My sister, Kim, is crafty and by crafty I mean she is good at doing domesticated things that result in a tangible product that is pretty, yummy or awesome (I didn’t want to give a false sense she is the ‘shrewd’ version of crafty). She can sit for hours and crochet afghans and she makes elaborate scrapbooks that are magazine worthy (craft magazine worthy, not like Vogue or Cosmo). She can also cook like Paula Dean, pull colors together in a room like a DYI expert and extract the perfect necklace from her closet to give my maxi-dress that little extra bit of snazzy to deflect its clearance rack from Target origin.
I am not crafty. I have tried to scrapbook and was put on tape-runner probation, from which I have never been released and the best compliment I ever got on one of my pages was, “That’s quirky.” I crocheted a potholder once at Vacation Bible School and it was supposed to be a square. Mine was the only lopsided oval-shaped potholder on display. My mom actually laughed at it and I was at that tender age when I needed her to lie to me and tell me it was beautiful (it was truly horrible). There was also the latch-hook kit that I managed to sit still long enough to put one whole row of brown little strings in, only to discover that I had “latched” it to the carpeting in the living room. With my deficit in such matters, I often look to my sister for direction in the domestic hurdles I face. She is the expert.
A few weeks ago, I decided to make banana pudding, only to realize I had no idea how to make it. I texted her and asked her how to make banana pudding. She sent back this message: bananas, vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, and Cool Whip. That was it. I needed clarification and I inquired: so do I just mix it all up together in a bowl? She patiently sent me the step-by-step directions and I followed them to the letter. I sent her a picture of the finished product with a text that was supposed to read ‘banana pudding—nailed it.’ However, it was an autocorrected text that read: ‘Batman Pudding—Nailed it!’ and Batman pudding was born.
Sometimes Kim isn’t patient with me. Sometimes Betty Crocker just flips her spatula. Once, we were driving home from our parents’ house and she says, “You better get gas.” I confidently blew her off and say, “Nah…I could go to St. Louis and back on this much gas.” Fast forward past three gas stations and onto the interstate—my car starts sputtering and dies. I say, “Oh my God something is wrong with my car!” (Wait for it….wait for it….) “THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU CAR YOUR (BLEEPING STUPID BLEEPING IDIOT!! YOU’RE OUT OF BLEEPING GAS!!!” It was dark. We were on the side of the highway and she jumps out of the car and starts walking back toward the last exit. Here is a brief overview of our walk back to the gas station:
ME: Kim, I am sorry.
Kim: Shut up.
Me: Wait for me. Just wait.
Kim: I said shut up.
Me: Just let me walk by you. I am scared.
Kim: You walk at least 10 feet behind me. You don’t deserve to walk by me.
Kim: Shut the BLEEP up!
Me: We should look at this as adventure.
Kim: DO NOT MAKE ME KILL YOU ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!!!!
Kim had knee surgery last week and I went to her house to help out. I tried to help her with her exercises, tried to help her practice hopping on one leg (her good one) and I attempted to do a puppet show for her to help lift her spirits, which was not received well. She finally asked me to make her some Batman Pudding and I went home to whip up a batch. Two days later, I finally got around to making her some Batman pudding. I assembled the ingredients and went to work. I even took special care to crush up vanilla wafers to sprinkle on top. I tucked it away in the fridge and turned around to fine the bunch of bananas still sitting untouched on the counter. I hadn’t put a single banana in the Batman pudding. Batman pudding—instantly reduced to Robin Pudding. It’s just like me to turn an ordinary dessert into a superhero-dessert and then immediately downgrade it to a bland but trusty sidekick dessert.
The people in my life have adapted well to my idiosyncrasies. I am the source of much frustration, anger and many heavy sighs to the people who choose to keep me in their lives. It is, however, with these same people I share much love, laughter and loyalty and I am blessed beyond measure to have so much joy channeled into my life. It is with relief that I have reached a season of my life where I have learned to be comfortable with myself and it is with immense gratitude that the people so dear to me allow me to do so. I am well aware that I drive folks bananas, which may come in handy if I ever make you Batman pudding!