October 4, 2008

Fair? I Don't Think So!

Yesterday was the Fair. The day started off well enough. Waking up was probably the best part of the day. It went downhill from there. Not a slow decline either, it was quite rapid. Around these parts, the children - excuse me, young adults - don't feel like they need to go to bed with their parents - excuse me, butt dragging old people. So, they stay up and play Battlefield, knit, read, watch television, etc. and RL and I assume our snoring positions. 'Fair Eve' was no different although they were both told they needed to head to bed at a decent time so we could get to the Fair before the prices rose from $3 to $8 per person. Parking is $7 no matter what time you go. The Fair is quite an expensive venture. I woke the young adults around 11:00. I had a wild couple of hours ahead of me. I had to go to the bank, take out a small loan so we could afford to go - well, not really, but it felt like it! - go back to get the kids, go to a drive thru and pick up something to eat on the run, hit the interstate, go across town to pick up RL and then head to the fair to see what R won. L is a great sport about it even though he doesn't enter anything.
Fair pictures were taken at my Mom and Dad's house and of course we had a few nosey onlookers!

I woke the kids, threatened them within an inch of their lives that they needed to be ready by the time I got back from the bank. I got some money out of the ATM and realized it probably wasn't enough. I tucked in under my armpit and got some more out. Why did I tuck it in my armpit? I have NO idea. Don't ask me stupid questions about my stupid activities! I can't explain them. Lack of sleep? Feeling rushed? I don't know. I can play the blame game all day and it isn't going to get us anywhere. So, I got more money out of the ATM, grabbed the money and receipt from my armpit and stuck it and the other money in my jeans pocket. Headed home to see the progress of the kids. Pulled into the driveway and reached into my pocket to get the money out - only a third of it was there. Not in the car, not in my jeans, not anywhere! I guess I had grabbed the receipt and not the money. Somebody got a $40 bonus yesterday. Whoever you are, I hope you enjoyed it! ARGH! I went back to the bank hoping some sweet, honest soul had turned it in. Nope. Got more money and headed back home.
That's one big-butt pumpkin!
The kids were ready so off we went. We went to the local drive thru and got something to eat. The order was $10, I gave him a $20 and he gave me the order. We hit the interstate when it hit me that he hadn't given me change. We didn't have time to turn back around because I still had to get across town with an hour on the clock. I'm out $50 now for those of you keeping track.
These little guys were adorable and not any bigger than a minute!
At this point, I'm freaking out about everything but trying desperately not to. Okay, can't afford to lose $50, but that's just the way the day is going and it's going to be okay. Made an executive decision not to pick RL up from work because if he went to the Fair he was going to have to work this weekend. He needed a full weekend off, so I called him to discuss it with him. He was fine. Thank goodness - something was fine! Got to the Fair, paid for parking - $7 - ridiculous! Went to the ticket booth with about 15 minutes to spare before the rates went up and out the roof. Gave the lady $12 for three people - my fault. Did she notice? Of course not. Should have gotten back $3. Did I? Of course not. Grand total of lost money: $53.
What an incredibly soft camel! We were trying to figure out how to get some fiber from him!
Now, some of you might think I'm doing a credit card commercial. You know: Money lost at bank: $40. Money lost at drive thru: $10. Money lost at Fair $3. Seeing R's face when she's won Best of Show: Priceless. But no, my bloggy friends....this story does not end that way. We went into the display area and the bottom fell out.
Third Place for these beauties. We were fine with that.
Nothing for this. A wee bit disappointed, but okay.
Blue Ribbon for this Malabrigo scarf - pattern R's own. Doing pretty good at this point.
Gorgeous Elizabeth Zimmerman socks that were a royal pain in the butt to make and learned a real lesson in perserverance - NOTHING. NADA. NIL. ZIP. The tears started to flow. Oh, she held it together until she saw that she had been beaten out by a Red Heart Acrylic sweater. Yep, if that don't beat all. Now I know that she has been lucky in years past. Maybe a little too lucky. But this year the judging, well, the judging sucked. Not just because my kid lost, but because a lot of people were ripped off. I saw a knitter and a crocheter on a bench enjoying the fresh, fall air, working away on their fibery goodness and asked if they entered anything. Yes. Did they win? One of them did. But, she still felt that the judging was not fair. Interesting.
Ever have one of those bad hair days?
Before we left to wallow in our self pity, R wanted take pictures of the winners in hopes of figuring it all out. I was standing there by the case next to a woman who was shaking her head and 'tsking' in disgust. Did you enter anything, I asked. Yes. Did you win? Well, I came in third, but this won. 'This' was the Red Heart acrylic sweater'.
Am I bitter? Not really. It sounds like it, but we had been through a lot that morning and that was just the icing on the cake. Do I think that R was ripped off? Of course. But then again, I am the person watching her blood, sweat and tears during the entire process. RL and I are the people funding this crazy little ride every year. It costs more every year. Is it worth it? Not to me - not anymore. When a judge cannot see the craftsmanship put into an item - and we are talking about turning that sucker inside out and looking at the eveness of the floats and how one color is always on the bottom and one is always woven in on the top - they don't deserve to judge. Do I think she should have walked away with a grand prize? Well, I'm her mother so I will always feel that way. However, I am also a knitter and I can appreciate when someone else wins because of the time, effort and quality of the materials they put into it. Do I want her to participate next year? Not a bloody bit. But the decision is not mine to make. It's hers and she will probably not feel the same way in a year. She will probably forget a little of the tears and walk in there confident that she will win first place with something new and wonderful that she has dreamed up and spent countless hours working on. And I will encourage her just like I always have. She's my kid and she deserves the best and I'm just along for the ride!


Aredhel said...

Argh! I'm so sorry to hear that you all had such a bad day! I hope today has been lots better! Rebecca, congratulations on the ribbons you did win, and better luck next year if you enter anything! To me everything you made looked really great.

Thimbleanna said...

Darn it! Don't you hate it when all those money disasters happen? Especially all on the same day!

Kudos to you for sticking with the fair so long. I feel the same way about quilt shows -- at least our home grown ones -- we had winners this year that had tucks where they weren't supposed to be for kripes sakes! I'm betting you'll be there next year. Somehow the pain of crafting is like the pain of childbirth -- you forget it and only remember the great times!

Bella Modiste said...

wowee..love those socks...can't believe some stupid acryic sweater won...tsk...sorry about your lost $53..yeesh..I'm convinced our local photo contest is rigged...I've seen terrible photos win...and perfect ones of polar bears, foxes, etc, not even get recognition...a real shame really...
will get to R's email in the next day or so...off to to bed though!