Michael's The Arts and Crafts Store has never been a place I have fully understood and always been a place where I have felt slightly overwhelmed.
Shopping there in the three o'clock hour the week after Thanksgiving was no exception.
Sometimes, since I have this flexible artist's schedule and a night job working at a restaurant, I cruise into Michael's in the morning on a whim or with a purpose. It's right by 24 Hour Fitness, so if I time it right I get there when it's just opening and the only people there are stocking the shelves plus a couple of part time school teachers picking up supplies or stay-at-home mom's pushing kids in baby-carriers through the scrapbooking aisle. It's quiet, though minor sensory overload sets in because of all the colors and various craft items on display, and I end up spending hours deciding which one container of three shelves full of glue containers holds the product I need. (Last time I came home with three different adhesives--just in case.)
Today I went there because I know they carry frames and pre-cut mats and I am still preparing for my art shows. I didn't think 3 p.m. would be such a busy time. Don't people have jobs and kids have homework and naps or soccer practice?
The place was overrun. Halloween leftovers were spilling off one wall, scrapbooking supplies have exploded into a six or seven aisle section, Christmas scented candles and wreathes were on SALE! and seemingly every Christmas item that played a carol was in demonstration mode. There were moms, sorority girls, moms with kids, moms talking to kids on their cell phones, kids talking in their outside voices even though we were inside, moms shouting for their kids, sorority girls shouting for their sisters, men looking lost and miserable or fascinated by wood carving tools, older women buying yarn, older daughters annoyed by even older mothers who were taking the framing counter guy's assistance as an opportunity to make a new friend, people who looked like they were coming from the office to pick up something for a holiday party and then go back or to a school function or a neighborhood potluck.
As I squeezed by the loud girl from the loud-and-crude family who told off-color jokes while looking at candles, frames and scrapbook stickers, I said, "Excuse me," and she said, "Sorry," but didn't really move and so we got jostled and I said, "Good."
There are low moments in life. At least for me, many of them happen in giant stores packed with kids and shoppers who aren't good parents.
It's great birth control.
I decided to just grab the frames that were similar to one's I already have in sizes I knew I needed and leave as quickly as possible. Forget the 40% off sale; I needed to escape.
I was going to go to Dick Blick Art Supplies for the mats, but my brain is melty and the Santa Ana wind weather is giving me a headache (plus I couldn't sleep last night), so a little nap is in order. Then work.
I have to have all the supplies I'm going to need for this season by noon tomorrow. After that, no stores until after Dec. 26.
I hate shopping.