The Day I Became a Crafter

One second grader’s mission to restore some balance to the universe, or, um, the household.

The Christmas during my second grade year will forever live in infamy.

My older sister, Anna, and I had each asked Santa for a Furby. At the time, they were the coolest toys ever, next to the Nintendo 64 and Sock’em Boppers.

Anna and I were no strangers to identical gifts. We often got the same gloves, backpack or Razor scooter, but in different colors. Anna always got pink, because that is the color the world has assigned to pretty blonde girls who do ballet. To my 8-year-old dismay, the universe, without ever consulting me, had assigned me the color purple. I didn’t even like purple growing up. And if the duplicate gift wasn’t purple, it was another lesser color, like olive green.

On Christmas morning, when we opened our identical, except for the color, Furbies, I had had enough. Anna got a Furby that was all white. She immediately named it “Snowball,” because she’s ultra-creative. My Furby was black and white, and reminiscent of a cow. I didn’t give it a name, because it didn’t deserve one. Once again, Anna had gotten the prettiest one. I waited for an opportunity to bring justice to this situation.

A couple of weeks later, when the sparkle of Christmas had worn off, I kidnapped Snowball, took a pink, bubblegum-scented highlighter, and colored her all over. Not evenly. Not in an “I thought you’d like it to be pink, so I did this for you” sort of way. It was a travesty in pink. And when you held Snowball, the pink would rub onto your fingers a little.

The fake bubblegum scent wafted up from Snowball’s ruined fur. The makeover was more than enough to drop Snowball’s ranking in the house. I held my 4' tall head high.

As punishment, my parents made me trade Furbies with Anna so that, of the two Furbies, she still had the prettier one. And that was the moment I became a crafter, to ensure that I can make what I’m given into something beautiful, or at least neutralize the competition.