Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's All In The Name

I knew better. I knew better than to go into Joann's Fabrics that close to Halloween. But there I was, number 12 and they were calling 87. All I could do was hope that the numbers turned over at 100, not 1000. But one quick look around made me wonder if the number might not be higher than that, the sea of faces looked more like the amount you would see in a line at Disneyland. Except this was not the happiest place on earth.

I got bored and wandered a bit, looking at rows of ribbons and aisles of buttons, but I did not stray far as I had noticed that the clerks counted to three and a half after calling someone’s number , and if the poor soul whose number they called did not show up, too bad, the next number was called, no mercy. I finally became so insecure that I just parked my cart close enough to see the menacing "Now Serving..." sign and rudely called my daughter on my cell phone. I really did try to keep my voice quiet, but I still got some looks. Twenty minutes later when they called my number, I squeaked out, "gotta go, love ya" and didn't even wait for the reply before hanging up on the poor thing. But she frequents the Joann's near her, so I knew she understood.

The clerk who waited on me was surprisingly cheerful, considering the generally growl-ly nature of the crowd. I commented on the Halloween crowd being it's usual density for this time of the year, and asked her if she thought it would be worse by Christmas. Her eyes got big, and I sensed great fear as she nodded affirmatively. I told her I usually tried to get my Christmas shopping done by Halloween, as I didn't handle Christmas rush lines with any dignity whatsoever. She expressed some admiration that I could be so organized. I told her I was motivated more by desperation after years of some calamity that seemed to hit faithfully in early December (like the three years they called me the week before the church Christmas Party and asked me to organize the entertainment). I laughingly told her that this year I had even scheduled my Winter Cold early. She jokingly said, "Wow, with that kind of efficiency, you could be the next Stephen Covey."
"Na," I said looking down at my fingernails, "that would more likely make me the next Stephen King".


  1. It's wonderful that you are funny. You are. YOu always have been. But it's MORE wonderful that you can write it down and not lose a beat so I can be there when you ARE funny. Or at least, once in a while, since I suspect that wry is the weave of your day.

  2. Thank you darling, you have made my day! That would have been enough comring from my friend, but it means twice as much coming from my friend and the woman who taught me how to write!!!