Friday, February 12, 2010

Who Knew Being A Social Outcast Could Be So Entertaining

I never thought being born an old woman could have any benefits. All those nights spent at home, not going out with friends, not partying, not, you know, having a good time, has proven to be a source of entertainment for Caroline and her friends. You see, I love jigsaw puzzles. It's nerdy, I know. But for an introvert with an empty social calendar and a husband that worked nights and/or spent a lot of time away, jigsaw puzzles were my saving grace.

I gave up the puzzles when Caroline was a baby, because babies are pretty time consuming. Any and all free time was devoted to housework, obsessing about growth charts and milestones, and, oh yeah, SLEEP. As the mother of a newborn I developed a keen ability to multitask; I could do just about anything while nursing Caroline, but I never tried doing a puzzle.

When Craig went away to Warrant Officer school in 2004, we were living in Maryland and winter was approaching. Knowing that being stuck at home with a two year old in a 900 sq foot house with nowhere to go and nothing to do could potentially lead me to the nuthouse, I returned to my old friend, the jigsaw puzzle.

Please, don't feel sorry for me; I've fully accepted the fact that I'm a total cheeseball nerd. I've come to terms with it; so should you.
As you know, we've been stuck at home quite a bit lately because of the 765 inches of snow that has fallen on the DC metro area. While I have the usual housework to tend to and a kid to keep clean, fed and alive (she's SO demanding!), there isn't a whole lot going on otherwise.

In other words: I'm BORED.

So, I took out a puzzle from my stash hidden in the guest bedroom closet and suddenly Caroline and her friends are transfixed by my hobby. Who knew I could be so awesome? Apparently I'm a big hit with the 9 and under crowd. I'm sure the endless supply of snacks factors into the equation, somewhat.
According to my official bean counters, Caroline, Bailey and Rachel, I have 27 puzzles. I used to have more, but I weeded out my least favorites during a pre-move decluttering frenzy before we left Georgia. In the interest of keeping it real, I should also add that I didn't just donate the puzzles that I didn't love, but also the ones that came in boxes that weren't the same shape as the puzzles in the picture above. Yes, I'm THAT tightly wound! It bothered me beyond measure that the box shapes weren't uniform. And as luck would have it, my favorite puzzles, the ones in the nice short, fat boxes have been recently repackaged! Oh the irony.
Yesterday, as I finished up a puzzle, the girls (my adoring fans!) went upstairs to figure out which one I should do next. They caucused for a long while, held a vote and came down with the winner and the runner up.
And with that, I haven't anything else to say. As it stands, I realize that this post has effectively ruined any chance I ever had of establishing cool points with my reading audience.

All five of you!


Sissy said...

Charlie and I went through a phase where we did puzzles, and we liked it. I just hate the part where you get it all finished and then just take it apart. It hurts me. My aunt used to have them framed.

I, being a nerd as well, found a Harry Potter music box at TJ Maxx the other day and was so excited. I bought it, of course, because 1) I love Harry Potter, 2) it was $12 and 3)it would accrue me some cool points with the ten and under crowd at school. And it has. The adults think I'm mad as a hatter, but the kids love it!

Alison said...

Librarians are supposed to be quirky! What kind of music does it play?
It is sort of sad to just take the puzzle apart; even the kids suggested I frame them, but that's a whole lot of wor and I don't have that much wall space. I also don't like the part where you have to seperate all the pieces. It's tedious.