Running with Pop-Tarts

Sometimes great ideas actually are just as wonderful as they seem in our heads.

But many great ideas just aren’t.

As much as I would prefer not to admit it, I’ve done a countless amount of things that I thought were really bright notions, only to have them backfire in my face. I mean, I got bangs when I was in fifth grade. BANGS. This was way before I owned a flatiron or knew how to use a curling iron. I’m not even sure I owned a brush back then, but I got bangs. I don’t have bangs hair. This was a horrendous idea that I had mistakenly thought was wise. Oy vey.

Then there was that whole trip to Portland last year that seemed like a really solid plan until I found myself asking strangers for rides and sleeping in the airport. When I had originally registered for the conference I was attending, booked a hotel and gotten a buddy pass from my friends, I figured the trip would be pretty breezy. I should have known better.

Great idea

And then came the Pop-Tarts fiasco of last week. Cinnamon roll Pop-Tarts might be one of the greatest creations Kellogg’s has ever made. If you’ve never tried them, please go to the store as soon as you can, and let your life be changed forever. I was hyping these up to the CEO of our company last Thursday, and he seemed very intrigued, so I told him I would bring him some. I was out of them myself and knew I’d need to make a trip to the store to get some before work the next day because I’m a woman of my word.

I’m in a work bowling league, and we compete on Thursday nights. We usually get out of there pretty late, and I was too tired to make a pit stop on the way home to pick up Pop-Tarts. I thought about getting them on the way to work the next morning, but I knew that likely wouldn’t happen—I’m usually rushing enough as it is to get out of the door on time. Then I had a genius idea: I’ll get them in the morning on my run. There’s a Walmart not too far from where I live, and that’s the only store that would be open at the time I run, anyway. I figured I would buy two boxes for three logical reasons:

1. I needed more for myself.

2. I could check my box to make sure they didn’t break or anything to help assure me that his box was still intact.

3. I would feel even carrying one box per hand.

Again, this was a really great idea in my head. And then I executed it. First of all, the early mornings are apparently restocking time for Walmart, so the aisle I needed to get to was roped off. I had to crawl under and hop over a few barricades to get to the Pop-Tarts. I put each box in a separate bag when I checked out with the thought that I could tightly wrap the handles around my hands so that the boxes would bounce less.

That plan stunk.

I ended up holding the boxes the whole time with what I might call an iron grip. But it was so uncomfortable. I didn’t want to move my arms much and shake the Pop-Tarts a bunch, and that was really awkward. Arms are useful when running. My left arm does this weird swing thing, though, so there was no stopping it. I decided my box would be the one in my left hand. My hands also started to feel really strange from holding on to such a massive structure for so long. (I know the boxes aren’t that huge, but they really are.) The whole run home, all I could think about was how stupid this idea was.

I finally made it home and was happy to discover my box of Pop-Tarts was perfectly fine, so I could only assume the other was, as well. I set the box on the boss man’s desk, and he loved them—but he has no idea the journey those bad boys and I went on together.

Even though good ideas may quickly become bad ideas, perhaps they can still bring about positive results. After all, now I know never ever to get bangs. I learned quite a few things about people—including myself—on my trip to Portland. And I got to keep a promise I made after that special Pop-Tart run.

There are legitimate bad ideas out there (e.g., the creation of Peeps), but I think good ideas turned bad can turn good again. Maybe a lot of it has to do with the intent behind the idea. We all have different ways of getting where we need to be to do the things we need to do—and sometimes we have interesting tactics along the way. The important thing to remember is to follow through with your idea if you know it’s right in your heart.

Even if it means running with Pop-Tarts.

Some glues just don’t stick

Every once in a while, an idea that seems pretty genius in my head turns out to be not as great as I hoped.

And then bad things happen.

I’m in a bowling league at work, and some of us on my team decided it would be a good idea to make shirts. After all, we clearly need to match in homemade tees every week. We had somewhat of a plan in place, and I didn’t think it would be too difficult of a process. I mean, I used to make shirts in high school all the time. Well, perception changes a little from when you’re a teenager to when you’re a grownup.

And apparently so do shirt-making skills.

For starters, it’s possible I wasn’t quite as prepared as I should have been. My teammate Amanda and I stayed late after work one day last week to start the shirts. She pointed out that the paint I brought wasn’t fabric paint, but it says it’s for all surfaces, so we are crossing our fingers that it lasts. Then there was the paintbrush issue. The paintbrushes were all too thick for the lettering we had traced with a permanent marker and the use of a projector, so I ended up painting all of the letters with the wrong end of the paintbrush—you know, the one without actual bristles. I don’t care to discuss the ridiculousness of this any further.

Again, this is not how I had pictured it in my head.

Don’t trust this one.

Then came round two. I took all of the shirts home to paint the backs and to put the patches on the sleeves. I don’t own a sewing kit, and it wouldn’t matter if I did, because I don’t know how to sew anything on anything. They are iron-on patches, but I also don’t own or know how to use an iron. So, really, there was only one option available to me: glue. I have craft glue and super glue, so I decided to use both—for double the durability, obviously.

In “Sparks Fly,” Taylor Swift sings the line, “My mind forgets to remind me you’re a bad idea.” Even though she’s talking about a guy in this case, I feel like I could sing this in my head in so many situations in my life—this one included.

There’s something wrong with my super glue. It was way more liquidy than any glue should be, and it practically exploded when I tried to use it on the first shirt. The rest of the shirts got the craft glue only, and that was a really bad idea, too. Craft glue needs to specify that it is weaker than you might think and does not last on iron-on patches trying to be glued to T-shirts. It’s just a suggestion, but I think a lot of other people out there might appreciate to know this information. Needless to say, none of the patches lasted a full 24 hours, and I ended up stapling mine to my sleeve. Amanda knows how to sew and will be fixing the rest.

This sort of reminded me of when I was in the sixth grade and tried to make kalaches for a school project. The result ended up being a bunch of crumbs divided into squared-off sections with little cherries in the middle of each. Nothing on that baking sheet resembled anything close to a kalache, and my mom ended up having to help me (or make them for me while I sat there and pretended to absorb some of her baking knowledge).

I think this happens more than we’d like—we have these great ideas of how we think things should turn out, and then they don’t exactly go according to our plans. I know for me it’s because I sometimes act impulsively without really applying that whole “logic” thing. But it’s really important to make sure your glue holds. If you’re trying to make something great but attempting to hold it together with something without lasting value, the result will likely end up falling apart. It’s much better to make sure you have a forever glue.

There will be times when our plans blow up in our faces, and there will also be times when we get something way better than we thought possible. Regardless, it’s good to be ready for whatever comes our way.

Which means I probably need to buy more super glue.