Zeca came home from school one day and excitedly showed me a fuzzy blue ball of yarn that a classmate had given her. Let's call this classmate Gertrude. Zeca said, "Gertrude taught me to knit and gave me this yarn so that I could get started on a scarf!" I made excited clucking noises as one does when one is a distracted parent or a barnyard chicken. She continued, "She told me that I will have to go get some more and the only place they sell this kind is at Joann Fabrics so can you please take me to Joann Fabrics right now?" I went to Joann Fabrics once and I didn't like it. It is an ugly place and there is too much linoleum and the staff are all bitter white ladies wearing clothes they made themselves (in questionable patterns, I might add) and they are just looking for an excuse to patronize you. Plus, the fluorescent lighting doesn't do anyone any favors. So, Zeca's request to go to Joann Fabrics made me anxious in the "I will fake my own death to get out of this" kind of way.
In my sweetest and non-cluckiest voice, I said, "I can't take you today but we will go at some point." She nodded her head adorably and bounded off.
Within a week, she had used all of the yarn she had and asked again if I could take her to Joann Fabrics and, again, I said, "I can't take you today." Unlike the previous time, she did not nod adorably. She sneered. A sneer from her was better than a sneer from the crazy ladies at Joann Fabrics so I was undaunted regarding my current course of avoidance.
Several weeks passed and I was running errands with a friend and she mentioned that she needed to stop at the Crafty Planet to get yarn. This was my chance - I would buy Zeca a bunch of super soft yarn in a variety of colors and she would forget all about Joann Fabrics! I spent $40 on gorgeous yarn and, later that evening, presented it to her like an offering.
She smiled and said, "Thanks Mom. I really appreciate it but I still want to get the blue yarn from Joann Fabrics." That was it. I needed to put an end to this.
Me: Honey, I think it's time to move on about Joann Fabrics.
Zeca: But I want to finish my scarf and I need the same yarn.
She looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes and I did something I rarely do. I lied.
Me: Well, I went to Joann Fabrics earlier today and they didn't have your yarn.
Zeca: They were out of it?
Me: Yep. All out.
Zeca: Weird. Gertrude came to school with several balls of it. She must have bought everything they had left.
Me (to Zeca): Yep.
Me (to myself): Sorry to pin the blame on you, Gertrude, but this has got to end and it ends today.
Me (to Zeca): Can we move on now?
She nodded sadly and went to knit with her expensive non-Joann Fabrics yarn. I had slayed the Joann Fabrics dragon! Huzzah!
A few days later, Zeca came home from school and said, "Mom! Gertrude came to school today with more of that yarn! They must have gotten more!"
Me: I thought we had moved on.
Zeca: But I still want to finish that scarf. Can we please go to Joann Fabrics?
Me: I can't take you today.
And we were right back where we started.
As Valentine's Day approached, I realized that the perfect gift for her would be that damn yarn. So, I grabbed her unfinished scarf and drove to Joann Fabrics...except that, when I got to the store that I thought was Joann Fabrics, it was actually Hancock Fabrics and I realized I had no idea where Joann Fabrics was. I was so frustrated and - I have to be honest - I blamed Gertrude. This seemed like the perfect time to try out Siri on my fancy new iPhone.
Me: Where is the nearest Joann Fabrics?
Siri: I can't help you right now. Try again later.
What?! Was she drinking gin and tonics and playing bridge with all the other Siris?
Me: Where is the nearest Joann Fabrics?
Siri: I can't understand you.
This is not how it goes on the iPhone commercials.
Me (speaking slowly and with impeccable diction): Where. Is. The. Nearest. Joann. Fabrics?
She finally answered and I had to drive all the way from one undesirable suburb to another.
When I arrived, I dashed into the store, looked at no one and spoke to no one, wandered the aisles and finally matched the yarn. I briefly considered buying all of it so that I would never have to return but only bought four blobs of it.
On Valentine's Day, I set the yarn out for Zeca with a box of chocolates and I was her hero for a day. Interestingly, she still hasn't finished that scarf and the urgency seems to have passed. I've been given a reprieve.
I just hope Gertrude doesn't take up bullfighting. We don't have the space.