fiber diva

This is the chronicle of one woman's forays into knitting, crocheting, spinning, embroidery, papercrafts, and whatever else catches my fancy at any given time. Oh, and I talk about my cats a lot, too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The luck of the Irish, and what's luck, if you can't push it?

So, a friend and I are taking a little stroll around a local mall one Saturday at the end of February. Neither of us had anything in particular we were looking to purchase. In fact, we were only in the mall because we wanted to get out of our respective houses, have a little chat, and stretch our legs, and the weather was lousy. It was the kind of cold, rainy day one might expect to experience in February in New Jersey, and it probably wouldn't even be memorable but for the counterpoint it provided to the Saturday before, which had freakish, Twilight-Zone--like almost-70-degree warmth.

But, normal for February or not, it was the kind of day we did not want to spend strolling outside around the little lake-side park we usually circle, no matter how charmingly the surrounding houses were still decorated for Valentine's day.

There's probably a good reason that no poet to date has written, "the mall was lovely, dark and deep..." but we were still enjoying ourselves when we happened upon a card store. That's right, a greeting card store. A beautiful, well-stocked, nicely lit greeting card store. Very much, in fact, like the beautiful, well-stocked, nicely lit greeting card store in which I bought my ill-fated Valentine's day cards.

Now, anyone who knows me knows how much I love a card store (card/stationary stores, book stores, yarn/craft stores, and any place I may find an obscure DVD starring Hugh Jackman...or Gerard Butler). They're like Alice's rabbit hole for me. Seriously---once I'm in, I forget there is an outside world, and heaven knows when/if I'm ever coming out.

But I've just lived through the debacle of the found-too-late, unsent, now-put-away-till-next-year-so-who-knows-if-I'll-ever-find-them-again Valentine's cards, so I'm sure I'm not going to make that mistake again. I have, in fact, pretty much vowed (and not for the first time) that I'm not going to buy cards a month in advance anymore, cause I always put them somewhere "safe" and then forget that I bought them, let alone where I put them. So I'm sure I'm not going to make that mistake again. So I'm safe. Even if I go into the beautiful, well-stocked, nicely lit greeting card store, I'm really pretty sure I'm not going to make that mistake again.

I know what you're thinking. You're laughing at me. You're thinking, "No, no, don't do it! Don't go in! It's the end of February, for heaven's sake. The next holidays are St. Patrick's day and Easter! And they're both *weeks* away! You won't remember where the cards are---you never remember where the cards are!"

I hear you. In fact, the little voice inside my head was saying much the same thing. (Someday I'll write about my love-rebellious relationship with the little voice, but....not today!) Unfortunately, though, my friend did not hear you, or the the little voice. And of course, I'm useless when it comes to resisting temptation. So when my friend said, all innocence, "ooh, a card store; I need to get a birthday card, mind if we go in?" my only response was, "not at all; I love card stores."

You can probably guess the next part of the story. Yes, I did buy St. Patrick's Day cards. I even bought Easter cards! Because, as the title of the story goes, what's luck, if you can't push it?

But this story has a surprise ending---I did remember that I bought cards. I even remembered to send the St. Patrick's Day cards (with stickers...I mentioned my, uh, child-like love for stickers, haven't I?). And I haven't forgotten the Easter let's see if I actually get any written and sent out!

And for anyone reading that I didn't get to, Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm here....really! And the tale of the Valentine's Day card search

I am here....I've been here...just having a rough time actually making it onto the blog.

I had one of those Valentine's days---you know the kind---where I, in preparation for the holiday and weeks(!) in advance, buy a whole slew of cards, specially selected for my friends and family. I even get stickers! (I love stickers....seriously, in my heart of hearts I'm a 10-year-old anyone could tell you who's ever seen me try to swing a baseball bat ;-).
And then I stash them in a safe place, and I wait for a more appropriate time to send them. Because I think we can all agree that I'd look silly sending Valentine's day cards in mid-January. So I wait....and I wait....and I get distracted....and then I get overwhelmed (work, niece-related drama, life)...and then I forget. I forget which cards I bought for who....and then I forget that I even bought cards. In fact, I'm pretty sure that by February 8, I'd even forgotten that a holiday was coming.

So then, I'm reminded, oohhh maybe 5 days before the holiday, that 2008 will, in fact, have a Valentine's day, and that (are you sitting down?) it's going to be the same day this year that it was last year(!) (and apparently has been for a good couple of decades before that). So total was my amnesia that my first thought was, "oh, well, I guess I don't have time to get cards this..{and here is where a little glimmer of memory starts trying to poke through the fog}..wait a minute...did I....did I buy cards already? {valiant little memory, swimming salmon-like up through the current of half-forgotten factoids and useless trivia...snippets of bad 80's pop songs} Was that this year? {oh, you laugh, but tell me you've never asked yourself that question while sorting through your Christmas list searching for the present you just know you bought Uncle Jimmy ;-) }

Finally, finally, the memory hits the surface in all its exhausted but triumphant glory: yes, yes I did buy Valentine's day cards! In fact, I think I may have even bought stickers! And I put them.... yeah...that's the question {and the n0w exhausted memory sighs, "don't look at me; I did my bit" as it floats happily in a circle between my ears}.

Because of course I put them somewhere. I must have put them somewhere. I mean, the laws of physics would dictate that I put them somewhere (they can't be's impossible to buy an imaginary number worth of cards).

Ah, but where? Probably somewhere safe...I'd definitely put them somewhere safe. So they're not on the dining room table, where the cats could knock them off and wrinkle the envelopes. They're not with the {many} boxes of Christmas cards I bought for 75% off after Christmas but have not yet found the time to pack away for next Christmas. (Because I won't need them for another 10 months....I certainly wouldn't want to put them where they're not immediately to hand!)

And, of course, they're not in my greeting card holder-file box. Because although that would be a safe and even logical place to put them, and although it's large and there is enough room to put them there, that would be waaaaay too easy and sensible. Where would be the challenge? Let's face it, putting the greeting cards into the greeting card holder would practically be cheating! What, I ask you, what would the world come to it if we all put the things we bought and are saving into the recepticles specifically designed (and bought) to hold those things? It would be complete not-chaos! And who could live like that?

So, yeah, where was I? (no, seriously, where was I?)

Oh, yeah, the sad, frantic, frustrating search for the Valentine's cards that I knew I bought but coudn't find. And now I knew I bought them. I thought I knew I bought them. I guess I could have dreamed it....would I have wasted a perfectly good dream buying phantom Valentine's cards? No, no. I bought them. I definitely bought them.

The problem with a search like this, I find, is that it proves to me that I can be both endlessly hopeful and inexplicably stupid. Because I will look in the same place more than once. More than twice. I may look in the same place up to 3 or even 4 times, if it seems like a logical place to have put the thing I'm looking for. So, since the greeting card file is such a sensible, useful, intelligent place to have put the greeting cards, I kept looking in it. Never mind that I'd already looked there. Never mind that I'd already looked systematically between every single divider. Never mind that it's not that big in the first place. Never mind that it doesn't have even a single secret drawer.

It's like I just couldn't believe that I was stupid enough not to have put them there in the first place. Maybe I thought that I could somehow have gotten retroactively more organized? Maybe I thought that by the third time I checked, time would have shifted back into its proper flow and I would find that I did put the cards in the sensible place after all. Maybe I thought a wormhole could have opened up in the back of the file? Could the cats have borrowed the cards to look through? (they were pretty funny, and several did feature cats) Perhaps I should check the card file again, because maybe they've finished with them and put them back now?, no apparently not.

Now, the good news is that I did, eventually, find the cards. You may be interested to know that they were in the pretty little paper bag (with the twine handles) that was sitting next to the card file. The pretty little paper bag that was just the right size and shape to hold that number of Valentine's cards. The pretty little paper bag that never quite looked in, despite having to move it out of the way (twice!) to check in the card file again.

The bad news? I found them late on Valentine's day evening.

So to all my friends and family, Happy Belated Valentine's Day! I hope it was lovely and romatic and that you all got roses or candy or reminders of how much you are loved. I want you to know that I was thinking of you. And next year, you should expect a really funny Valentine's card, complete with stickers! But you probably shouldn't expect it much before St. Patrick's day.