It happened with Theo on The Cosby Show; he never followed through with his projects. Guitar, tennis, skiing lessons, then there was the time where he just had to have the designer shirt. Denise made him a lopsided one, but I’m not sure any of that has anything to do with follow-through.
I am a crafty girl. Before storage was forced upon me and we were merging our things into one apartment, I had white boxes filled with crafts. My closet was an arts & crafts epicenter. Embroidery skeins in every imaginable color, a magnifying glass lamp, books of directions, stitches, “how to”s. I tried that first time, I really did, to embroider the back pocket of his uniform with Mighty Mouse. I botched it, but he wore them anyway because. Because when someone tries, so do you. Besides, I’d drawn the cartoon character with a Sharpee marker, so he still received compliments. That’s what he told me; why would he lie? Ahem.
The skeins slid into the white box, where they remain, now in a warehouse, beside boxes full of watercolor tubes, a saran-wrapped purse of salt (for my watercolor paintings), natural sponges, masking fluid, sable brushes, watercolor pencils. And beside them my Prisma-color pencils, knitting needles, half-finished scarves I’ve knitted, a stitch book. Charcoal, pastels, oil sticks, stretched canvases, sun-paper, porcelain paints. Anything artistic, pretty much, aside from clay and pottery tools, is owned by me. I’ve always loved drawing, especially with pastel or oil cray-pas. But then I stopped and focused on writing.
I have more books on how to write than books written by actual proper authors. Though this has changed lately. I read more now, not about writing, but actual writing. It makes me think and inspires new ideas and memories. It’s like a one sided conversation, where I have the ability to talk back when I dog-ear a page and take out one of my own to respond.
Men were my evening activity not too long ago. I’d flood my time with Internet dating sites, returning home from a date to check my date’s profile activity, to see if he was still shopping around. It was unnerving, to say the least I possibly can about it, to see that after what I thought had been an excellent date, he’d signed in, that very night to check his mail. No, he wasn’t checking to see if I was signing in; he was dating. I hated HATED dating for that reason. Dating gave me permission to obsess mildly. I felt closer just by obsession alone; it’s like being revved up for a new diet after wiping your mouth on your sleeve after your “last” chubb-fest before the famine.
When I was married, Linus became my next project. Before we got him, I focused on which breed was right for us. I took a Yahoo! Pets quiz. Toy Fox Terrier popped up each time I took the test. Then once we got him, I obsessed over training techniques, the best socialization classes (ha! That didn’t work!), putting the Kong toy in the freezer with some peanut butter, only feeding him through “treats” to keep him disciplined. I learned about his breed, scoured web sites for the difference between nipping and biting. Once he was paper-trained and knew how to give me his paw (high five), roll-over, and play dead (bang bang), I was done. What was next?
Decorating, house-hunting, a new town to research, designing a pool. Our next vacation. Knife skills. Spa cooking. Chinatown shopping. Tennis lessons. I don’t do any of it half-assed, and I suppose the things that really stick never would have had the chance if I didn’t become obsessed at some point. Obsession isn’t always bad; it’s better than living half-way through life, pointing fingers, knocking down what others create because it’s easier than creating anything of substance on your own.
My mother did this to me by offering me choices. I’m thankful for it. She spent her evenings taking me to drama classes at the local college, art classes, piano lessons, ice-skating, tennis, violin, viola, trombone, cooking classes on Saturday mornings at Willets Road. Soccer. I did all of it because it was all offered to me. I was fortunate, I know. I still am because I haven’t lost that desire to better myself, to get my fix at improving everything I can. It’s why I appear self-obsessed, in part. It’s what I choose to write about. Me. My obsessions and introspections. And the more they repeat, the more repetitive I become, the closer I am. To overcoming, to being more self-aware, to moving onto the next obsession.