It was the perfect storm of a non-crafter’s horror. I had been made responsible for the favors for a bridal shower AND had to purchase ribbon for my upcoming book signing (don’t ask because that one is just too weird to explain). What did this mean? It meant that the time had come to meet my nemesis, Michael’s craft store.
I set the scene well, securing childcare and leaving plenty of time for my errand. List was made and stuffed in wallet along with appropriate coupon. I hoisted my ginormous purse over my shoulder, willed my chin to tilt up in defiance, and feigned confidence with a loud exhale as I strode through the doors.
And then it all went to crap. The inhalation of breathe morphed into a panicked hyperventilation as I grasped blindly at the stacks of spray-painted wicker baskets for support. Remember that out-of-body experience you had pre-kid when you tried to go buy an item off a friend’s registry at Babies’ R Us? How all the pastel pinks and blues started swirling in front of your eyes? Yeah, that. Except this was a swirly storm of superglue and scrapbook supplies.
I fumbled my way to the fake flowers and forced my head to clear. “I can do this. I have birthed two children. I have navigated the preschool snack schedule for a whole year. Surely, I can handle this. List…there is a list…find the list.”
I broached the favors first. After only 25 minutes of desperate searching and stubborn refusal to humble myself and ask for help, the necessary purple organza was located. I cursed a bit under my breath over the cost and shoved the shiny cloth in my basket. This was going well.
Ribbons, here I come. I rounded the corner and my eyes promptly filled with defeated tears. There were FIVE ribbon aisles! Why did Michaels hate me?! The store started spin again, but a fury over the inaneness of the situation tethered me back to earth. I needed red ribbon, and I needed teal ribbon. I did not need ALL the red and teal ribbon that was ever produced since the beginning of time. I grabbed the first two spools I could find, utterly baffled as to why some were open, some were not, and how the world you were supposed to know how much anything cost. Whatever. Done.
But I still needed plate stands. And by now, I was ticked. An employee passed by, read my expression, and shockingly did not run in fear.
He ventured, “Hi, I’m Rob. How are you?”
“Well, Rob. I would be a heck of a lot better if I wasn’t in this store.”, I snapped.
The poor man recoiled a bit. I almost felt bad for him, but really, he was employed by the vicious empire of Michaels. Clearly, this was all his fault.
To his credit, he remained nonplussed, “Can I help you find something?”
Asking no further questions, he sweetly led to me Michaels’ stash of plate stands. He made sure they would fit my books for the signing, complimented me for being an author and said the cover looked sharp. As worked up a bit of a crush on the gentle man and made a mental note to send Rob a Christmas card list, he then ventured, “You know, you can always ask an employee at any time for help.”
I know, Rob, I know…it’s just that I WILL NEVER BE COMING BACK TO THIS STORE.
I went to check-out, and when the clerk asked me how many yards of the ribbon I would be needing, I looked at her like she head 3 heads. The calmness Rob had lulled me into evaporated instantly. How in the world would she expect me to know this?! “ALL of it,” I hissed, “I will be needing ALL of it.”
And this is the end of the Michaels’ story. And if you need any red or turquoise ribbon, I can ship it to you in bulk. I am well stocked.
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