When I went to grammar school in the 1950’s they made you learn how to sew. In 6th grade you had to make an apron. You had all year to finish it. One afternoon a week the girls went to the home ec room and sewed, by hand, while the boys went to a wood working shop. Don’t you know the very last day of school there I sat, crying and trying to finish that stupid apron. And I gotta tell you it was simple, simple, simple.
In 8th grade we had to make our own graduation dresses. Ah, what a monumental disaster that was. We started them in September and they had to be finished by June. We did get to use sewing machines on them. We all used the same pattern and had to have the same type of material (polished cotton) in any pastel color of our choice (mine was bright yellow). They wouldn’t let us take them home until the day before graduation. Can you imagine what these dresses looked like after 10 months? You can bet that night every mother in the neighborhood was busting her ass taking those barely recognizable-as-dresses apart and trying to make something presentable. I’m sure some mothers already had one done and hanging in the closet. And, needless to say, mine was just a wad of raggedy, grubby cloth. Thankfully my mother could sew.
Currently my sewing kit is, well, hell I don’t actually know where it is. I do know it is contained in a plastic sandwich bag.
I do know how to do a basic crochet stitch and I have made blankets. Mostly for the cats. Just plain basic single or double crochet – boring as all hell. I was taught to knit when I was 6 or 7 – never mastered it. Didn’t care. Even more tedious than crocheting.
I learned to cook at an early age, enjoyed it. Now? Oh, please – I feel like a condemned man being marched to my death every time I have to go into the kitchen.
I was around 13 when I swore, silently of course, in my best Scarlett O’Hara accent, “As God is my witness I will never get married, have children, cook, clean, mow lawns, pull weeds, plant flowers, wash windows or do any thing domestic.”
Obviously, since I am a clean freak, I did do housework when I lived alone. Cooked? Nah. I had a bottle of catchup for 7 years. I actually took it along when I moved. I lived in apartment buildings so all that other stuff was someone else’s responsibility. I did eventually get married, at 44. But I have never, ever, enjoyed domesticity. Hate it. The older I get the more I hate it.
I decided to be a serious writer when I was 10 (everything I wrote prior to that was just, well, you know, kiddy stuff). Does that count? I love music and always wanted to learn how to play the piano. Got the opportunity to take lessons when I was in my 20’s – even bought a piano. Discovered I have NO talent for it. NO ability at all. None – nada – zero – zip – ninguno. Same for drawing – Love art – can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. In high school you had to take 2 semesters of art. One teacher passed me because he said I was too smart to flunk art and it wasn’t my fault I had no talent. The other semester I passed on my own merit because I learned to draw a 3 dimensional box – whoo-hoo! And I did a pastel drawing the teacher liked. We were told we had to draw an emotion – I choose loneliness. Got an A. Need I tell you it was quite abstract?
I did take tap dancing lessons and acting lessons when I was in my 30’s – those I was really good at but I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about here.
Other than all that – nope. No crafts. Don’t have any desire to make any stuff. Did I learn how do any of these craft-type things? Yes, under duress. As soon as the gun was taken away from my head, I dropped them like they were angry tarantulas.
I admire people who do have all those skills and interests. If y’all didn’t we’d all be standing naked in the middle of an empty field.