Feb 7, 2010

I Can Do Anything Better Than You

I get myself in a little over my head now and then.  I’m usually aware of when I’m about to do it.  I jump in because I like minor challenges and I love acquiring new skills.  And I’m a little bit cocky.  It runs in the family.  My dad used to love to tell his five kids (okay, I can’t really say if he loved it, but he did seem to enjoy it) that he could do anything better than us, and that we’d never be able to do anything as well as he.  You’d think the result of that kind of jackassery would be a bunch of neurotically insecure adult children, but quite the contrary!  All of my siblings consider themselves to be a superior performer in at least one area of their lives, if not most.  We’ve all got the Kimm family cockiness, and it sure as hell isn’t due to nurturing.  We were welfare kids.  We’re half Japanese, and that was enough to make us ‘chinks’ in small town Oregon.  Some of my siblings were told they had learning disabilities in school.  A couple of them didn’t graduate.  Were any of us ever told anything remotely resembling “You have potential.  You can do or be anything you want”?  Well, I almost was when my high school counselor reviewed my test scores and asked me what I planned to do with my life.  I had no plans.  Still don’t.  My point is, no heft of environmental factors on the ‘keep us down’ side of the scales could outweigh the Kimm family biological directive: ‘I can do anything better than you’.  My faith in my abilities must be genetic.  Thanks, dad!

My latest sink or swim experience involved making a diamond and platinum engagement ring.  I felt honored when a close friend ask ed me to do it.  I told her that I’d never worked with platinum but that “I’d figure it out”.  Would I?  I actually made a panicked phone call the day before I was to deliver the ring in which I told my friend that I was unable to set the diamond.  For a moment, it really seemed like I was in over my head.  After ending the call, I took a few minutes to calm down and play a game of Worst Case Scenario.  I imagined ruining the platinum casting; I could sculpt and cast another in one week.  I imagined breaking the diamond; aren’t diamonds forever because they’re nearly impossible to break?  I decided to take a leap of faith and attempt to set the diamond with the brute force of a hammer.  It worked!  I quickly called my friend back to say that my panic was premature, and that I would deliver her completed ring the next day.  Phew!  Major phew.  I can now add ‘making a diamond and platinum ring’ to my bag of tricks. 

to see full photo album, go to:  frankie making a platinum and diamond ring on facebook 

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