I sit here on the sofa, surfing the net and the satellite, sipping sweet tea, and kicking up my tired heels from the day of the birthday party.
My dining table was surrounded this afternoon by sweet giggly girls making leis for our luau themed party. It's a tradition at our house to always make a craft at a party. I love crafts. It seems my love for all things crafty has clouded my judgement.
When I was flipping through the Oriental Trading catalog, I saw kits for making some precious Hawaiian leis and thought to myself, "Hmmph! I could totally make those myself. How hard could it be? Silk flowers, string and some plastic straws- piece of cake."
First, I ordered the flower petals. They come in packs of 250 and the comments on the website read that "there are less of them than you would think."
So, the Southern woman in me, whose greatest fear (other than not looking natural at my funeral) is to never run out of anything for a party, did what her mama would have her do- order twice as many as she thinks she'll need.
That's 500 flower petals.
We only invited 8 kids. That's 9 kids total. That's at least 50 petals per lei.
The petals arrived on the doorstep, along with all of the other Oriental Trading goodies (flamingo straws, flamingo skewers, hibiscus skewers, aloha bracelets and all the other fun finds packaged neatly in plastic bags.) I separated all the petals.
All 500 of them.
All 500 of them that did not have a hole for string.
Then I searched for straws. My idea was to cut them into small segments to separate the flower petals. I sat at the dining table for at least an hour cutting straws and asking my daughter to retrieve them from across the room. The thing about straws is that they become projectiles while being cut into small segments for separating 500 petals.
After finding some white yarn, I fashioned make-shift needles with pipe cleaners, tied the string on and made my own little lei craft kits.
The girls never knew my angst. One even commented on my "cool needle" pipe cleaner. They sat at the table, threading their petals, in random order or careful patterns. I sat at the table with them praising them for their creative talent, not even hinting at the countless hours I spent making their little lei kits.
Mama taught me a lot- to never run out of anything for a party and to never let them know how hard you worked preparing. (Even if you had to cut 500 holes for 500 petals with no holes for string for a Hawaiian lei that was worn for less than 5 minutes. Not that you're keeping track.)