In light of recent dreary, though very real posts as well as the goings ons of the world now (yikes), I thought I’d share an older piece of writing that simply compiles observations I made while out with a friend. Sometimes, it’s the simple, mundane things in life that make everything bearable. Enjoy!
“Okay, let’s paint.”
A woman to my right releases an exasperated sigh. “I think I can do this.” She begins to expertly spread a coat of blue paint across the surface of an otherwise blank mug. Why this woman is so unsure of her painting ability is beyond me; she looks as though she’s been coming here for years.
I look down at the mess of polka dots I’ve smeared across the tile I selected to paint earlier that evening. I’m glad I never pursued my childhood dream of becoming a famed artist. Something tells me I wouldn’t sell very much of my work.
Oliva, the childhood friend I’ve come here with wordlessly sits down before proclaiming, “I am to paint. A little pot. For a little plant.” She says it just like that, pausing every three or four words to give her childlike declaration a more serious tone.
“You’re getting a plant?” I challenge. She couldn’t even keep a goldfish alive.
“Maybe.” Before I can further protest her scheme to mother yet another living thing, she takes out her phone and begins scrolling through Pinterest in search of artistic inspiration.
While my companion for the evening is busy channeling her inner artist, I sit back and take in the rest of the room.
Color begs to be noticed. Different shades of a pastel rainbow don every wall. It’s all very cheery. Even the music. Something upbeat with a ukulele. If the colors in the room were a sound, it would be that music.
An audible though not especially loud chink breaks my concentration after a woman drops a ceramic figurine. All eyes in the room land on her for a moment, but she seems unfazed.
“Are you having fun yet?” Another woman’s voice brings my focus back to the other side of the room. “Is it relaxing?” she asks a much younger girl who could only be her adolescent daughter.
“No,” says the girl with disgust, clearly full of teenage angst. “It’s taking me forever.” This mother-daughter bonding excursion doesn’t seem to be going according to plan.
Back at the entrance of the ceramics shop, a gaggle of sorority girls from the local university are just walking in–the VIPs of the evening–and head to their reserved area of the room to paint without speaking to any of the staff members behind the counter. They walk in a single file line, all clad in similar Bid Day shirts and leggings, their unofficial uniform.
“So what do you think?” Olivia holds up her flower pot for inspection. The outside of the piece is spotted with little blue and purple flowers made of tiny painted dots. I should have asked her to paint my tile for me. I tell her so. She shrugs like it’s no big deal, but her attempt to hide a smile tells me the compliment means a lot.
“Wait, what’s on the inside?” I ask, because I know there just has to be something out of the ordinary. She tilts the pot just enough so I can peer inside. She’s painted an image of a plant seed in the bottom of the pot sprouting little green roots. Classic Olivia.
“Aw, how creative!” Again with the small smile.
“How are we ladies doing? Can I help you with anything?” A young woman in an apron and hipster-looking glasses appears. It’s the same woman who greeted me upon entering the shop an hour earlier and asked if I “knew what I was doing,” because apparently my lack of artistic ability is evident even in my physical appearance.
“Yeah actually we’re both done,” I motion to the table, works proudly displayed. The staff member smiles and nods at my friend’s flower pot. Then, as her attention shifts to my tile covered dots, her smile becomes a grimace. Yep, definitely not an artist.
“Come with me, I’ll ring you guys up.”