the devil wears knock-off Keds

Growing up, I didn’t really get the chance to experience all the Awesome Stuff that comes with grandparents but I did luck out with some Really Cool Aunts.  My Aunt G, gifted / cursed with only sons, used my presence as an excuse to do Cool Girl Stuff that her boys were too busy playing basketball or hitting each other to do: namely, crafts.

Fondest memory: buying cheap white canvas tennis shoes and puffy paint at the Venture and taking them back to her house to decorate. Oh my Lord that woman knew the most direct path to my heart. Side note: Do kids even use puffy paint anymore? I certainly hope so. How depressing if they don’t. Anyway, she watched patiently while I covered each shoe in random red, blue and yellow squiggles – could it have been more 1989? – her hands slowly moving ever-so-closer to the bottles of unused paint.

Suddenly, her hand snapped up a tube of red, making her own squiggles on the shoe. “Oh, the Devil made me do it! The Devil made me do it!” she yelped as I giggled, not at all upset that she was sharing in my delight.

Again and again this happened, each time blaming her loss of self-control on Satan himself. And each time, I howled with laughter.

By the time we were finished, those shoes were probably one hot mess of a pair. But unlike the paint, which I probably picked off in a weeks’ time, the memory has stuck with me. Maybe – hopefully – one day I’ll sit down for a craft-a-palooza with someone else’s child. I know that I, too, won’t be able to stop myself from joining in the fun.

But why would I want to?

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