Thursday, August 23, 2012

welcome to customs

The other day I needed a half-yard of fabric for a little sewing project. It meant a quick stop at JoAnn's fabrics. Righhhhht.

Ok, so I'm a little indecisive and took some time to select just the right fabric. But glancing at the cutting table, and the growing line of women pushing carts of fabric bolts, I took a number. Yes, literally. Above the cutting table is a large sign: TAKE A NUMBER, yet several women thought it was a line-up deal and failed to get a number from the little red dispenser.

Anyway, #83 was up and I was #87. Not too bad, except only one salesgirl/fabric cutter was on duty. She called over the intercom twice: "assistance needed for cutting." When back-up forces arrived, the first girl took a potty break. Or some kind of break. Back down to one cutter.

I'm not judging, but why would anyone buy orange tulle in August? Or fake fur? Or cupcake-patterned fabric? These are thoughts I had while standing in line. But then, why would anyone decorate cotton diapers with cutesy fabric for mopping baby spit-up? Fabric stores are witness to endlessly creative minds.

Sometimes I chat with salesgirls, but I was all business once she called out "number 87!" because I knew I still had another stop before getting out. I scurried up to the check-out. JoAnn's is funny like that. You stand in one line for fabric, then another line to pay. The line was long and the workers few. One flustered employee was being hassled by two women who had selected unmarked merchandise: the gaudiest fake hydrangeas you every saw.

You know how it goes. Sometimes checking out is just so slow. And suddenly I thought of airports and international travel. It felt like going through customs. I said so to the women behind me: "this place is like customs!" We all chuckled. It's fun to make people chuckle, though I'd rather not be standing in line long enough for chuckling.

Anyway. That was that.


Anonymous said...

Chuckling in line is the best !

Kathleen said...

Jack always starts to cry when I pull into a parking spot in front of Joann's! Now you might too!