Warning! If you, like me, were a fashion stylist, or designer perhaps, in your past life I want to caution you; to make you aware of the hazard that may await you if you, like me, are a parent in your current life.
It can begin innocently enough. You take your small child to the school play. What better place to expose him to the wonders of theatre than a charming production with familiars in a safe environment? It’s cultural enrichment after all, and your child loves it! You may cringe at forgotten lines and off key songs, but feel proud of these children nevertheless for their effort and bravery. One has to start somewhere at the honing of craft, yes?
Still, you can’t help but think ( if I were in charge of those costumes I would do things SO differently. Why must they be so hokey? And where is the consistency?? Just imagine…what if?) Well, let me stop you there. Need I remind you that in a very short time your young child will be an older child, possibly with an interest in drama? Oh yes.
The production is to begin. Who will be in charge of wardrobe? Will you be satisfied to put your childs costume together yourself, thrown into the mosh pit of the other parents collective vision ? (Did I mention consistency???) I think not. Who else has put together wardrobe for dozens at a time? Who else has the rolling racks to prove it? ( Not to mention the unusual collection of belts, scarves, jewelry, hats, eyeglasses and then some ) Why not do the costumes? Should be fun! Plus, after too many years of being the lackluster lunch lady/ driver/ homework moniter it might be nice to do something one is actually good at, right?
Again, Let me warn you…think hard before you dive in because THIS IS NOT A PAID POSITION! These are charming yet often ungrateful, eyebrow raising children you are attempting to outfit as opposed to the highly paid professionals you were used to. No longer are you able to pin, wrap and expose to cold with no word of complaint. These are people with no concept of how to place clothing back onto a hanger much less any understanding of why they should be expected to perform such a menial task. (Well, perhaps they resemble the highly paid professionals at times.)
Is the end result ultimately satisfying? Absolutely. Are you once again allowed to spread your creative wings? Definitely. Do you go overboard in your inability to produce anything less than near perfection? Is your significant other left to pick up the slack ( the kids, groceries, dry cleaning etc.) until post production? Chances are a resounding guilty as charged.
Is it all worth it? Depends. If you can avoid the pitfall of imagining the money you might once have made in billable hours ( not including O.T.) and be pleased with a job well done, then by all means go for it. However, if you can bear to merely attend future performances (without critiquing the wardrobe) it may be in your best interest to sit back and enjoy the show.


One Comment

  1. Mermaid
    Posted March 19, 2008 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    When I start getting panic attacks, that’s when I know I’ve over-volunteered. Sounds like you need to breathe into that plastic bag that Bangs was talking about(EcoMom).

    Also, when I volunteer too much, I become more of a GROUCHY, SUCKY mom. Which means I’m doing all of these nice things for others, but am torturing my own self and family!

    At least when you volunteer for such a huge position, everyone can see what it is that you spent all of your time and talent on. People congratulate you and pat you on the back and give you Stellar Spa gift certificates 🙂

    I volunteer for all of these little behind the scenes piddly things that add up to so much stress that I am a crazy woman. It’s like donating $1000.00 to 10 different charities instead of giving $10,000.00 to AIDS research. We’d have a cure by now if I was focused!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] at Not Afraid to Use It.  Her post about volunteering made me think about Blondeshell’s post Warning.  We never learn, do we?  At least I don’t. […]

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