Welcome to the first edition of "Suburban Overachievers," - a new SK feature, where we will
mock profile the efforts of the suburban denizens who make the rest of us look bad with their oh really it was nothing efforts.
We begin with E, a woman who makes everything from haute cuisine to algebra look so easy that you will either want to be her best friend or run her over with your minivan.
E is the kind of suburban mommy whose classroom cupcakes are baked from scratch using ingredients she grows in her backyard. Before I met E, I didn't even know you could grow cupcakes in your backyard.
When E's little boy decided he wanted to be a knight for Halloween, she did what any overachieving suburban mommy would do - she started shopping for chain mail.
Meanwhile, E's husband began the process of smelting iron ore, or maybe it was cardboard, into a realistic blade that would later be attached to a jewel-studded hilt and scabbard in a piece of Medieval craftsmanship that might have earned him a knighthood in another time and cul-de-sac.
Mr. E is the kind of guy who walks into your house with a couple of nails in his mouth and a few minutes later he has renovated your bathroom. "It was nothing," he will say, brushing the sawdust from a window frame that he has just resized after discovering a tiny flaw in the alignment.
E graciously agreed to share the step by step process of creating this Broadway-quality knight costume for the SK audience. She also graciously pretended not to recognize that SK readers were about as likely to cut their own hair as to attempt a project like this.
And so I pretended to take down the instructions as she explained how she converted $10 worth of thrift store finds into a Camelot worthy ensemble.
First, a woman's green velvet shirt (Goodwill, $4.99) was converted into a tunic with chain mail cuffs attached to the t-shirt sleeves underneath. Cutting carefully along the ... and um, sewing?
Then a sheet of something was attached to something else to make a shield and a chain mail helmet was fashioned in a series of steps I would not be able to duplicate if I had two months and a lifetime subscription to Better Moats and Castles.
A realistic crest was copied from somewhere and reproduced on the face of the shield using something. Black tape maybe? I'm not certain. I spilled a pretty good red wine on my notes.
"I'm not laughing at you," I said, wiping tears from my eyes and Claret from my pages.
Here is what I was writing in my notebook:
Chain mail!!!! ? sewn onto t-shirt?! $2.99 pants? Goodwill? Woman's belt converted to scabbard?!!! OMG! chain mail!
So, anyway. That's all there is to it.