Friday, October 05, 2007

Michael's a.k.a. Pain & Suffering in Suburbia

Dear Micheal's Craft Store,

Or should I be calling you Crafty store? You suck me in each time with the power to persuade me that I really can bake a four tiered cake with sugared flowers and fondant decor. All done by me and my masterful hand. Ha! Your masterful hand. Like a Puppet Master you hold the strings as I glide slowly down the aisles being seduced by your sparkly paste gemstones, beads, and modeling clay. Your bright and colorful displays of silk flowers lure me in making me feel inadequate when I know that no amount of green foam or designer dish will make my floral creation something of beauty.

Each time I go in for one thing only and come out with foam pumpkins (only 50 cents!) and fabric paint. You are tricky Michael's. Very tricky. I dream of weddings gone by that could have used your expertise and the delicate yet cheap looking Christmas ornaments I could attach to future presents. When I go to find the right style garland to match what I already own your staff vacantly stares at me and points me towards the wall of baskets. I become incensed. I circle your store getting angrier by the second. I only want one thing and I CAN NEVER FIND IT no matter what it is!

My cart gets clipped by a jutting display of wooden boats that just need some paint! Bored children abound, including my own. Elderly women clog the aisles and play some sadistic Michael's induced game with me and my cart. They pop up in the most unexpected places blocking my way and ceasing to move. No amount of "Excuse me, Ma'am" is nice enough. For some inexplicable reason that I can only surmise as yet another mean Michael's trick these very same slow as Molasses in January women suddenly all appear as if from thin air at the register at the very same moment that I do.

Armed only with my two foam pumpkins (50 cents only!) and a cookie cutter I am at last at the register. I look into my cart and there's now about $50 worth of scrap booking materials and an additional $75 in picture frames. Do I need these? My mind is a fog. I can't recall how they got into the cart. All I know is now my kid is in meltdown mode and there are three slow women in front of me with all manner of difficult tasks. Coupons for items that no longer exist but yet they now possess in their claw like hands, returns that are past their 60 day return mark, and one confused look and attitude. My blood pressure rises. My hands clench the handlebar of the cart. I tap my foot and shake a bag of green meltable chocolate at my child.

Why Michael's? Why?! Why do you do this to me each and EVERY time I venture into your store? The story is always the same. The aisles look eerily empty yet the register always has the same painfully long and slow wait. The clerks move at the speed of a Galapagos tortoise on Valium and the customers are the same. I never cease to leave your store without feelings of failure and doomed projects hanging over my inexperienced head and a heart condition from the stress your registers never fail to cause me. EACH TIME I SWEAR I WILL NEVER GO BACK. Then weeks sometimes only days later I tell myself it will be different this time. I make excuses for your past horrible service. Convincing myself that this time it will be different and that I really am crafty.

It never is. I never am. Micheal's, you are the bain on my suburban existence. I wish I could quit you but I see you have pastel pom poms by the dozens at 75% off and I feel inexplicably compelled to buy them. They would look great on a lamp shade I now see is in my cart.

******FRIDAY GIVEAWAY!!!!*******

I'm giving away one copy of Jen Lancaster's new book, Bright Lights, Big Ass, and some fun surprises, to one lucky! Be the first to email me with Jen's first book title in the subject line and you are the winner! veamason at gmail dot com.

There are also NEW REVIEWS up! Check them out!


  1. Screw Big Brother and Internet Watchdog. I can't stop reading your blog! ;) You're such a great writer - keep up the good work. And I feel your pain about Michael's. However, I already know I'm not crafty enough to even step foot in the door - so I don't. It's always fun hanging out Thursday nights - I enjoy our conversations. Have a good weekend!

  2. Oh thank God! I thought I was the only one.

    err not reading your blog that is, but the whole Michael's thing. :)

  3. Oh my god. I am laughing my ass off...I JUST went to Michael's today and encountered the same thing. I really only needed 4 picture frames...but it turned into, oh, but I could frame this, collage that, and oh, I could re-paint those shelves that no longer match my room....did I say I could paint? Huh? Did I buy paint? Oh, crap. And then there was the too cute shelf thing that I swear I'm going to find a place for..course I need to paint that too...

    But that's as far as my craftiness goes. I know I'm just NOT crafty. Yet I too, somehow, spend spend spend each and every time I go in there. Which is usually QUITE rare...but seeing as I just moved, it's been twice in the last 2 months.

    Oh, and the eerily empty aisles, yet everyone at check out when I get to check out...yep totally happens to me too! That's just weird.

  4. Anonymous2:09 PM

    I agree 100%. At times Michael's an double as the 5th ring of hell. And I can never leave there w/o spending less than $20. If I am in the 20's I consider myself lucky.


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