I went to a Scrapbooking Convention yesterday. A 9am – 8pm scrapbooking extravaganza called the “Arizona Scrappin’ Jubilee” in a banquet room at the downtown Sheraton. Please picture my personal comfort zone as the city of Phoenix. This event would then be somewhere near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Still in the southwest, but not a place I have much interest in going to – especially alone.
I woke up early, and went to our outside storage (otherwise known as “Where Good Things Go To Die”). Nestled between the pinball machine we left in the rain, javelina heads, bolts of fabric and bankers boxes containing who knows what, I found a plastic bag of scrapbooking stuff I bought in 2005 to make a wedding album. The wedding album never happened, but eight years later, here I am committed to making a scrapbook of our trip to China. So I dump all this scrappy stuff into a burlap basket and off I go.
Realization #1 that I was In Over My Head: the valet line was overflowing with minivans driven by women with wheely suitcases. I have a burlap basket. My burlap basket and I self-parked because that valet line made me panic.
Realization #2 that I was In Over My Head: I rode in the elevator with three women who had on matching, blingy scrapping t-shirts.Their hair was done, they had wheely suitcases, they carried Very Bradley quilted bags. Women like this don’t usually love me. I was in a black sweatshirt that said “Ninja” on the front and “F U Cancer” cancer on the back, my extensioned hair was still wet, and I honestly don’t remember if I washed my face. And I’m carrying a burlap basket.
Realization #3 that I was In Over My Head: I found my group, and while they started on their professional-looking projects, I unpacked my burlap basket. And realized I had NO IDEA what any of this stuff was for. I have empty book pages and random papers and mini plastic circles with tiny razors and ribbon and flowers and tweezers and a few things I could not identify at all. If I’d had to guess at what these tools were, I would have said I was a scrapbooking dental hygenist.
At about 10:30am, after an hour and a half of pretending to do something, I decided to pay someone to do my child’s scrapbook. I scoped the room, and decided on the woman who made owls out of a paper lunch bag. And just as I was about to cash in and check out, it dawned on me that I was having a good time. The ladies in my group were really fun and helpful, Celeste (the consultant who roped me into this) is a 10 on the Delightful Scale, and I really wanted to do this for Jax. And apparently, I am a master at paper tearing. Who knew.
So I stayed. Like we learned (kinda sorta) in Season 2 of Lena Dunham’s GIRLS (not watching? start.), outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens. Of course, Girls was referring to a cocaine-fueled evening of NYC clubbing in a mesh shirt while being stalked by a junkie…and I went scrapbooking. But you get the point.