Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I've just returned from the fabric store, which is a strange and surreal place in the middle of a workday. One finds it populated with an odd mix of old ladies making throw-pillows, stay-at-home moms making summer jumpers, one-armed women seeking toggle fasteners, and of course, the huge, construction-site type man in greasy denim overalls who was… actually I don't have any idea what he was doing in a fabric store.

The register girl was the most unlikely of them all. Mid-twenties in a baseball jersey, with long, stringy blonde hair, overweight. And a frantic pattern of cuts on the back of her left hand that simply do not occur without intent. Register girl was either a cutter or was in the habit of backhanding boys with braces.

I sidled up to the register, clutching my fabric, and mumbled, "Excuse me, where do you keep the razor blades?"

"The what?" she asked.

"For my Exacto knife! God! What did you think I was going to do with them? Is it a crime to need razor blades for your Exacto knife? You do sell them, right?"

"Uh, over along the wall," she said, pointing. She did not know where to take this conversation.

"Forget it," I said, plopping my fabric down on the counter. "I'm not in the mood anymore. Can you just check me out?"

When I got back to my car, I gleefully looked over my purchases.

Sequined fabric and a shimmer rayon blend glinted at me from the plastic bag. I am Costume Mom. If you tell me that you and your friends want to try out for the talent show, I will make four of the bad-assedest costumes your school has ever seen. In two weeks!

Soundtrack Dad will not only burn copies of the selected talent show song for you and all your friends, he will edit the track so that it slides just under the three-minute time limit. And then he will print copies of the lyrics.

Heck, it's stuff like this that keeps parents off the streets.

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