Saturday 22 Oct 2016

Jennifer Flaten

I am not a girly girl. Try to hide your surprise. Oh, don’t get me wrong although my preferred dress is jeans and a T-shirt I am not a total tomboy. I can clean up very nice, if the occasion calls for it, but my look is understated.

I don’t do glittery, except for a brief time in seventh grade when I suddenly fell hopelessly in love with rhinestones. For a while, there I had a rhinestone earring collection to make me the envy of most Vegas showgirls, luckily that obsession faded and I’ve managed to stay glitter free for years.

Yet, somehow, I managed to have two girls who believe the entire world would be a better place if it glittered. I don’t know how this happened. My money is on a recessive glitter gene. I know I never felt the urge to cover every available surface in glitter.

My girls will apply glitter to anything that doesn’t move. Oh, what the hell, who am I kidding they would apply glitter and sequins to the cats if they could get them to hold still long enough for the glue to dry.

So far, the cats have avoided a trip to the glitter dome, but I can’t say the same for the girls’ school supplies. We finished all our school shopping and the first thing the girls wanted to do was personalize all their supplies.

Here I thought personalization was simply writing your name inside the notebook in pen. No! A long, creative process that involves glue sticks, glue guns, squeezy glue, markers and enough glitter, stickers and duct tape to rival Martha Stewart’s craft closet.

In contrast, their brother could barely be bothered to write his name on his school supplies. The girls offered to do it for him in six different color of glitter, but he politely declined.

Hours later, their masterpieces were complete. I believe the results were fabulous, but I can’t be certain as it was nearly impossible to look directly at the assortment of bejeweled, beglittered, bedazzled without becoming overwhelmed by the sheer sparkle of it all.

Now, if they would only give as much attention to the homework that is going inside these sparkling books.

For reasons known only to the girls, they decided to do their designing in the bathroom. Consequently, a fine layer of glitter now covers the entire countertop in the bathroom. There is even glitter on the toothbrushes. Which, of course, I didn’t notice until later in the day long after I brushed teeth Leaving me to wonder if my smile was extra dazzling that day.

Glitter is everywhere in the house. You will sit down to eat a piece of toast for breakfast and notice it glimmering in the light, sure enough there was glitter in the butter. After a while, you just get used to it.

The personalization also applied to their lockers at school. On registration day, while most other students were carefully loading their school supplies into their locker my girls were loading important things like locker chandeliers and bedazzled locker shelves into theirs. I had to put my foot down and tell them they couldn’t install a set of beaded curtains in their locker.

One daughter spent about twenty minutes making sure she had the proper arrangement of pictures in her locker. I noticed that the pictures of our animals, both cats and dog, far outweighed the pictures of any other members of the family. Perhaps, we aren’t sparkly enough.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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