So there I am, in my friendly local Joann Fabric store (no, it does not contain an ‘s’, nor an apostrophe, but thank you for asking, my fellow sticklers) waiting to have some fabric cut from the bolt.
It’s a little like the deli, in that you have to take a number to assure that customers are served in the proper order. Also, it keeps all hell from breaking out. People can get a little crazy when someone is deemed to be cutting in line. Limbs may be lost. I’m just saying.
Anyhoo, I’ve got my bolt of poly/silk for my son’s wedding canopy, and I’ve got my number. A couple of other assorted characters are clutching various bolts of fabric for reasons I can only speculate on. For instance, there’s a perfectly normal-looking twenty-something with three bolts of fleece with collegiate logos and teams on them. I can assume fairly safely that some couch throws are soon to be made.
There’s a sweet couple: mother and teenage daughter with some pretty glitzy, shiny gold stuff that simply screams “PROM DRESS” at me. I’m sorry—did I just yell at you? Didn’t mean to.
But then there’s this old man, and remember, I consider myself kind of old, so I’m talkin’ REALLY old here. No joke, the guy was at the very least 80, and could well have been 90. I am not exaggerating even a teensy bit. He was clinging to a notebook-sized plastic frame that held some sort of ‘braid-by-the-yard’. When it was his turn he asked the clerk for two yards of the stuff. She measured it out, and found that there was just a yard and a half on the frame. The old man (who was quite clearly by himself, by the way) shrugged and said that would be fine. Really? Fine? You need two yards, but a yard and a half will be fine? What the what are you buying this for? (Intellectual curiosity—I don’t really have any practical application for this knowledge.) He got the braid and toddled off toward the cash registers.
The clerk looked up at her deli-type number display. “Is there a 41?” she asked warily. No answer. Those of us loitering with our cloth held to our chests looked around at each other. Nothing. “No 41?” she persisted. Surprise—still nothing. I said, “I’m 42.” The clerk looked relieved, as if I’d said, “Sure, I’ll jump start your battery; you won’t have to walk home.” But she really said, “Oh, you’re 42?”
I said, “I am,” and held out the little yellow paper tab as proof. “But I look much older.”
Late-to-the-party, vertically-challenged, right-handed, semi-retired, apparently-hyphenated female.
I'm still trading on my 2008 first place win of the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. Since it's an every-other-year event, I'm still technically the reigning champion, so I have given myself permission to flaunt it a while longer!
In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I asked my husband to re-work the photo of me in the banner to remove ten years from my neck. (Thank you, Nora Ephron.) I also asked him to whiten my teeth, but he pointed out that my teeth weren't showing. Always a stickler for details. Now the photo here in the sidebar should have been filtered heavily, or shot through gauze, but alas, it is your basic wysiwyg of the aging process. What was I thinking?