I decided to take a break from clearing cedar trees around The Ugly Duckling and spend a day at home, sewing curtains for her naked windows.
I’d purchased the fabric on-line two years ago at the very apex of my mid-life crisis, but had never paused long enough to turn it into something. Also, there’d been the problem of not owning a sewing machine.
But, smart me, the only thing I chose from my aunt’s estate was her ancient Sears Kenmore Model 1755.
And, even though I haven’t sewn anything more than a button in twenty-five years, it would be like riding a bike. The first step would be figuring out how to make curtains.
I sat in front of the computer and pulled up a blog on how to sew lined curtains, (which was surprisingly helpful.) I carefully measured the fabric – twice, folded down and ironed the hem and then sat down at the prehistoric machine. I plugged in the Sears Kenmore Model 1755 and no sparks erupted so I pushed on the pedal. The needle jumped up and down at breakneck speed while visions of professional-grade draperies danced in my head.
I positioned one of the two spools of thread I’ve used over the past twenty plus years to sew on buttons, wrapped it around the bobbin and pressed the pedal. No bobbin winding. I pressed again and again until a little puff of smoke appeared and the pungent smell of burned rubber filled the room. I removed the bobbin gear and took it to my garage workstation.
I oiled and cranked and oiled and cursed, but it would not budge. After an hour
I threw the part on the floor gently released the problem to the Universe.
By now, it was getting to be afternoon and if I was going to finish the curtains by the end of the day, things were going to have to go perfectly. So, the Universe told me to stop screwing around and go get a new sewing machine. I hopped in the car, rushed to Sears and bought their cheapest machine.I raced home, opened it up, put the spool of thread on the machine and ran the thread over to the bobbin winder. Nothing. No spinning, no whirring. Nothing. I
ripped open paused and read the stupid directions, unthreaded what I’d done and tried it the right way. Success! Bobbin spinning like a top.
Then it stopped. I stared at the bobbin for a full minute trying to wrap my head around what the freaking problem was now.
Evidently, in only a short twenty-plus years of button sewing, a person can use up one hundred yards of thread.
Cursing a blue streak (just the way my friends Bob and Kerry taught me), I stomped back to the car. I pulled my smart phone from my purse and asked Siri to tell me the closest fabric store.
“I found one place close to you,” she said. “Would you like to go there?”
“YES!” I shouted.
“I’m sorry, I can’t understand that. Please try again.”
“YES! YES! TAKE ME THERE!”
“Where would you like to go?” she asked.
Screeching out of my driveway, I headed to a hobby store a few miles away. I turned into an empty parking lot. Closed.
I jumped the curb on my way back to the street. Then feeling it was my last resort, drove to Hell on Earth, Super Target. Not wanting to waste a minute wandering around the massive warehouse, I hiked over to customer service (the opposite side of the building where I parked) and demanded to know where the thread would be.
“Ummm, do we sell thread?” Becca, the customer service representative asked me.
“That,” I said through clenched teeth, “is what I’m asking you.”
“Oh.” She picked up her walkie talkie and asked the black box if they sold thread.
“Pssht. Fssht,” it replied.
Becca looked up at me and said, “All the way to the back wall, Aisle D33.”
I arrived at Aisle D33 to find it filled to overflowing with all the colors of the rainbow – for towels.
Trekking back to the customer service desk, I
scowled smiled politely and said “Hi. I’m the woman looking for the thread. You said Aisle D33, but that has bathroom towels on it.”
“Really?” She caught the gaze of another employee and asked, “Where do we keep the thread?”
“Next to the irons, I think?”
Becca looked at me and smiled.
“But,” I spluttered, hands waving in the air. “Where are the irons?”
She repeated my question to the little black box.
“Pwall. Ticka Abe,” it replied.
Becca translated. “Aisle E38.”
Aisle 39 – Irons
I found the irons on Aisle 39, but no thread.
I found the sewing items on Aisle 38
Who sews with thread anymore anyway?
But, still no thread.
As of today, the Ugly Duckling’s curtain fabric sits in a pile, to be completed along with the replacement glass for the broken wasp-den window and, the three cabinet doors that are missing and, the exterior paint job and…
The good news is, according to Wikipedia (which is always correct) I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing for a Midlife Crisis.
- acquisition of unusual or expensive items such as motorbikes, boats, clothing, sports cars, jewelry, gadgets, tattoos, piercings, etc. – Hmmm, no mention of large ugly vintage campers. Wikipedia made a mistake.