Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's Supposed to Look Like This

My beautiful, incredible sister is getting married Saturday.

The wedding theme is vintage circus, which is very cool because my sister and her fiancĂ© are both extremely creative people who love all things vintage, and with a huge guest list and a ton of DYI projects to complete, the wedding promises to truly be "The Greatest Show on Earth." It’s a really exciting time for our families.

The bridesmaids are wearing vintage attire, including 20’s headpieces.  Mine is supposed to look like this:

As the Maid of Honor (I’m married, but I refuse to be referred to as a matron of anything), I should have ordered this lovely headpiece months ago, but I put it off because I’m picky and forgetful, which is a really terrible combination. Now, I’ve backed myself in a corner and I’m forced to make the vintage headpiece myself.

There’s just one problem here. I am not crafty.

TBH (as the kids say): I hate crafts. When my kids were little and came home with turkeys made out of traced hands glued on popsicle sticks, I had to force myself to show appreciation before hiding them in keepsake bins under the bed. I was always the mom buying juice boxes while the other PTA moms were racing each other to the craft store to make pilgrims out of cotton balls and twine. When I see “Pinterest fails,” I don’t laugh because it hits just a little too close to home.

Last week I knew I was running out of time, so I ventured out to two of the most anxiety-provoking establishments known to non-crafty types: Jo-Ann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. For me, the only thing worse is a trip to Pep Boys, so this was a rough mission indeed.

Stop #1 was Jo-Ann, where I set out to locate fuschia feathers, some kind of pearl/rhinestone embellishment, and a stretchy headband. I started by looking for an employee to ask for guidance, but stores don’t really have those anymore, so I grabbed a cart and began in the faux flower section and meandered through every aisle, grabbing anything that resembled a feather and tossing it into the cart while I groaned audibly and rolled my eyes at the overhead cameras. Like anyone would steal this stuff!

I learned a lot during that journey. Like, for example, there so many kinds of jewelry clasps in this world, they take up an entire aisle of real estate at Jo-Ann. I stood there dumbfounded, grabbing packages and inspecting them like Brendon Frazier in “Encino Man” when Pauly Shore introduces him to Sweet Tarts and Corn Nuts for the first time.

Overwhelmed, I followed the maze of monogrammed plastic drink cups and patriotic flip flops and made my way to the button aisle, hoping to find a vintage-looking buttony thing to glue on to the headband. The button aisle borders the area where people willingly look at pattern books. A customer was there, sitting in front of a 1987 desktop computer, talking on the phone. She was a sweet-faced woman wearing a sweatshirt with a bedazzled cross.

“I thought I’d add some lace to the bottom of it,” she said happily. Her cheeks were flushed with the excitement of the creative process. “Oh yes, honey, I’m at Jo-Ann. I’ll be here all morning!”

Fully unable to relate, I made my way to the check-out. A teenager in a smock stood by the only working register. She was talking to another smocked teen who was pretending to sweep the floor while they talked. I put my fuchsia feathers on the counter while I waited for her to greet me.

“I should have called in,” said the teenager at the register, talking to the teenager with the broom, ignoring me completely.

“You need Emergen-C,” said the teen with the broom while I stepped back and began holding my breath.

“No, I’m pretty sure it’s strep,” she said, coughing into her hand, then using the same hand to swipe my feathers over the scanner. “I’ve had a fever for like, three days.”

I thought briefly about asking to speak with the manager - partly because the kid spent more time talking to her coworker than addressing her extremely reluctant customer, but mainly because she came to work with SARS and that’s just rude. But I was already weary, so I used my elbows to pick up the feathers, and while heading to the car, it dawned on me that one of those poor girls was more than likely the manager anyway. It was all so very sad.

Stop #2 was Hobby Lobby. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. I swore after Hobby Lobby’s shenanigans about birth control that I would never set foot inside a Hobby Lobby again (not that I set foot in there many times anyway), but desperate times call for desperate measures.

As I approached the doors, I checked out the clientele going inside. Walking up on my right was another woman with a bedazzled cross on her chest. Par for the course. Walking up to my left? A woman with a Bernie Sanders t-shirt and a sheepish expression of guilt. That made me laugh. Knowing we were all in it together, I entered in, prepared for the worst.

Confession: I got momentarily wooed by a cheap imitation of an Eames molded plastic chair lurking in a display of cheap beach-themed home fashions. I was so distracted by it that I pulled it off of the display and gave it a test sit.

It was cozy, as cheap imitation Eames chairs go, so I began looking online for a coupon, seriously considering buying it when the store manager approached me.

“That chair is just SO cute, right?” she beamed. “We sell SO many of them.”

She was a nice woman, but her overdyed red hair and lipstick-smeared teeth jarred me out of my hypnosis. I put the chair back into the fake beach scene while she watched on. She sweetly pointed me in the direction of the stretchy headbands and feathers, and I grabbed up more supplies and headed for the checkout.

The median age of the cashiers working at Hobby Lobby that particular morning was around 93. For a company that has a moral objection to birth control, I found it deliciously ironic that the women working at Hobby Lobby haven’t needed birth control for at least five decades. Guilt-ridden from spending $6.17 at a store that I promised not to patronize (or, more fittingly, matronize), I headed home with two bags of craft supplies, fully spent.

I know you’re expecting pictures, because they promise to be hysterical, but I have not yet started working on the vintage headpiece because I prefer to procrastinate and write about the activity instead. Be warned; I may never post a picture, because I’ll more than likely end up looking like a retired prostitute, or worse yet, there’s serious concern that I will glue my fingers together with the E 6000 craft glue, and I may never write again.

Either way, I hope you wish me luck, because I’m definitely going to need it.


  1. LOL! I can not wait to see your masterpiece Saturday night!

    1. Thank you! I keep thinking that once I start, I'll just keep adding feather on top of feather and it will take on a life of its own. I'm terrified!