There are days and then there are DAYS, where i make procrastination into an art form.

DAYS when i just don’t have it in me to do anything productive even though i have the time, all of my basic survival needs are met and i am in optimal health. Good health. Ok..’decent’…but above ‘alarming’. Mostly.

DAYS like today, where (when?) i have three online classes unfinished (one of them on mindfulness..isn’t that a scream?), one writing deadline coming up in two days and nothing done for it, and several social media thingies that need to be finished. (oh yeah..the other two online classes are about social media thingies. Ha! i’m a class hoarder!)

And all i want to do is watch youtube videos and eat Red Hots. (No… i STILL have not made it two full days without sugar! FML)

Or sit at my desk and do paint-by-stickers. What are paint-by-stickers, you say? Well, let me enlighten you! (If you are already paint-by-sticker-enlightened, then just look at the pretty pictures. And have some Red Hots.)

Paint-by-sticker is an art phenomenon you find when you are having a DAY and looking on Amazon for adult themed paint-by-number books instead of working on, you know, real work, and then you quickly realize that the search term “adult themed” may or may not have been the best choice of words for what you are actually looking for and you end up seeing things you can never un-see.

What i meant was i was looking for something more interesting for an adult of average intelligence, not a child.

NONONONONONONONONONO

For example: not a puppy, or a little red wagon, or a clown.
(NO. Not a clown. NEVER a clown. NO NO NO NO.)

i wanted themes that would entertain an adult who happens to think and act like a child and loves paint-by-numbers. A childish person. (My therapist says ‘child-like’. She tries to make me feel better about myself. And not, you know, crazy, or anything. Even though that’s one of the reasons one might be seeing a THERAPIST.)

i remember doing paint by numbers when i was a kid and loving them. i could zen out over the mindless matching of numbers to colors, dipping the brush in the little pots of paint, carefully painting in each of the little areas and watching the picture (not clowns) come to life. i didn’t have to have any artistic talent myself – a good thing, because i didn’t really have any – and could just rely on someone else’s drawing, complete with numbers telling me exactly what to paint and where. It was soothing, enjoyable, and looking back, eased my childhood anxieties.

It was pre-Red Hots.

So in my attempts to avoid using sugar as medication, i remembered my love of paint-by-numbers and went to the place-where-all-the-things-come-from: Amazon. And instantly, i was gratified with a long list of paint-by…stickers? Whaaaa??

Upon further investigation, paint-by-stickers is a thing. Like, a thing a lot of people know about it and love, judging by the hundreds of 5 star reviews. And now? i need to have that thing. And with my best friend, Amazon 1-Click Purchase Button, i now own that thing and it is on my coffee table.

When it arrived, i was ECSTATIC. Here is a thing i can do which not only is mindless (my therapist says MINDFUL, but..whatever), does not require any artistic ability whatsoever and doesn’t even require messy paints!! What it does require, i quickly learned, is a pair of tweezers. And reading glasses. Both of which i do not have on hand and one of which i had no idea i needed. (Not tweezers. Pffft. i could stuff a throw pillow with all the hair i wax/tweeze/shave off me. My great-great-great grandmother was a Sasquatch.)

No – it’s the reading glasses! Are you kidding me? When did THAT happen? And how did i not notice?? i mean…i read all the time! And that’s when i realize i’ve been reading with my kindle app on my iPad Air (i LOVE my iPad Air. i will marry my iPad Air someday) and can’t remember the last time i picked up a real book. Kindle versions of books are enlargeable (is that a word?). With a backwards pinching motion, i can make those letters just as big as i want, and i always do. It never occurred to me what that meant.

i grab a book off the bookshelf (“Becoming a Vegan”. Wtf?) and open it up. Sure as shortcake, i can’t read the words. i’m stunned. Somehow, paint-by-stickers has made me feel both childishly (child-likely?) young and rocking-chair old at the same time. Damn. i need reading glasses.

So, a trip to Walgreens for cheaters and lighted tweezers (yes! They are a thing!) ends up costing twice as much as the dang now-somewhat-depressing sticker book. Finally, armed with $15 black framed 1.75’s and a $12 L’Oreal lighted ergonomic tweezer (sigh), i am ready to get down and dirty with the whole paint-by-sticker/anxiety-reducing/zen-outing/age-inflating thing.

And OH. MY. GOD-DUH.

It is……FANTASTIC!!!! i start and i can’t stop. i find the number on the picture, match it to a sticker from the sticker page, gently peel it off (hello, lighted tweezers) and carefully place it perfectly into the space on the picture. It. Is. Hypnotic.

Or, at least, it was…until i realized that even with cheater readers, a fancy lighted pair of tweezers, and all the time in the world to waste (deadlines who? Unfinished classes what?) i am just not getting every sticker to line up perfectly with it’s outlined space. i think i am, then i back away from the book a bit, take off the readers (hello, old age) and look at my masterpiece.

you’re kidding me

And it’s crooked. Not just one sticker piece..but several sticker pieces. And it screws with my OCD-like (my therapist would be proud) need for things to line up and be perfect. Can i peel them off and try again? i remember the instructions say that placement is permanent! They also describe the whole paint-by-sticker experience as “delightful”, “simple”, producing a “giddy feeling” and bringing “color to the world”. Are they nuts? (“Delightfully eccentric” or some such crap my therapist would say.

i frantically flip back to the introduction. “Don’t worry if the lines are a bit off.” i read. “They look like the irregular stones in a mosaic.” i look back at my picture. Nope. They look like incorrectly placed stickers in a frustratingly not-so-zen-like picture book to me! i grab the tweezers and try to gently pick off one of the crooked stickers, but i forgot i now need old-lady glasses and i don’t quite see it right and end up scratching right through the formerly permanently affixed sticker of a goldfish scale, ripping it in two. And now half of it is definitely NOT permanently affixed to the picture book. It is, in fact, stuck to the end of my tweezers leaving an obvious bare spot in the middle of my now effed-up stupid sticker picture.

And THAT? Right THERE? Is why i play in a rock band and don’t do ART.
At least as a rock star, if i lose my hearing, i’m not old. i’m Ozzie. And i don’t need to see anything so close that it requires reading glasses. That’s what groupies and managers are for. And as it turns out, i don’t give an eff-bomb about stupid sticker books ! Analyze THAT, therapist!

Bam! Mic drop. i’m off to find a box of Red Hots preferably chased with a shot of tequila.

  1. See, Candy, THIS is why I don’t do crafty things. I’m ok with my colored pencil & adult coloring book skills, but anything else and my own ocd-like [I am an accountant for a living] tendencies flare up and before I know it I’ve burned all my craftiness attempts in a fit of “ARRRGGGHHHHH!! It’s not PERFECT like it was in my head!!”

    • i didn’t even know i was OCD until i started this anxiety-enhancing sticker book! aaaaaack! i can’t get them all straight!!

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