Last Thursday I found myself in that place. Like a bad horror flick, I saw it coming, but I opened the door anyway. I knew I should push on the brakes. I knew I should U-turn, but I drove head first into it all the same. First it was a trip to a Joann’s fabrics. Not the one closest to us. No. They didn’t have orange tulle, I drove 15.1 miles away. When I got there I couldn’t buy the tulle because I had no idea how much I needed. The instructions told me how much tulle I needed if I bought it on a spool, not by the bolt. The mental math was throwing my panicked, time-strapped brain for a loop, so I just picked up some clearance costumes for future Leila to reject and headed home. I regrouped. This should have meant stopping the madness. Instead I took my toddler on a fool’s errand through 59, during rush hour, to Michael’s. I called ahead, but of course when I got there I eventually learned that they sold out of their orange tulle at 3 pm (when I was at Joann’s). Leila loved the opportunity to ride in a cart, hold a pumpkin and point out the babies. I took this as a sign to continue.
A small, still-functioning, rational part of my brain knew I should let it go. I’d already done enough crazy for the day. No. I had to finish. I ignored the impending migraine, figured out how much tulle I thought I should buy and drove the 15.1 miles back out to Joann’s. Ben watched the World Series, and I made a tutu. Well, I started a tutu. Halfway through my headache forced me to bed.
The next morning, I redoubled my efforts, and not even an hour before we left for the airport I finished the orange tulle tutu. It never made it out of the house. Ben put it on Leila Saturday morning, to which she responded, “No. No. No. Off. Off. Off.” Then she threw a “spectacular tantrum.
I knew this was going to happen. Yet, in the midst of a day when I should have been doing anything but, I hunted orange tulle. Once that place catches my eye, I follow it like the Pied Piper.
I did it for Leila’s birthday. I did it the first Thanksgiving of our married life. The night before Thanksgiving we made a trip to Central Market so we could spend hundreds of dollars buying organic ingredients for me to roast two turkeys, make about half a dozen sides and two desserts, from scratch, for almost twenty people. We had way too much food, the turkey was undercooked, I dropped the pumpkin cheesecake on the floor and my legs threw a spectacular tantrum. I say I will learn, but I will do it again. I will see it coming, and I’ll embrace it like a pathetic character in a romantic comedy. What else am I to do when perfectionism invites me to the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day?