Halloween was quickly approaching and we needed to decide if we were going to dress Ellie up or not. We originally agreed to do a Hello Kitty costume, but the only costumes we liked were online and we never made an effort to purchase them. And with a few days to Halloween, it just wasn’t going to work. Then I thought of doing a mummy costume. How cool would a baby mummy be!? The caption of the photo would read “I love my mummy,” even though her daddy put the costume together. Whatever, I’d still love it. But Aya didn’t want our child dressed up as a dead person.

I needed to come up with something else. Something easier. Something better. And I did! But it was an idea so secret I didn’t even tell Aya. Only my mom and I knew. And that’s what brought me to JoAnn Fabrics a few days before Halloween.

JoAnn Fabrics is usually a normal store with normal things and semi-normal people who shop there. But if you go there before any major Holiday, you better watch out. For one, you know you are in the JoAnn Fabrics’parking lot when at least half the cars have a guy sitting in the driver seat reading the paper. They are not brave enough to go in. They sit somewhat patiently in the car waiting for their wives to return with bags of fake leaves and fabrics with teddy bears on them and a mind full of dreams. Dreams of homemade wreaths for EVERY holiday and homemade pot holders to use at dinner for ANY occasion. This occasion happens to be Halloween.

I walked in the store and it was immediate chaos. The lines were long and the women were crazy filling their baskets with crafty things as if they were preparing for the craft apocalypse. There was a heard of guys by the entrance because they didn’t want to sit in the car. So they stood guard by the door waiting for the signal from their wives to leave.

I was assuming that the bulk of the store would be head to toe Halloween, but boy was I wrong.The store looked like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer puked all over it after eating too much mistle toe. Christmas already? For real? The Halloween section was reduced to a few blood tubes, pumpkin cupcake papers, and some skull cookie cutters (which I almost bought). For 70% off wouldn’t you?

I scoured the fabric section looking for the ideal fabric for my project. The fabric cutting line was getting longer and longer so I needed to be quick. I thought it was mainly for Halloween costumes, but it was such a random group of people. A few old ladies with Christmas fabric who must be entering a quilted potholder competition, some creepy guy buying way too much elastic, a mom with some spider web fabric, and me. Eventually, I got to the front of the line and the lady who cuts the fabric looked at my fabrics and says “I can’t cut this type of fabric because of my hand, unless you want to come home and nurse me!”

The other lady working the counter said, “Sally, that’s not a good idea!”

Sally looks me up and down and said, “I think it’s a perfect idea.”

Did I just get hit on by the fabric cutter at JoAnn’s? I wish I was smooth and would have just winked back. But I felt my face turn red and I sheepishly smiled feeling really awkward. I did get my fabric cut, without having to nurse anyone back to health.

After that, I made my way through the heard of old women scavenging through the Christmas ornaments, fake sparkle leaves, and pot holder kits. I was ready to check out. The JoAnn Fabrics checkout line is not like any other checkout line. You have to go through the dollar section and a maze of clearance items (really, it’s just plain crap) until you are able to see a cashier. And since this line was long and slow moving, you were stuck looking at all this crap wondering if you needed it. I found if you stare at something long enough not only do you find that you want it, but that you NEED it. Like this Twilight Calendar for only a dollar! Or small sparkle red bags. They are too small to put anything inside them, but they sparkle, and they’re only a dollar! I NEED these! Or how about these Halloween coloring books!? Maybe I’ll be bored later today. And for only a dollar, how could I not! I managed to resist these temptations and make it to the candy section. I would died for a Reese’s Pumpkin right then, but was strong. I had just eaten lunch and was full so I let the craving go. I was making my way closer to the cashier and then…

Uh oh… what was that!? S.B.D. The old silent but deadly move. Either the creepy elastic guy in front of me or the weird old lady behind me farted! I couldn’t tell because I was trapped. It’s like someone gave me an @ss lasso. It was in all directions. I was putting my money on Captain Elastic though, because he looked way too suspicious. What’s he need with all that elastic anyway? You can just tell he’s hiding something. I tried to be cool. I stopped breathing but my eyes began to water. I kept blowing air around to dissipate it. What should I do!? Finally the cashier called me over and I escaped it.

“Hey there, nice jacket. (wink wink)” she said with a sly smile.

What was going on? I thought this was JoAnn fabrics, not Cougar Central. At least it’s nice to know that women find me attractive.  Women over 60 that is…

As I made it back to the car, I thought, what a bunch of weirdos, totally discounting the fact that I’ve made many solo trips there in the past for my own projects. And totally disregarding the fact that I just spent at least a good 20 minutes STARING at two bolts of fabric not being able to decide which color to get. Not only did I stand there staring, I even called my mom AND dad to discuss what the best option would be. I was that weird guy with the cool jacket picking out fabric. At least I wasn’t buying elastic.

To see Ellie’s costume, click here.

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