Toenails

Today’s Retail Tale of Horror
A lovely little old lady came in with a crocheted batwing sweater (That’s not The Horror, but it was definitely its own Kind of Horror) and she was worried that the cuffs she was knitting wouldn’t go around her arm. She was knitting them on straights and obviously they wouldn’t then bend to allow her to try it on. And while I surprisingly do not possess any Rain Man-like skill that allows me to instantly generate a scale 3D mental model of a knitted garment from a flat piece, I did have the wherewithal to suggest that she slip the stitches onto a piece of scrap wool. Shocking, I know. So I left her to do that, only to discover a few minutes later that she A) can’t see and B) can’t knit, and had dropped stitches left and right. So I spend the next twenty minutes fixing it all up for her again. No biggie; I should’ve done it myself from the start instead of thinking I was going to get away easy. (Did I mention I’m not really supposed to be working in the shop much anymore?) Anyway, The Horror was in the conversation she subjected me to while I fixed it. I sat there fixing her knitting while she regaled me on the problems of living on a fixed income, why the government should clamp down on immigration, the nefariousness of the hairdresser for charging extra for a blow-dry, the pointlessness of World War II (The Queen herself is German, you know!), and lastly… how she was off to get her toenails cut, because she’s got the double-whammy of rheumatism and tough toenails, and how thankfully there is some charity organization that cuts old people’s toenails for them for free. Did you know that? Because I didn’t.

I’m horrible in these situations. We get people like that in the shop all the time, people who are obviously lonely and just want someone to talk to. I’m not a bartender though and it’s not part of my job. So I alternate between feeling sorry for them and feeling annoyed at the wasted time… and then I feel guilty because God knows in forty years I’ll probably be an old woman rabbiting on about my aches and pains to craft store employees who couldn’t care less myself.

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13 Comments

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  1. Ummm… how about measure a wrist and then measure the knitting…

  2. Oh no! old ladies tuff old nails. IMAGINE – no matter how my job may suck its not that bad.

  3. Well, it was ribbed M-H, so it was a little hard to tell on the needles…

  4. Where can I get my toenails cut for free? Did she offer you a martini? did she at least thank you? Old people these days have no manners

  5. You just used the term “couldn’t care less”. I am assuming that like the British, Aussies also use the phrase as opposed to the American way of “could care less” which I believe you have posted about in the past…the assimilation gathers pace…

  6. Nah. My first impulse was to say “could care less.” It’s just laziness, and when I typed it I thought to myself: “Actually I could NOT care less.” So I fixed it. 🙂

  7. OOOOWHOOOWW just reaslised you started this with the batwing crochet- why oh why did you not remove her from the shop – with the appropriate amount of force- that is up there with the nether parts pink feathers nail cutting experience

  8. Try listening to their computer problems 😉

  9. When I was a little girl, I was afraid of the nail clippers. My dad told me that he had once been a professional nail-clipper, and that convinced me that he should be trusted to clip my toenails. True story.

  10. My arm hurts, what should I do??

  11. Dan and I went to this New York-style Jewish deli on Sunday for brunch, and these adorable little old ladies next to us (one of them actually had a teal sweatband around her forehead, I think because it matched her outfit, not cause she was sweaty!) but anyway…they called the waiter over and collectively complained, “This isn’t SOUP! It’s MUCH too thick to be SOUP! Could you possibly ask your cook to give us THIN soup?!” The guy was like, “Uhhhh….”

  12. Miss Fee – That’s why we don’t let you work in the shop. 🙂

    Lara – I can only imagine! By the way, set aside a Pink Nano for me…

    Cortney – I love that story!

  13. I guess you should be thankful that you don’t work in a quilt shop because you may see your mother in there someday with some red and black Star Wars fabric and ask you what would go with it????

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