So I just got back from volunteering at a homeless shelter. The main goal was to read to kids, but it turns out 8-year-old boys are really not impressed by my dramatic interpretation of Miss Rumphius. They found coloring only slightly less boring, preferring to talk about the cartoons they wished they were watching. “Like what?” I asked.
So I flipped over my coloring page, and started to draw Spongebob.
“More spots! He has more spots!” Child one said.
“They aren’t spots, they’re holes, like this.” Child two offered to help.
“Does he have arms?” I asked.
“Duh. But they fall off because he’s a sponge.” (Obviously, Rachel. Duh.)
“What color are his pants? Does he smile a lot? Where does he live?” I continued.
“IN A PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA!”
I drew; they both liked and made fun of my drawing of Spongbob (and later Phineas and Ferb, who I’m told are “tight”). I’m not going to say I made any impact on these kids, but for one hour I did get some grudging respect from 8-year-old boys who would rather be watching television.
The power of the arts, my friends.
And this is not the first time I’ve used my drawing ability to win over children. A few years ago, I went to visit a friend’s 6-year-old cousin who was obsessed with Star Wars. He would not give me the time of day until I drew a picture of Darth Vader, and then I became an acceptable person (henceforth known as RachelD2).
This is probably not what my parents had in mind when they sent me to art lessons, but I’m pretty okay with it. In fact, I’m wondering at what age this ability stops being impressive to others. Or does it?
Next time I go to a bar and sit by a cute dude, I’m going to start drawing characters from Metalocalypse on napkins and see what happens.