomorrow is the school Feast Day. Elementary kids are encouraged (read universally exiled if you don't) to dress up as either a Pilgrim or Indian. Unfortunately for my children, they have the hard cheese to have a mom who HAAAAATES crafts or crafty things.

The Indian costume seems to be the simplest. One year I tried the loin cloth route. Nope, not enough costume. Once I tried the small pox blanket route. Nope. Too hard to explain to kindergartners.

So now I've resorted to recycled Halloween costumes. Indian costumes I can find, Pilgrims-not so much.

A couple of years ago, when I had to make five costumes (I started sewing fringe on everything) I wrote a letter of protest to the school administration. I'm including it below. It got no results but I do think I garnered some sympathy for my kids.

To; Joyce J-----, elementary principal
From: Christina -----, mother

Proposal to Disseminate the Traditions of Feast Day

I saw the announcement in the school newsletter. The words made my blood run cold. It’s beckoning so casual and carefree: “Children may come dressed as a Pilgrim or Indian at school today.”

These words so inviting to a child only camouflage the social injustice that is about to take place in the halls of an institution that prides itself on education and edification. It is a crime perpetrated against the most loving mothers and paid for by their innocent loved ones. The costumes themselves become a tool by which all measure of womanhood is measured.

“Children may come dressed…” Na├»ve mothers beware. This is not a suggestion. Your child must come dressed as a Pilgrim or Indian or become fodder of “the gifted” about maternal impostors.

For those among us who have no home economics skills this is not Feast Day but Beast Day. Those we counted as friends will rise up around us to flaunt their superior craftsmanship and mock our paltry attempts. We must clothe our children in futile replications of the first days and throw them in front of the slanderous offspring of the Beasts themselves.

They, who live by the code, “Craftiness is next to Godliness” parade their wares in animal skins, loin cloths, moccasins, tomahawks, papooses with newborn children all speaking fluent Iroquois.

Worse, my children will be made to feel inferior, less valuable and lowly of thought next to the children whose mothers have raised sheep, sheered them for wool and then spun on a homemade loom, blankets of vibrant school colors. Their spotless and shiny black shoes with perfect gold buckles are family heirlooms passed down from the first Pilgrims.

When I tried to make Pilgrim shoes for my sons, the displaced giant buckles made them look more like giant Leprechauns than Pilgrims. It is a painful memory.

They that languished with Martha Stewart while behind bars, gear up for this competition all year. The showmanship, the pageantry and the parading of all skills culminates on Feast Day each year. The least among us are made to slink off in the halls, weeping over the homemade Indian costume sheet with a head shaped hole, covered with what looks like a giant Tic Tac Toe game.

We are shoved into the cinder block hallway, nearly trodden in the stampede to gather around the mother that gently caresses her cultivated Petri dish of the “first small pox pandemic.” Of course, her daughter has translated the Mayflower Compact into an easy to ready haiku.

For mothers, who during the year, hem their sons pants by rolling them under and securing with duct tape, Feast Day is a day to dread and disparage, when all one’s insecurities are forced into the light of day for all to critique.

There should be a 12 step recovery program offered to those who must suffer the atrocities of Beast Day. It is my proposal that we abolish the traditions of representing the people groups present at the First Thanksgiving. Or, secretly provide underprivileged mothers with access to fabulous costumes.

Please help.


Christina ____
-On behalf of Victims of Beast Day.

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