I know you’re dying to hear the results of the table decorating competition from the state fair so I’ll just cut to the chase: I didn’t win. But I never even expected to come in first place so yeah – no biggie. (Oh yeah, I also didn’t get second or third).
Nonetheless, there’s my table, with the crowds clamoring to see it.
Let’s talk about the judging. As a teacher, I know that I can only expect my students to complete an assignment to my specifications if I make those specifications explicitly clear. The first thing I got dinged on was that my theme was not written on the top of my menu. Well I read the four pages of “table decorating rules” and not once did it say to clearly proclaim your obvious theme onto your menu. I noticed that several other people did the same thing wrong…hence the “Dutch Breakfast?” at the top of my critique.
Need a closer look – here ya go:
An ivory tablecloth! Who knew?! Also, I had no clue that I literally had to put “water” as one of my beverages. Notice that I at least got points for my “research and creativity.”
Now I know you’re dying to know what the winning table looked like (note: when setting up, this woman refused to have her table next to mine, so I already pretty much hated her):
She also had some sort of narrative to go along with her table that described what eating her dessert by the fire would be like, and while I thought the duck was overkill, the judging clearly thought it was “charming.”
We perused all of the tables with a new level of understanding, and were surprised to see that some of the tables we thought had a dated aesthetic (Courtney called it “Shilo Inn circa 1987”), they received some of the better critiques. Although I didn’t win, we heard a woman squeal, “I’ve always wanted to do this!” when looking at our tables, so clearly I’m living the dream.
The big question now is would I do this again? On one hand, I’m like no no no no no. It was a lot more expensive than I expected to purchase all these little items, and a lot of time and effort (not to mention that I will have to take a half day off this week just to go pick up my stuff!). Then on the flip side, now that I’ve seen what I did wrong, I want to do it right. Courtney and I joked that next year my menu should literally be titled, “Shilo Inn circa 1987” (look for lots of shells, sand, and pastel wicker). Also, now that I know how to do it, I have an whole YEAR to plan the most intensely amazing table that judge has ever seen.
For now, I’m exhausted, but ask me again in June and we’ll see…