Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Confessions of a Starter

I'm not one for dichotomies. To tell the truth, I think there are lots more reasons that you wouldn't have many projects on the go than being anal or a newbie. (Although I will point out lots of anal people don't think they're anal.) But it was past five o'clock and my ride was coming. I do, however, think that most people fall into the starters or finishers category. If I didn't believe in some dichotomies, I'd only believe I was anti-dichotomous while I was living in the world with one dichotomy, wouldn't I?

My mom was also a starter, who had a hard time finishing. She only finished quilts because, oh, for example, she was dropping us off at college and wanted us to have homemade quilts. I'm not kidding, she took last stitches in mine as we drove up to the drop off point--and it's not like that was the only quilt she was working on. She was always up in the middle of the night on December 20th finishing Christmas gifts. It is, perhaps, genetic. I like to see it as a sign of generosity that we want to give so much of ourselves to others that we simply can't believe that there won't be enough time to get done all we want to get done. Or something.

Clearly I've touched a nerve with some one-at-a-timers with yesterday's entry. It's not so much any of the reasons that Laren gave in her blog. In fact, to be quite frank, I found some of Laren's reasons that I haven't finished projects to be quite condescending. Cross-stitch is useless, and the things she makes are useful ("have a purpose"). Cross-stitch just has exes, and she changes stitches. You may think it's an ungenerous reading, but what the hell, let's go with it. Perhaps we should begin by defining utility. There's utility in beauty, and I know I'm not the first to say that. [I'm looking for my favorite poem on this topic. I'll update the blog when I find it.] But everyone gets to decide what's useful, right? And I have this project to demonstrate that while I call it cross-stitching, that's just short-hand. It was on the UFO pile. And it's small!

But competition, now that's something I can get my head around. I'm simply not competitive. Never have been. My mother was studying early childhood education while my sister and I were growing up and she educated it right out of us. Think what you will of that. My cousins, with whom we spent a lot of time, were competitive and let me tell you, our house was so much more pleasant (except for the fact that my mother was not competitive about housework where my aunt has floors you could eat off). I don't chase balls; I don't care how much money your husband makes, how big your house is, or what kind of car you drive; I am not going to finish a project because you did.

Besides, Laren is always planning projects ahead, researching all sorts of things that she needs to sew her costumes. She says she's a one-at-a-timer, but I suspect she's got a bit of the excessive in her. :)

No comments: