You know how you can go to any store and find those cheap Santa hats? I'm not talking about the faux leather Harley Davidson Santa hats ... or the ones with fiber optic lighting that blink "Naughty" off and on.
No ... I'm talking about the simple furry red Santa hats with the furry white cuff that you can find at any Walgreens or CVS or Family Dollar for about $2.99.
There are maybe a dozen of those generic Santa hats floating around my house. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But there are at least six or seven in the Christmas storage tubs. That is not an exaggeration. There used to be one for every person in my house ... and a couple extra. Hell, I bought one specifically to put on top of the grandfather clock.
My point is that buying a Santa hat is not difficult. You can't swing a dead cat in December without hitting a Santa Hat.
But let's say you want a special hat. In my case, I need a bigger Santa hat. Stoney wears a larger size hat ... and he's never found a Santa hat that would fit that handsome head of his. Last year I bought him one from some website ... IGotABigHead.com or something like that ... and, besides looking cheap as hell, it was insanely small. I discovered that Hobby Lobby sells Santa hats in sizes ranging from infant to adult xx-large. No dice. I knew standing in the store that it wouldn't work.
So what's the obvious solution? Sew one!
I have a sewing machine. I got an A in Home Economics back in high school. How hard can it be to sew a basic Santa hat? It's a goddamned triangle and a puff ball!
So way back in October, I went to Jo-Ann's Fabric and bought a yard of opulent, expensive red velvet and some thick, pricey white fur ... and assumed when I got around to it, I'd make a stunning Santa hat.
You know what they say about assuming. You make an ass out of you and me.
Today I finally got around to sewing Stoney his hat. I carried everything down to my new craft area in the basement and I started putting everything together. I thought I'd measured everything perfectly. In fact, I gave myself extra room and worried that the hat would be far too big for him. But the velvet was stretchy ... and I'll have to take the blame on this crafting catastrophe. I think I was pulling the fabric as I was cutting and sewing. So ... the end result is a hat that still ... doesn't ... fit.
No big deal! Not at all. It's 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon. I'll drive over to Jo-Ann's and get more fabric. In fact, this time ... instead of velvet ... I'll get the right fabric. I'll get that fluffy red stuff that every other Santa hat in the world is made of. How hard could it be?
Famous ... last ... words.
I asked a clerk in the fabric department and you would've thought I was asking for plutonium to make an illegal nuke. "We have the white fur. Why would you want red?" "To sew a Santa hat." "You want red velvet." "No, I want the red fur that is on the Santa hat that your store sells right there at the front of the store." "Then buy that hat."
I left and drove to Hobby Lobby. Their new location is like a crafting warehouse. Surely they have the right fabric. I walked to the pre-sewn hats, took one, and carried it to the fabric section. "I need this." "Sure! It's right over ... wait ... you mean that fur? No ... we have red fleece ... not red fur." "I want to make this hat right here ... only larger. You don't sell this type of fabric?" "No. In fact, no one does. If we sold that fabric, no one would buy Santa hats. Everyone would be making Santa hats."
SIGH ... I'm standing in a sea of cotton and twill and satin and denim and leather ... people can make everything. Why wouldn't people be making Santa hats?! Am I really asking for something so outrageous?!
How did I solve this ridiculous problem? I walked back to the pre-made Santa hats and bought two adult-xx hats. I'm taking my seam ripper ... I'm ripping one seam out of each hat ... and I'm sewing the motherfuckers together!
Seriously ... it has come to this?!
Stoney bought a smoker last week. We went to two butcher shops on two separate sides of town before we found a beef brisket that wasn't the size of a small cow. And the butcher took the brisket we bought, cut it in half, and vacuum sealed it for us. On top of that, we found some neat items at the new store ... like peach cider. And I picked up all the supplies to make two or three batches of peanut brittle tomorrow. We got a stand installed on the bottom of the new smoker.
Seriously ... until I started sewing, I felt like we were on top of the world. How did I go from feeling victorious over a 14 pound brisket to standing in a fabric department feeling like a complete and utter failure?
Tomorrow is a new day. I'm going to make brittle ... I'm going to work on fixing our friend's Wii ... and I'm going to try to make a Santa hat ... again. Keep your fingers crossed, everyone ...
My parents said my window had blown open in the night
I smiled as I told them that it must've been the cat
And they asked me where I got my big red hat
Harry Connick, Jr. - Santa Claus