It's no hidden secret that I'm an unabashed girly girl. Full of post-modern feminism? Of course! Funky? Yes. And quirky? Hells yeah. But no matter how much I bitch and moan (or swear and chug beer or run around in my beloved Chucks), I can't fight my fondness for polka dots, fun stripes and yes... even pink.
I wasn't always that way.
No. Young Noodles was a surly one, who took fierce pleasure in tormenting older ladies in the family by threatening to study karate (hoping to earn a black belt); wearing shorter-than-acceptable miniskirts; and talking about how fun it would be to join the military so I could learn hand-to-hand combat. I even dropped out of ballet because they made me wear pink.
I was 8. And a total pint-sized pain in the ass.
In middle school, I begged my father to teach me how to shoot a gun. Since he's sciencey, he did what any good dad would do and took me to a hunter's safety class on Friday nights. A few sessions in I became less excited about the prospect of hitting the target with my BB gun and more excited about the prospect of being the only girl in a class full of 7th and 8th grade boys.
By the time the teacher was trying to organize a group-wide bunny-hunting expedition (BUNNY HUNTING??? SERIOUSLY? Um, sure. Let's just go out and whack Thumper while we're at it.) I was beginning my path to girlydom, contemplating outfits for school dances and whether or not I'd try out for cheerleading. For the record, a) Suspenders were TOTALLY hot then and b) I did and didn't make it and have been eternally grateful ever since.
Anyway... The elder stateswomen of the Noodles clan were tickled pink to see me start to prance around like a proper teenage girl. Because if they are anything, they are a dignified bunch who know all about sewing, cooking, white gloves and table manners.
In fact, during my recent visit home, my now 100-year-old grandma said she was so glad that I was finally sewing because I really needed to "have a vocation."
Still, I love being the eclectic mix of things that I am. I still love to play with (and kick the ass of) the boys before having tea with my best girl friends. I live for funky fabric and bold prints and totally want a copy of the What Would Joan Jett Do tee-shirt that's for sale in Bust Magazine's boobtique. (Truth be told, I covet almost everything there in there.) I love being an independent modern chick who can handle a power drill while rocking out a pair of new heels. (Although, a note of caution -- stilettos and ladders DO NOT mix.) And my pearls are one of my favorite accessories.
That said, I'm glad I don't live in a time when women HAD to have a vocation and skills like sewing and cooking. But I also respect those who did. Which was why I was SO excited to pick up my Great Aunt's sewing kit. (Honestly, this was the point of the post. I just got a little sidetracked.)
Before she died years ago she was the craftiest of crafty girls. Sewing, knitting, crocheting, rug-hooking, you name it ... she did it.
When my parents were cleaning out her house, I asked them to hang on to her sewing box. I wasn't into crafty things then, so I'm not sure what prompted me to ask them to do that. But I did, and man an I'm psyched.
Here's a tour.