I was 11 years old and Fred Meyer was having a coloring contest with a Thanksgiving theme. The first prize was a $15 gift certificate. For reasons that I cannot explain to this day, I knew I would win that gift certificate if I entered. With my pile of colored felt-tip markers, I carefully and skillfully colored in the black-outlined pilgrims holding their cornucopia of harvested squash, apples, and corn whilst standing next to the Indian friends blissfully unaware of their impending genocidal fate. But I didn't stop with just coloring the page. Being an aspiring writer, I gave them dialogue. Though what I wrote in the bubbles I drew over their heads like cartoonists do is now lost in the mists of time.
But that little bit of creativity paid off to the tune of a $15 gift certificate, with which I bought a pair of black patent-leather pumps with black grossgrain bows at the toe line. They were the prettiest pair of shoes I've ever owned. Not that I got to wear them often as I was perpetually spraining my right ankle thanks to my genetically-defective collagen. The doctor insisted I wear my Nikes and ankle sock brace at all times to support my ankle, something I found humiliating as hell when I was wearing a dress. Whenever I did wear my patent-leather pumps, I felt beautiful. And talented. Could I not kick some coloring contest ass or what?
In the end, I went with a picture in the AofGG coloring book where Anne is about to break her slate over Gilbert Blythe's head. It's naughty and not too detailed. I used colored pencils, which are surprisingly muted when scanned and uploaded to my laptop. I don't know that it's my best coloring job. And I definitely do not have the same confidence in my chances of winning this coloring contest. But my inner 10-11 year old has needed an outlet of late. So while my grown-up self listened to Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century, my little self colored Anne Shirley and the students of Avonlea school. The two halves of me that are so often at odds with each other quieting to let each other just be. It was a rare moment of wholeness.
As always, I woefully underestimated how long it would take for me to color, scan, and post the picture (to say nothing of blogging which I never planned on doing to begin with). It's after 4:30am. Nanny Bea (who is almost always hovering in the back of my mind these days) would be appalled. And almost certainly reaching for her hairbrush. As she will expound upon in a forthcoming story, bedtimes are sacrosanct.
Except when I'm entering a coloring contest. Right?