I have a notion that it was a disguised George Clooney who stole my camera last Sunday at The Bellgeio Hotel, Las Vegas.
Bare with me, there is a reason.
Today I walked straight into Christmas. By that I mean Michael's. The fake scent of pine cones wafted from the three dollar bundles of real pine cones and burdened, glittering door wreaths screamed Hang Me!
My mid life crisis has requested its standard thought provoking tradition, that of cross stitch. Each major change in my life has involved a fierce engagement with embroidery, especially the art of counted cross stitch. Beware friends and family, you can thank me now, because everyone is receiving a home made seasonal card.
So in the embroidery aisle I am joined by a husband and wife team. He strikes up the "awe of thread" conversation with me, while she proudly looks on. Fifteen minutes into our conversation he begins to show me his entire cross stitch collection on his cell phone.
"Not that size" I joked. Then actual measurements were included.
I ohhed and ahhed while trying to look within his glasses to see if he was really a woman.
They both agreed that making cards seemed a wonderful option for me, while he explained that he was busy making the Mrs a teddy bear picture, including hearts around the frame.
"Today we are choosing colors for the sweater" she said.
"We're thinking gold," he said. "You see, my wife here, loves hugs."
"Oh yes I'm a hugger."
"I'm going to add a quote. It's our thing." And they both say together: "All the kisses, cuddles and all the lovin'."
Now they don't smile, they don't look at one another, they just look at me. Inside I am thinking I am holding a basket and facing a basket. Outside I remain speechless. I wonder if Scientology is into threaded crafts?
Then the second "but wait there's more" moment arrived as he told me how years ago he had replaced his alcoholism for an addiction to cross stitch. He lost his job, his home and his daughter. Cross stitch had isolated him. He couldn't even sell his pieces as they meant more to him than others.
Dear Who Ever is in charge, I know I am a bad person. I ask you not to judge me when I nearly threw my basket down of shiny threads and 14 count aida, thinking I don't want to be a loony sad! (Said in that order.) A loony sad.
As I left that aisle hoping they would not find me in scrap booking, I had the Oprah moment.
These are good people. Honest. How bleedin brave is that man to go through the addiction, to get to the other side and face love again? How brave is he to discuss drinking and cross stitch from underneath his baseball cap and thick duffel coat? Honest people are incredible. To know yourself and not to be ashamed. To not feel fear over everyday things. To forgive, truly forgive yourself and then move on from the hammock of playing a victim.
"HONESTY" should be/would be/could be cross stitched tonight while watching Modern Family and sipping Wild Horses Red Pinot Noir. Oh, let me be that brave.