So this blog post stems from a conversation I had with Nate while we were walking (was it this weekend? Last weekend? Last year? I honestly have NO CONCEPT OF TIME ANYMORE, so who the hell knows). We were talking about what we were like when we were kids (how we played, what types of friends we had, etc.), and I remembered how much of a planner I was when I was a kid. More specifically, I remembered how frustrated I always was as a kid over how terrible other kids were at planning and carrying through with things.
Example 1: one of my really weird desires as a kid (and as a teenager, ask my high school friends) was to re-create movies with my friends. Not to, like, adapt them into plays or pretend we were characters in a movie and act as if we were the actual characters…I mean, follow the script, actions, and tone of a movie down to the minute details and basically do the movie again, but with us instead of the original characters/actors. I actually don’t know if I ever wanted these to be taped or if they would just have been live performances or what, but I seriously had this urge for the majority of my pre-adult life.
Anyway, Toy Story came out when I was in elementary school (first grade, I think?) and it immediately became the best thing ever to me. Woody was my favorite. And thus, when I decided I wanted my first grade class to act out the movie, I decided I would be Woody and then assigned other characters to my friends based on who I thought they acted like in real life (the only one I can remember at this point was my friend Meredith D. was going to play Slinky).
I was actually a fairly popular kid in first grade, so I had a lot of sway and people generally did what I wanted them to (and I wasn’t pushy about the movie thing, just to be clear; I asked people if they wanted to do it one afternoon and they said yes and so that was that). So I organized everyone, got us all together on the playground, gave everyone their roles, and plotted out how the opening scene would work using parts of the playground as landmarks. We got through a few lines, then the bell rang and we had to go back inside. The next day? It seemed like everyone had completely forgotten about the plans and had no more interest in the project, which was really disheartening and I was pretty mad (yeah, I know, how dare these six-year-olds have the attention spans of six-year-olds?). This happened with Star Wars, too. Yeah, we were going to do Star Wars. I liked the droids, shut up.
Example 2: fast forward a few years to, I don’t know, fourth or fifth grade? St. Mary’s offered an “after school” program in the summer that was more like a half-day day camp thing to keep us youths out of trouble. We would go to Ghourmley park and swim (back when it had a pool), we’d go to the library, we’d screw around on the playground at St. Mary’s, all that fun stuff.
One of the best things that happened during these day camps was when we’d get a hold of some large cardboard boxes—fridge boxes, stove boxes, etc.—and get to do what we wanted with them. We loved the boxes. One day we got like four refrigerator boxes from somewhere and we were freaking over the moon. I had the idea to make like a huge space station thing out of the boxes, and so a group of us (five or so?) started planning on all the elaborate stuff we’d add to the boxes—dials, windows, doors that “air locked,” tethers that we could use to “space walk” from the boxes, all that jazz. I wrote out blueprints, yo. We were jazzed as hell and were making all these plans to bring stuff from home the next day so that we could make the coolest space station ever. And the next day? You guessed it: it was like we’d never made any of these plans at all. No one brought anything (except for me), no one seemed to care anymore. And once again, super disappointing.
Example 3: this is less of a “Claudia has always been a planner” example and more of a “Claudia is an only child and ALL THE TOYS ARE HERS” kind of an example, but it fits well enough that I’m including it here. Let’s go way back in time to kindergarten. I remember we had this huge set of these plain old rectangular blocks—the things were pretty big, like half the size of actual bricks (or at least they seemed that big when I was in kindergarten), and there were a lot of them.
One day I wanted to use all of said blocks to make a giant horse, and so I did. It was this super huge and fairly elaborate thing by the time I was done with it and it took up quite a bit of the classroom. My teacher must have thought it was pretty cool, though, so she let me leave it up after playtime was over and actually told the other kids not to take any of the blocks from it for the rest of the day.
Finally, when the other kids were allowed to start disassembling it so that they too could use the blocks again, I was pretty upset. I was like, “what are you gonna build with it, pleb? Surely not a COLOSSAL HORSE.”