My mother and my grandmother are both phenomenal women, but neither one of them would ever admit that to your face. I’m not sure either one of them have ever considered the fact that there might be some sort of task they could not 1) teach themself and 2) accomplish.
My mother tiles. I’m still not entirely sure where she picked this up, except that we once owned a rental home with a backsplash she hated, and she thought tiling sounded like “fun”. (I have a very, very different word for tiling). So she tried it, liked it, and made friends with various tile guys at Lowe’s and fancy tile stores. She now owns a couple tile saws, makes mosaic designs on graph paper, and has almost completely retiled our beach house – all designs her own. She also sews… not very often, but if there’s a pattern, she can make it. This mystifies me to this day.
My grandmother gardens. And sews. And when she was visiting this past weekend, and my WARNING! COOLANT LOW! PULL OVER NOW! light turned on in my car in the middle of a torrential downpour, she calmly flipped through my car manual as I pulled into a gas station, found the appropriate page, and instructed me on how to replace the coolant. So now you could say she also knows how to do that. If someone has written down instructions on how to do something, my grandmother will figure it out (with the exception of complex electronics and computers… this stuff is just out of her league, though occasionally she remembers that she has email and manages to send one).
They don’t seem to realize how this quality makes them different from other people – they just don’t see a reason to not try to do something yourself, if you think you can do it. And why shouldn’t you be able to do it? Aren’t there instructions somewhere?
It’s this spirit I hope to carry with me into The Button Club – while a folding a fitted sheet seems rather harmless, things like “growing your own vegetables” terrifies me and my black thumb. But I’m willing to try. Because while my life sometimes seems ridiculously fast paced, and there’s no one around to enjoy the fruits of my efforts but me and my 85 pound German Shepherd most of the time, these are the sorts of things that are worthwhile to slow down and do for yourself.
After all, why shouldn’t I be able to do them? There are written instructions!
(God help me and any green thing I hope to grow.)