Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stitch and Bitch - The Art of Craft Survival

My wife loves to craft. Sewing, painting, gluing - she does it all. Even her cooking becomes a work of art. I love the creative work that flows out of her brain and into the wood, fabric, and crock pots of our lives. But sometimes these projects go beyond the realm of creative expression and into the world of patience-testing. If you are unsure, mine is the patience that is generally being tested.

The Craft Store  - A Husbands Purgatory

Today, we realized that it is only seven weeks until Christmas. This means that our ever-growing list of holiday gifts is in need of fulfillment. As many of the items on our list are going to be homemade gifts, our task today was much more than simply going to the store and picking out a few items for gift wrapping.

We set out for the craft store at around ten o'clock this morning. The overcast sky offered a foreboding mood as we rolled out of our neighborhood and moved ever-closer to the store. Our goal was simple - pickup a few picture frames, some glue, and get back home to complete a couple gifts.

The wind beat against us as we entered the bustling craft store. The swirling gales were replaced by a multitude of conflicting scents. The burnt odor of hot glue mixed with newly stocked holiday pine spray creating a noxious smell that hit me straight in the gag reflex.

The shop was filled with women who were eagerly searching among stacks of scrap-booking pages and rubber stamps. A few mildly-annoyed employees milled around the cash registers. We headed to the large, brightly-colored placard the announced "frames". I was comforted by the speed in which we found what we wanted. We picked out our frames, which were on sale to boot, and were en route to the check-out when my wife's phone went off. On the other line was my mother.

As the two women discussed Christmas gifts and Thanksgiving plans, we began to wander through the aisles of craft projects. They talked and we walked. We walked and my wife got ideas. My wife got ideas and we added things to our cart. This was not going well.

My wife got off the phone and we stared down at the contents of our purchase.

"We need to find the build-your-own jewelery section. Can you ask someone where it is?" I'd like to remind everyone that we came to this store looking for picture frames.

My wife batted her eyes at me and I knew that arguing would be futile. I looked around and spotted a man who was restocking some balsa wood and wearing a store name tag. Do you know how emasculating it is to ask another man where to go for build-your-own jewelery? Judging by the look on his face, probably not as emasculating as knowing where to find that section.

After fifteen more minutes of searching for some obscure item, we finally gave up and headed toward the check-out. Standing in line were a dozen women, half of whom were accompanied by men who looked as thrilled to be there as I was. We shuffled through the line and finally arrived at the checked out, face-to-face with an apathetic clerk.

Our mountain of crafting supplies beeped through the scanner, and the dollars climbed higher and higher. After a disputed discount, a price check, and a failed attempt at honoring a lower price, we finally escaped from the craft store.

As we left the store, I sucked in a deep breath of crisp November air, expunging the synthetic floral and holiday perfume from my lungs. With it, I released the tension and frustration I'd been harboring for the last couple hours. I put the shopping excursion in context, and realized that, in the grand scheme of life, there are worse things to be upset about.

That being said, it will take a lot to get me into another craft store anytime soon.



  1. bahahahah! this post DEFINITELY cracks me up! i can somehow just picture you two in this story/store so vividly. Annnnnniieee i missss youuuu (please pass that on for me, Chris.) love you guys!

  2. Lindsay,

    I'm glad you can visualize my pain.

    And yes, I told Annie. She misses you too!


  3. "Do you know how emasculating it is to ask another man where to go for build-your-own jewelery? Judging by the look on his face, probably not as emasculating as knowing where to find that section." This I laughed out loud when I read during my prep time at school.