Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two Yards of Tiger-Striped Fleece

craft stores
swollen warts across the nation
festering with glues, glitter, fun foam
and bolts!
so many bolts of fabric and no way to buy it
it took me 45 minutes to buy two yards of tiger-striped material
I timed it
I knew exactly where the bolt was
I'd been in the store twice before --that same day
always, the line at the cutting table was too long for me to stay
only one lady at the cutting table ONE LADY!
lone cutting lady
hire some more people!
re-allocate your staff!!
mother of mercy!!!
should it be this hard to buy fabric?????????

they wore me down
probably only needed one yard
but I bought two
just to make sure i never ever had to come back

45 minutes from start to finish
I had bee-lined to the bolt of tiger-striped fleece
I'd already caressed twice before that day
Annabelle is going as a Tomahawk Tiger for Halloween
I took a number and joined the line
NUMBER 44!!!
a voice called out
my number was 57

Jo-Ann Fabrics is bursting at the seams
obese with inventory
it used to be a quiet store of manageable size
I could see the back of the store from the front door
then it moved
and merged with some craft retailer
and now it's big box hell
a behemoth with miles of aisles
workers running around re-stocking shelves
for the scrapbookers
and no one to cut fabric
you're a frickin' fabric store!!!
for the love!!!
cutting fabric should be your mission

plenty of room at the table
to arm three matrons with scissors
but no
keep old Agnes overworked and let the customers stack up like refugees at the railway
clutching our bolts as if they were all we could grab from our home at the last minute
scowling when Agnes seems too chatty and breezy with the customers ahead of us

the voice of Moloch calling out
NUMBER 48 is being served
you call this service?

I wandered the store, browsing fussy domesticities I didn't want
stencils, ribbons, raffia
walked the aisle of 1000 paints
what happened to the quaint corner
of sewing notions?
little packages of ric-rac
thimbles bobbins
so restful to the eye
ah, that was back at the old store

here, the shelves teem and shout
or is that my number they're shouting?
57! 57!
I'm here, I'm here!
I push aside a shopper in my way
The voice of Moloch.

I hurl myself to the cutting counter.
"I'm 57!" I rasp.

I am desperate.

Oh, Agnes, of hoary hands
Take mine cloth and cut.
She does, admiring the tiger fleece.
"This will keep them warm," she says.
No, it won't.
I can't sew. Am not sewing a whole tiger outfit here.
Despite the insane amount of yardage.
Only a tiger skirt and tail.
And maybe some fleece for the arms.
But I need margin for error.
And I need to never set eyes on this cutting table again!
So cut me two whole yards!
Besides, it's on sale.

Agnes hands me my tidy two yards and a cutting slip.
A cutting slip.
A cutting slip.
Take it to the register.
Where would that be? At the end of that roped-off maze over there,
the end of another line.
Go. Stand. Wait. Weep.


  1. i loved every minute of this! ah.. the things we do for love......

  2. Gosh, I never knew what gut-wrenching experience it was shopping for fabric.

  3. Loved this! And the love shines through your fury, cause you STAYED in spite of all. I am going to print this out for future reading, maybe during the holiday shopping season, when I am trapped in a line.