Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store of the Damned

I Am Minding My Own Business.

I go to Jo-Ann's to get a latch hook. (Hey, don't judge. These rugs don't make
themselves, you know.) No, I actually am not making a rug, I am trying to repair the brand-new retro-shag rug in Gomez's room that has suspiciously developed male pattern baldness. [Note to the cockapoo: I'm on to you, sister. This isn't over.]



Anyway, I'm wandering through Jo-Ann's in search of this little hook (which I finally found, by the way, in a humid and untamed corner of the store behind some marked-down Arbor Day decorations underneath a pile of decomposing reindeer moss - whatever) and I start to get this eerie feeling. The further back in the store I go, the more palpable it becomes.

How would I describe it?


A generalized, free-floating despair.

Yes, that's it. An utter and complete absence of hope.


And it's everywhere.


Past the notions, through the scrapping supplies, among the Styrofoam flower cones...despair swirls like ground fog.


But from where is it coming?

I Encounter The Undead.


I catch a glimpse of a figure rounding the corner of
the cake-decorating aisle. Not much - just a blur of relaxed-fit jeans.

Then, near the stencils, the mournful rustle of windbreaker.


And f
inally...in candle and soap-making...the chilling, unmistakable sound of loose change being jangled impatiently in a pants pocket.

ching
-ching ching-ching ching-ching

These lost souls lurch through the aisles in their walking sneakers and Members Only jackets. They seek that which has been denied them since they were cast by their mate onto the wasteland that is the fabric and crafts superstore:


A chair.

A magazine.

A tool to inspect that doesn't have a pink handle.


Who are these unfortunates whose lot is to wander under the fluorescent tubes listening to "Vicki Lawrence's Greatest Hits Performed by the Percy Faith Orchestra" as time grinds to a halt and they are assaulted by a string of quest
ions that would knock a supercomputer to its knees?

"Which of these papers do you think Cheryl would like in her baby book?"

"Will these buttons make me look like a floozy?"


"Should I stencil frogs on the bathroom cabinets
...or unicorns?"

Who are these forsaken sufferers with whom the cosmos refuses eye contact...on whom the universe itself has turned its back?


They are...
...

the husbands.



A big thank-you to Pseudonymous High School Teacher for this ultra-swank award:


She lives in Hawaii, folks. Like, all the time. When you're driving to the airport at the end of your vacation, sunburned and bitter that you have to go back to work in a day, PHST is stretched out on the beach reading a smarty-pants hardback and holding a coconut with a long, hot pink straw in it. And STILL you will love her when you visit her blog. She's that cool.

And speaking of Chicago, we are still begging scouting for votes to get our comedy-blogging panel on the agenda for BlogHer 2009. (Hi-fives all around!) You can find all the info and links here or cut to the chase and vote here...but no pressure! Thank you!

85 comments:

Lisa said...

great post- really funny xx

Queenie said...

you are absolutely hysterical. i love your humor. it made my day :)

Frau said...

My husband would sooner be dead then go to a craft store! When I lived in Utah the locals(aka Mormons) loved the craft stores, spend hours upon hours in them, husbands and all.

Lynda said...

Thanks for the great start to the day... I might take my husband to Joanne's this weekend just for some torture!

dizzblnd said...

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes "the husbands" I truly feel for the ones that are being tortured in places like that ot *gasp* the mall. Women are bitches for draggin them along... or is it paybacks for all the shit we put them through

The Cookie Girl said...

Hilarious and so true.

TattooedMinivanMom said...

What kind of odd ducks are these to allow themselves to be dragged to the land of the lost...paychecks.

Ohhh, I've figured out this quandry. Yes I have. They are following their lost ballzacks which are in their wives purses...

Mystery solved!

Comedy Goddess said...

I physically shrank while reading this. I could feel the, how you say, free floating despair. Egads, girl, you got that one sewn up tighter than 7th graders home ec skirt project.

jennifersusan said...

My kids, well my boy children, are on to me. If we are out running errands and I say, "hey! Let's go into Michaels,or Hobby Lobby or Jo-Ann's", I immediately hear a "we'll do anything, please mommy..no more craft stores! We won't survive!". hmm...My daughter, who's only 3, gets so excited if mommy wants to go to the "cool stores". go figure!

Walter said...

I was once trapped in Jo-Ann Fabric as the boyfriend, and I still have post-traumatic stress from it, and anytime I see yarn, I hot the deck and scream.

michelle said...

But they need to come with us! You are only allowed to use one 40% off coupon per customer per day so we have to drag the hubby so he can use a 2nd coupon and save us the extra $.80 on that bedazzler!

Hillbilly Duhn said...

"The Husbands" Too Funny!!! LOL

Belle said...

Mmmm - that was disturbing. You are right.

Blissful Babe said...

Ah yes. The bane of existence to all men alike.

The. Craft. Store.

Bless their poor pea-pickin' hearts. If I didn't love it so much, I could relate. Oh wait, I can.

Remember those days as a wee tike when MOM would drag you into that barren wasteland of FUN? *hears Psycho music in her head*

I need my woobie.

Always Home and Uncool said...

A guy who still wears a Members Only jacket deserves to be in a fabric store.

PS - I could have hooked up with a latch kit. I know a guy ...

Not The Rockefellers said...

When you mentioned "windbreaker" I was thinking of the other kind. Pffft.. But they are probably doing some of that too! :)

Peace - Rene

mommy4life said...

Hubby and I joke that i can always find him if we get separated in a store by his keys jangling....

Unfortunately I have found other husbands that way...

Sassypants Wifey said...

My husband once offered to come in with me. I dont think he will ever offer to do so. He encouraged me to buy many extra things (though I believe this was to prevent me from returning anytime soon) He was a trooper though!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Cracking me up all over the place. As a matter of fact, I knocked my coconut over ; -)

BTW Border Collie chewed off a corner of our area rug, the only thing we ever spent a pretty penny on around here. Are you saying I can fix it myself?

blognut said...

I hate the craft store. It makes me feel so inadequate. Stencils? Cake pans? Tiny unpainted dollhouse furniture? WTF?

Bee and Rose said...

My husband would rather be tortured by the devil in 35 levels of hell than to even step within 500 feet of a craft store! lol! I always feel sorry for husbands that must endure this horror!

Fabulously funny post!

Grand Pooba said...

Bah ha ha ha! So true, however my hubby wouldn't be caught dead in a craft store!

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

You'd think they'd learn by now to build those stores next to Hooters.

ZenMom said...

I believe I have seen these poor wraiths you refer too ... wandering around the mall with a glazed look and a fistful of shopping bags, trailing behind their mates. They seem to congregate near the shoe stores and the bath and body stores.

Funny, though: I never see them near the lingerie store. All of those husbands look downright ... perky.

midlifeslices said...

My poor husband is one of "those" at times too, but mostly in quilt stores. I finally get sick of hearing him sigh and send him to the car. He says listening to the clock tick inside the call all alone is much more entertaining by all accounts.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Please don't forget the poor butch lesbians that are dragged by their lipstick counterparts.

It's really JUST. AS. SAD.

Hilarious stuff!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Please post a part deux to this:

Girlies stuck wandering glassy-eyed five paces behind our partners/spouses and standing on one leg in the plumbing aisle for an hour in Home Depot.

Gawd, I hate that place!

Juliet Colors said...

Hilarious!

How funny is it that MY husband is usually the one begging ME to go to the craft store with him. And then I'm the zombie staring around blankly hoping to escape without spending a fortune on random craft supplies.

(It's all because he recently took up sketching and is always wanting to go buy more fancy pencils and stuff. Dull dull dull.)

WA said...

aka The Jo-Ann Witch Project.

Frank said...

Your description is hauntingly accurate. The only thing you left out was the guy that works behind the flower display counter winking at me…. (Shoulder shudder.)

Beth Kephart said...

The thing that scares me about this post is that I probably strike people like an Undead at Jo-Anns.

And I'm not even a husband.

MammaDucky said...

I think my husband enjoys Hobby Lobby (we don't have any Jo~Ann's nearby) slightly more than I do. He's an interior designer trapped in a rough, working man's body.
But you didn't hear that from me...

Jeanne said...

The Craft Store of the Damned -- the title was like a siren call to your blog, and the visit paid out!

Swirl Girl said...

Having never actually walked into a f-a-b-r-i-c store (did I pronounce it correctly?) in my life...I have seen these chairs and heard the pants pocket jingle before.

Couldn't some industrious crafter rug hook a nice metal chair cozy for their cold bottoms???

K said...

If you have to ask the question, then those buttons will totally make you look like a floozy.

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

The Big Guy and I have an agreement. He stays home when I need to venture to a craft store.

This was too funny! Loved it!

Mammatalk said...

Great post...again! I did a funky Life Keeps Getting Weirder - Mammatalk crossover episode on my blog today. Consider it a shout out to you. OK, maybe not quite a shout.. More like a call out. Is that the ghetto word? Hope you have a minute to take a peek! ;-)

Anna said...

As always with you, Anna - my sides hurt!

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Why do men subJECT themselves to this? Still, if it weren't for men, there wouldn't BE any chairs in the stores and then I wouldn't be able to sit down. (You see what I did there? I turned it into discrimination against women, sort of.)

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Funny stuff!

My hubby won't go near a Michael's or Hobby Lobby!

bernthis said...

I'M the one you'll find sitting in one of those chairs as well.

The Rambler said...

My husband wouldn't even get in the car with me. He's like....we have two cars. So go. Me and the kid have our own thing.

:)

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

You just slay me! Oh my goodness. Unbelievable you are!

The Great Fox Hating Potentate said...

I have, many times, been "the husband." But it's okay, I've also had my revenge. There is nothing that deters my wonderful darling from dragging me out to ovary-growing mausoleums of menopause faster than the threat of being whisked into a comic book shop :D

Merrily Down the Stream said...

My hubby Gapetto goes to Michael's all the time - should i be worried?

wenderful said...

Members Only jackets and walking sneakers. :) Who doesn't love Vicky Lawrence?
You're a saint for having to deal with the 405 regularly. It just about killed us this weekend.

c james. said...

Ohhhhh....stop! You are too much for color TV! You bring to light the mundane and the overlooked. Having lived in NYC for over 12 years, I am familiar with J-A an her fabulous fabrics, but no one has quite brought light like you have to the lonely chair in the corner - dare I say the big elephant in the room!

Cheers!!!

Kulio said...

my fave, "generalized, free-floating despair."
I was THERE with you babe.

La Belette Rouge said...

Hey, no mocking of hook rugging. I made many a hook rug back in my hooking days. There was the Eyor, Tiger, Ms. Piggy and Butterfly hook rug. If only I hadn't thrown my handicrafts away I could have given them away as gifts.

the mama bird diaries said...

Oh i love those "husband" chairs.

Imogen Lamport said...

I don't believe in taking husbands shopping, their opinion is not one I wish to consider.

The Vengeance said...

WA HA HA HAAA! I love your post. Absolutely freakin HILARIOUS! Your writing style is brilliant and clever. Bravo. You rock.
(btw visit me at http://iamthevengeance.blogspot.com)

The Vengeance said...

Oh, BTW I thought I should let you know I added a link to your blog to my most recent post. You can check it out at http://iamthevengeance.blogspot.com

Joppa Road said...

wish I were a husband to someone....

happy Friday x

Lea Ann said...

Why did I identify with the husbands in this scenario? (Obviously I'll not be searching for latch hooks anytime soon, I'd just buy a new rug. Or make my kid step on a cold hard floor in the morning.)

Caitlin said...

I do that to my poor fiance all the day...he would just let me shop on my own, but I'm not allowed to go into fabric stores on my own anymore...

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Oh... Hubby would NEVER go there with me. Just not happening in this lifetime. Cute post!

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

jubilee said...

I was incredulous. I thought my husband was dropping me off at Hobby Lobby, but he followed me in, with the kids in tow.

Sigh . . . nothing crushes the creative urge and the hunt for bargains like three bored kids and a husband with a calculator. Hmmm . . . I think it was a strategical move on his part now that I think about it.

I feel the same way when The Calm One drags me to Lowe's or Home Depot. Alas, no change to jingle.

Great post.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

I am rendered speechless by this post. The fact that you journeyed into Joanne's in order to observe "the husbands" firsthand is testament to the extremes you are willing to go to for your craft.

Are there any boundaries that you won't cross in the name of a good post?

-Francesca

MuseSwings said...

Ooooh Husbands! I was afraid you had Zombies. They can be interchangable at times, don't you think? Yes, I asked the Mr. the self same questions on a recent trip to Jo's. His mostly pained expression eased only when we passed a candy display on the way to the check-out.

Guillaume G. said...

Even though I am a man, not inherently different from a Husband per se, I love Craft Stores. What isn't to like about them ? One more button and soon, my creation will be complete, ha ha ha ha HA HA. Bow in front of my teddy bear living monster ! Craft Stores are Hello Kitty's hell lab of horror.

I hope they won't come back to haunt you, screaming "magazines... magazines...." :)

Mammatalk said...

Ah! Ya gotta log in to Blog her before you can vote. I think that is what is keeping the masses from voting. I voted for ya!

only a movie said...

Spot-on ace observation and reporting as always. Hysterical. Just the word notions is enough to get me giggling. Those poor lost souls...

Have a great weekend, Anna.

Christine said...

HAHAHA hilarious!

I drag my fiance to the craft store all the time! (He's actually gotten kind of into it... he's making his own crafts [but don't call them that] out of recycled engine parts.)

Love your blog. Looking forward to what's next!

♥ xtine
http://stuffbyxtine.blogspot.com

Nothinglikeit said...

nicely done... I'm still laughing.

Robin

TC said...

How did I know who they were beforehand? I am one!

CaraBee said...

My husband would gnaw off his foot before setting it into a craft store.

Yaya said...

Lol!

Sue said...

Hey I happen to have a husband that actually shops in JoAnn...he's always looking for some crap to use to fix,inhance or change his "toy soldier" collection....paints, foam? thread, wire?...he's a nut! and he doesn't rustle his change....I usually have to go find him when it's time to leave....

WhisperingWriter said...

Haha.

This is why I rarely bring my husband with me anymore. It's just easier that way. Because then he's all, "Why do you need that? Don't we already have one of those?"

Granted, I don't go into craft stores that often. Because I don't know how to sew. Or, you know, do any sort of crafts.

Scary Mommy said...

First thing I'm doing when I hear my husband awake is reading him that. Hysterical!!!!!

momxxx said...

this might help!
my 6.5, 250lb. big guy wil not even venture into the craft superstores anymore. he has found the joys of the super sized word serch puzzle books! i have an old book that is over 6 yers old in the car for super road trip boredom. when he refused to go into the store with me he spotted my old book in the door. when i came out an hour later he was deeply involved in an old word search puzzle(1/4 quarter the way thru) and didn't even hear me when i beat on the door to get in. after this i promply went to my favorite dollar store and bought him a giant letter book of 500 word search puzzles 2009. it worked, he's a happy parking lot sitter now!

Braja said...

I know, that Pseudo? She's so Hawaii 5-0 smug, y'know? Just as well she's beautiful and we love her, otherwise I'd have to kick her ass with anonymous comments.

Vodka Mom said...

you crack me the hell up!! jo-Ann Fabrics? I NEVER would have guessed. I never see you there-

and hey- can I get a seat on that panel??????

RobynsOnlineWorld said...

I'm so lucky - hubby is on the creative side and always enjoys going to any craft & hobby store with me. He is actually more of a shopper in general than me and sometimes I am looking for a chair at some stores for myself when shopping with him even!

Chaka said...

I agree. I whie ago I had a post about the differences between men and women, and how the hardest place for a man to go is the fabric store.

Debbie said...

You gotta feel for the hubbies in places like that! Great set up and story.

Michelle said...

You know... I'm so non crafty that when you said you were looking for a latch hook, I thought you were talking about that thing you put up high on a door to keep it locked. Yep. That's me.

Gladys said...

Yes I have seen them in the recesses of the crafts store, in the time out booth in the mall and even occasionally they wonder listlessly through the local Squalmart. Their bad comb-overs tamed by their wife's Aquanet and their too short Sansabelt slacks rubbing together in the cookie and snack aisle.

Marvel Goose said...

Women do not want your opinion, they want your affirmation. Men don't do affirmation.

Observe, two men shopping and one stupidly seeks affirmation:

"Hey Bubba do these pants make my legs look long?"

"No, Jimbob, they make your dick look short"

EOAS - End of Affirmation Seeking.

You want someone to approve of your choices? Bring a dog. Micheal's should start allowing dogs in their stores and send me money for the idea.

Sassypants Wifey said...

Whoo! Thanks Anna. I would love a shout out!

Temple said...

LMAO--this is exactly why Matt and I have a deal--I don't get drug into his gun stores and he doesn't get drug into fabric/yarn store. It makes for a healthy relationship

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I can't even get my husband to a mall, let alone a craft store. Never going to happen!

Jennifer P. said...

Ah yes---the reason all stores and dressing rooms have "the chair". Love our glorified purse holders :)

and random shopper should totally go with the unicorns. I hear they're making a comeback this year.

Lizzie said...

poor hubbies :( mine refuses to go in, he knows what fate awaits him behind those jedi-mind powered doors... doom, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!