ContainYourselfWhen I was a little girl, my family didn’t have much money. But, I don’t really remember the part about being poor; it was in retrospect that I saw that we were creative in part because we had to be. What I remember is the thrill and the imagination that was sparked by my arts and crafts projects. My mom used to give me a lot of scraps to work with for what I liked to call my “art.” It didn’t matter if it was a Cap’n Crunch cereal box or a tuna can; I used to meld together a lot of unusual things in really unique ways to make everything from a penny holder to a hat. When it comes to this reusing of kitchen stuff, the difference between the way my childhood memory first plays my creation back to me and the picture that my adult mind paints after I process it are two very different things. Exhibit A, here is one of those memories:

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

Childhood memory: I am a princess wearing a long string of beautiful, valuable shells colored by the most royal of paints and held together by a delicate piece of thread. Adult recap: I am a 5-year-old girl busted for making lunch into a mess, breaking my brother’s color crayons, and using my mom’s 14-karat gold chain to string macaroni strands. My, how we grow up; and it is quite cute to see how our minds process things, which brings me to a different process that often escaped a kid: the importance of following proper protocol. Translation: I often forgot to wash out my containers! This led to a catastrophic event that I only wish eHow would have been able to warn me about: Always wash your container, thoroughly, with soap and water, and let it dry! The next example explains why…

Cottage cheese container turned top hat

Childhood memory: I am a glittery, glitzy actress with a daring, sparkling hat posing for the cover of a magazine on the grounds of a sprawling estate, and then it rains. Soggy, smelly rain. I fire my assistant. Adult recap: I am a funny, if not slightly strange, imaginative little kid with a sequence-covered cottage-cheese container on my head, a smile to match that cheese and a stick-straight pose. Then cottage cheese pours out from the right side of the container. Smelly, soupy cottage cheese. I run inside to my mom screaming about my hair. Funny, I learned a lesson about patience that day, instead of the virtue of the fact that while I may have been impatient, I was doing some good by reusing everything that my mom would hand me from the fridge. Speaking of my mom, I think that she would have been proud, seeing how over 85% of our garbage is sent to a landfill or dump instead of being recycled or reused. I may have been soaked with cottage cheese, but I was standing for something — even if it wasn’t really a photo shoot.