Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Today Is National Coffee Day. And Also? I'm Fairly Convinced that I Will Offend The Entire Coffee Industry With This Post.

Inara has been going through some big stuff during the week at school (nothing bad, she's just still adjusting to being away from us), and so I thought it would be fun for her and I to do something together, just the two of us, this past weekend.  There was a fantastic little Indie Craft Market (it was called Hearts and Crafts - neat name, huh?) running on Sunday, and I thought she'd like to check it out with me.  She only had one question: "Mama...will there be cookies there?  Because I really want a cookie." What can I say - the kid sure has her priorities straight.

So off we went - after promises of sugary treats were made - and we were looking forward to spending some quality time together.

The Hearts and Crafts Sale was fantastic little shindig - it was a small market but you could tell that this was THE place to be. I could feel my Mom Coolness Factor increasing just by being there.  What is the Mom Coolness Factor, you ask?  Well, my dears, I like to define it as those things, physical, emotional or fashionable, that make a mama feel as though she could stay up beyond 8pm without falling asleep standing up. It's a state of mind, my friends, and it can come to you in many forms. An uninterupped shower gets you +1 point, while a new pair of shoes will yield +2 to +4 points depending on the heel height.  I usually peak at +2.5 in this category because big heels give me vertigo.  Whatever, peeps.  We can't all be perfect.
Anyway. I'm pretty certain that my MCF was going up because of my proximity to Java's - a hipster coffee joint right in the heart of downtown.  Apparently, and I just learned this from Carla who is queen of all things cool, Javas is THE place to see and be seen on the weekends.  Which is why I have never been there.  I quickly gave myself +2 MCF points, because it's a rarity for me to be in any public place that doesn't have diaper change stations built into the walls, and I have to admit - at this point I was feeling pretty good about myself.  Big mistake.

Hearts and Crafts was simply jam-packed.  I spied pretty girls with high-cut boots (I'm always noticing the shoes) and Inara spied pretty boys with lots of eyeliner ("Mama! That man is SO pretty!  He has make-ups on!  I think you should do yours like that.").  I started wondering what the rating would be on the MCF scale for taking eyeliner-application lessons from gay men. I decided to call it a +1, and not take any points away for my eyeliner efforts that afternoon - because it's my point system and I can cheat whenever I want. Especially when my daughter tells me that I need eyeliner lessons from an extremely well made-up young man.

While we were walking around and taking in all the sights and sounds, I secretly thanked the fates for allowing me the chance to shower. (+1 point for me!)  And also for putting on some concealer (another point).  And then for deciding to wear my Cool But Slightly Uncomfortable Boots instead of my Look! I'm a MOM! Sensible Walking Shoes (+2.5 points but they were GREAT boots so there).  This was DEFINITELY not the place to be sensible.  Of course Inara looked fabulous, as she always does.  I have no idea how she, at the mere age of four, has the innate ability to put together a perfectly-accessorized outfit.  I'm still trying to learn how to do that at the age of thirty twenty something. (What?  I could be young. Stop laughing.)

Well, we were about five minutes into our cool crafty foray when all of a sudden Inara remembered the REAL reason for this little escapade.  "Cookies!  Mama. Mama.  MOM.  You said I could have a cookie.  Is it time for a cookie yet, Mama? Is it? Huhhuhhuh? MOOOOOOMY!!!"

And of course this was right when I was trying to talk with Marisa, a fantastic local jewelery artist who makes things like this:

And this!

Aren't they just GORGEOUS?!?  I'm more than a little obsessed with the lovely Marisa's work at the moment, and I was secretly devising a plan to have her come live in my attic and be my artist-in-residence. (Imagine how many MCF points that would be!  It's like...uncountably high!!)  I was trying to convince Marisa that it would be fun for her to make me pretty little baubles up in my attic and I, in turn, could pay her in Cheerios (regular and not the generic store brand stuff, because I'm classy like that). I think she was almost ready to go for it too...until a Certain Three Foot Person decided to stage a revolt. 

Mommy Cool Factor: -5 points.

Ouch.  That hurt.  But I brushed it off, because really I was there to have a fun time with the Three Foot Wonder Known as Inara, and I had promised her a cookie earlier.  So off we went in search of a cookie.

Unfortunately for my MCF, the only place to grab a cookie was at the unimaginably cool Java's.

As we waited in line, I looked around at all the hip young kids and then down to the sweet little girl holding my hand waiting so patiently for her cookie.  And I thought that for one fleeting moment, it was possible for these two seemingly opposing worlds to coexist harmoniously - where I could be a mom and feel just a bit worldly at the same time.  I vowed to myself to not let the stretchy pants and sweatshirts dominate my life and to just try to get out and have a good time, even with my kids.  I mean here I was, in a grown-up place with other grown-up people and I was having fun!  And you know, Inara was having a great time too - she didn't care that there wasn't a bounce house or people dressed up as cartoon characters - all it took was a cookie and she was good to go. 

I was contemplating giving myself some bonus MCF points because I had quite possibly achieved Mommy Nirvana right there in a cafe - when we reached the barista.  I was feeling pretty happy about life in general, and I thought that a just reward would be to share a treat with my special girl.  I didn't want a cookie though, oh no.  Cookies are not for Cool Mommies.  I was going to go ALL OUT.  I bravely asked the barista for a cookie and whatever the first coffee-containing drink was on the menu.  I don't remember what it was because I was trying to make it look like I knew EXACTLY what I was doing.  Which I sooooooo didn't.

And then Inara, love of my life, turned to me and said in her loudest four year-old take-no-prisoners voice: "Mama. Did you just order COFFEE? don't even LIKE coffee."

Oh no she DIDN'T.

Oh yes she did. In that instant I could feel my Mommy Cool Factor points plummeting abysmally into the void.  Goodbye, Coolness.  Goodbye, Mommy Nirvana.  Hello, sweatpants.

I'm sure there was much pointing and jeering at me as I slammed my cash onto the counter, mumbled "Keep the change" and booked it outta there faster than the time it took to pull Katy Perry from Sesame Street.

Just in case you've lost count, my MCF for the day was now hanging at somewhere below Unrecoverable.

And Inara.  Dear sweet, Inara.  Happy as a clam to have a cookie that was possibly even bigger than her head, oblivious to coolness factors and made-up point schemes. Just happy to be hanging out with her Mama for the afternoon. All of a sudden, with my MCF rapidly approaching Absolute Zero, I figured that there was nothing left to do but go with it.  And that's when Inara and I really started to have fun.  We chatted with artisans, danced to street music, picked up some great treasures and giggled about how coffee smelled like feet.  I loved every second of it, once I stopped stressing about trying to fit in.

And you know what else?  I think that I earned some major Mommy Coolness street cred with my sweet girl that afternoon - which in my made-up point system puts me somewhere beyond Intergalactic.

And I didn't even have to drink any coffee to get there.

Note:  I just found out that today is National Coffee Day, and now I'm pretty convinced that there is a larger hand at play here.  I think I was destined to write this post today, just to alienate an entire class of coffee-enjoying peoples.  Because I'm awesome like that. +10 Points for me!!! 

These were supposed to be pictures of all the great stuff we got at the Hearts and Crafts Sale, but instead I will let them serve as a warning.

This, friends, is the face of a someone who doesn't enjoy coffee unless it's been mixed with chocolate and/or Pumpkin Spice and/or more sugar than is safe for a human being to consume.  She may look normal - but SHE IS NOT.  Because she's not a coffee-drinker.  She is actually worse...she is a COFFEE POSER (see the next picture for details). Approach with caution.  And don't be distracted by her fabulous earrings (made by Marisa!):

And this is the face of a person who thinks coffee smells like feet.  Shocking, I know.  Don't let her adorable face and gorgeous hat fool you - THIS IS A COFFEE HATER.  And she can't abide Coffee Posers (see above picture for details).  Do not engage subject in conversation unless you want to give a detailed explanation of why your breath smells like doggy doo-doo.  Or unless you want to know how Black Holes are made.  Don't say you weren't warned:

And these weird little tree people may or may not be Coffee Haters, but as they can't talk we can't be certain.  However, they have been seen associating with Known Coffee Haters and Posers so chances are they will stare at you with their strange wooden faces as you ingest your caffeinated beverage.  It will be disconcerting and you will find yourself wondering why you ever spent 3 bucks a pop on people made out of sticks:

You too can look this good....but only if you think coffee stinks.  Like us.
No pressure or anything.

Note (again): For more information on the fabulous Marisa Krol and her stunning jewelery - shoot her a message on her Facebook Page (her pieces make great holiday gifts - wink wink, nudge nudge).  But don't tell her that a Coffee Poser sent you.  Because normal people really don't like to talk about that kind of thing.
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