Instead of playing with gussets today, I checked the electronic coupons from JoAnns Fabric and Crafts on my iPhone and headed out with visions of discounted fabric in my head.
Because I live approximately one hour from anywhere, there is no such thing as “a quick run to the fabric store.” It’s a half-day trek that requires planning, packing adequate food and fluids, and bringing along a book or some knitting in case the floating bridge is open to marine traffic (i.e., closed to vehicular traffic) and you’re stuck in your car for two or more hours while some yacht or submarine creeps by at just under 0.264 knots per hour. It’s such a habit that it doesn’t even count as a minor obstacle anymore. I only forgot one thing.
Today was the start of the Labor Day Weekend.
As it turned out, it was one of those freaky Pacific Northwest weather days that reminds one of Fiji…HUMID and STICKY…and by the time I got to the store the lines were as horrid as expected and the people waiting to get their fabric cut had melded into one cranky, massive, human gumball.
Additionally, in what appeared to be a misplaced effort at customer service, the sales staff were merrily chatting away with everyone – including themselves. The perversion being that normally you can’t get more than about five words out of them. However, today (with – literally – 20 people waiting at the cutting tables) no subject was too insignificant and no medical commiseration was left unexplored. Waving coupons like they were batting flies, people lurched up to the table when their number was called, arms and baskets filled with bolts of fabric.
Now if there’s one thing that really frosts my shorts it’s when, after spending slightly less than an eternity in line, the next person is called and, after dumping their fabric haul onto the counter, they become suddenly very still. And quiet. Because now they have to figure out exactly how much of which bolt they want/need/cannot live without. After standing in line for over half an hour, NOW it occurs to them to get themselves sorted.
They could probably hear my grinding teeth in Saskatchewan.
I got in line as #11 was being called. I pulled the next tab and got #21. It was just short of an hour when my turn came, but I’d made it and no blood had been spilled.
My haul for the day was modest: 2 yards of cotton outer fabric and a fistful of bias fold tape for the Regency stays, 3 yards of lightweight cotton for a Regency chemise, and enough gauzy fabric for 2 mob caps.
By the time I made it to the checkout register, two Mounds bars and a Coke had wriggled their way into the basket. The fellow who rang me up looked at the candy and the soda, took one look at me, and said “I don’t have to bag these, do I?”