I’m not a creative person.
I’m not saying that to elicit sympathy or fish for the occasional, “there, there, Aunt Becky, you’re SO creative,” because I know it’s a hot pile of bullshit. I’m not creative.
Take, for example, the time in high school that I took a drawing class as an elective. I sat there, my beret perched neatly atop my head, all, “Imma be an ARTIST,” until I had to actually draw my first picture. A still life of a bowl of grapes looked more like a pile of testicles hovering over a tire than actual fruit. It took a few weeks, but after I realized I had no artistic aptitude, I simply copied the work of someone much more talented sitting next to me – the first and only time I ever cheated in a class.
My desire to be a creative genius, a veritable child prodigy, went back a lot further than that, though.
We always had Lego sets lying around when I was a kid. My brother, the actual creative one in the family and a full ten years my senior, was able to build these amazing creations from a bin of random Lego bits. I figured I could do the same. It couldn’t be THAT hard, right?
One Saturday, as I watched the morning cartoons, I decided to prove to the world – and my family – that my mug belonged squarely on the cover of Time Magazine as the “World’s Most Awesomest Kid” (alternately, “The World’s Best Genius.”) – I wasn’t sure which would be more effective.
I schlepped down to the basement in my footie pajamas, careful to avoid slipping down the stairs, on my quest for the basket of Legos. Tucked away in the corner, right behind the antique butter churn and some ancient copies of the New Yorker, I found it.
I brushed off the dust (my brother had long-since traded Legos for sports cars) and lugged the basket up the stairs. I plopped it in front of the television, marveling at all the ways I could make super awesome stuffs. Like a pirate ship. Or a pony on roller skates.
After, of course, I cleaned the cat pee off the Legos.
I sat there, in front of Jem and the Holographs and started trying to put something together out of the random bits of Lego. Hrms. I couldn’t create a pony – no horse head. Roller skates required wheels, which I didn’t have either. And a pirate ship? Well, not so much.
But I tried.
And after about an hour of blood, sweat, tears and Legos, I looked down at my masterpiece. It was a square box. With one window – no door. Even the house I tried to make looked all janked up. Who the fuck can’t make a house?
Me. I couldn’t.
I sighed deeply. Clearly my “muse” was a lying fucking bitch. Ever since, I’ve eschewed anything Lego-related.
That is, of course, I had children.
My eldest, who has autism, loves Legos. There’s something innately soothing to him about lining up all the wee parts, following directions, and creating something grand. That is, of course, until a piece goes missing. With two smaller siblings and a mess of cats, that’s pretty much all the time. Shit, I STILL can’t find my whore pants, which are, needless to say, much larger than a piece of Lego.
Once a piece is lost, the set is “ruined” and he refuses to play with it.
I’d mostly banished Legos from my house until The Guy On My Couch moved in – there’s too much pressure to make sure the sets are in pristine condition for me to actively buy Legos for my kid.
The Guy On My Couch, he loves Legos. I know, you’re probably all, “so, he’s an overgrown teenager, right?” to which I would reply, “yes, but he also cooks.”
I find his obsession with Legos more endearing than not – one look at my orchid collection and you’d know that he’s not the only one in the house with collecting issues.
He’s been carefully assembling Hogwarts Lego sets and putting the completed pieces in my china cabinet (I will soon have to find a new place to store my china and Cock Soup packets), which has sparked the Lego bug deep within my children. Apparently a love of Legos is created by osmosis. And I get it – the finished kits are pretty fucking cute.
I wouldn’t mind living in Lego Land so much if I hadn’t stepped on approximately 800 Lego pieces in the last week.