If I had to pick a moment that perfectly encapsulated my adolescent awkwardness, it would be this:
It's the seventh grade. Despite feeling the scarlet mark of "new girl" even after a full year in Michigan, I've managed to wrangle an invite to the most glamorous of middle school events: the bat mitzvah. I'm wearing black platform sandals, a shiny, spaghetti-strapped dress from Kohl's, and am rocking a flowering vine tattoo on my bicep, courtesy of the airbrush artist that's set up near the drinks table. I don't yet realize that I have curly hair, so my shoulder-length bob is brushed to maximum bushy capacity. Unfortunately, I'm still several years away from the magical straightening effects of my braces — which, coincidentally, color-coordinate with my blue dress! (On the plus side, I'm pretty sure I've at least graduated to contacts at this point.)
Most of the night has been spent dancing enthusiastically to the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, but the DJ soon switches to the first slow song of the night. One by one, boys that are still several inches shorter than me ask some of the more popular girls to dance, and then just other girls, period.
I remain on the sidelines. And it sucks.
When shopping at places like The Goodwill Store, it's so tempting to be like those seventh grade boys and pass over anything that's less than perfect. You walk up and down the dirty, unswept aisles and wonder where your mint-condition MCM dresser is, where your $6 Tulip chair is to be found. (I don't know where one does find those things, but I'll tell you this: it's not at the Allston Goodwill.) You leave behind the endless array of novelty mugs, the assortment of grandmotherly baskets, and the small Dollar Store frames that come with black and white images of Girl Laughing To Herself or Perfect Family in Park.
But friends, you (we!) are missing out. Because some things just need a little help to reach their true potential. In my case, that involved prescription acne cream, copious amounts of mousse, and the self-awareness to finally, for the love of God, put down the stretchy choker.
As for these frames? All they required was a single can of quality gold spray paint.
(Sidenote: How great/awful is that plastic shower curtain I use as a dropcloth? When we moved in, our realtor gave us a care package that included this shower curtain, a sponge, some individually wrapped aspirin, and plastic hooks. I dare anyone to come up with a more random assortment of move-in goodies.)
During my original jaunt to Michael's a few weeks back, I selected a can of Krylon Metallic Gold, excited to pick up everything I needed in one place. Mistake! The Krylon came out as as greenish-gold, that shade you might see on furniture from the 70s or cheap earrings that have started to turn. I'm sure I'll find a use for it, but not for this project. So I went to Blick's and coughed up the couple extra bucks for a can of Montana Black in what turned out to be the perfect shade of gold. Lesson learned.
I laid out my dropcloth, opened the windows for as long as I dared to in the middle of January, and got to painting. First a couple thin coats of primer, then the gold. My strategy was to pick frames with an interesting shape or textures and try to ignore everything else that may have been hideous about them. It was hard.
But I pressed on. I embodied the spirit of an enlightened 13-year-old boy, looking past superficial blemishes in favor of hidden beauty.
And now I have this.
A nearly complete collection of interesting frames that will make some great wall décor in their own right. Don't get me wrong, I love art as much as the next person, but I'd rather collect stuff I like at my own pace than just splurge on a bunch of prints that are just so-so, all for the sake of filling the ginormous blank wall we have in the dining room.
A couple more frames (i'm hoping for one or two non-rectangular ones to balance out the mix), along with the completion of my other secret project, and we'll be good to go. Unless, of course, my progress is stalled again by yet ANOTHER blizzard.
Moving south is looking more and more appealing with every passing day.