Two years ago I sewed a swimsuit for myself that turned out pretty well, but I never quite loved it. Still, I wore it a lot, and now it’s faded and worn. I’ve bought fabric to make a new one, but haven’t found time yet. Then a couple of weeks ago my sister sent me a link for a suit at Target online that was on clearance and in my size and had good reviews, so I ordered it. Actually, I ordered two since I was between sizes.
When they came I tried them both. (Not both at the same time. One at a time.) I only sprained my wrist a little bit getting them on. One was a just a titch too big and one was a titch too small. I decided the bigger one was the more flattering, and that if I sewed a panel into the too-deep v-neck it would be great. It was black with a skirt and it made me look a little like Olivia.
But I decided most people at the pool wouldn’t be thinking about children’s picture books, and the suit was sturdy and reasonably flattering–and it had only been $20.
Thursday night Dean agreed to give me the night off, since he’d been gone with Ike Tuesday night to Young Men’s/Scouts and was going to be camping with the scouts on Friday night. I wanted to do some fun creative sewing, but then I remembered that we were going to go swimming as a family on Friday morning, so unless I wanted to wear my old stupid swimsuit again I needed to sew the panel into the new suit. I thought it would be a fairly quick and easy project.
My thread kept breaking. The stitches kept skipping. I thought about trying the serger, but didn’t want to thread it, and wasn’t sure it would work much better. My stretch needle broke. A second stretch needle bent. I started to wonder whether my sewing machine’s needle alignment is permanently off, because I’ve had similar problems in the past, if not quite as bad. (Still wondering that.) And I had just recently spent $70 on a different repair and hadn’t thought to have them look at the needle alignment. I switched to a ball point needle and that seemed to work better–or at least it wasn’t bending or breaking–but it was skipping even more stitches. I finally finished, and it was a hack job but I could live with it. I put the suit on, and the panel I’d sewn in was too loose and was gapping in the center. Also, the suit looked awful. Either it had always looked awful and I’d been in denial, or it just really needed that deep v-neck to look right.
I spent the next half hour carefully unpicking the panel I’d sewn in. The next day I wore my old suit and decided it’s actually a pretty great suit, even if it’s faded and worn and I’ve never quite loved it.
When I took the two suits to Target to return them, I forgot to bring the credit card I’d used to order them. The girl said I’d need a receipt. I showed her the paper that had come with the suit and she waved her hand and said, “No, that’s the packing slip. You’ll have to print a receipt over there,” motioning to the computers off to the side. “In the corner of the screen it says ‘Print a receipt,’ and you follow the instructions from there.” I went to the computers I thought she’d pointed to but they didn’t seem to allow a person to do anything but apply for a job at Target, which was not part of my plan for the day. I stood up and walked toward the service desk, trying to get someone’s attention to ask them what to do. The girl who’d helped me was helping someone else, but there was another guy there, but I couldn’t catch his eye. When the girl finished, I said, “Which computers should I use? The Club Wedd ones?” (I’d been using the other ones.) She waved her hand again and said, “Yeah, those ones.”
I couldn’t find the “Print Receipt” button she’d told me about, but I thought if I used the option to sign in to my account, I’d be able to figure it out from there. I tried my usual sign-in but it didn’t work. Then I saw there was an option to sign in using my Amazon account, and remembered I’d used that for my order so I tried that, but still couldn’t sign in. Finally I remembered that my Amazon account uses an old Yahoo email I don’t use much anymore. Then I went through a whole bunch of menu items, having to navigate with a track ball and a button, and type in information with tiny keyboard keys. I got all done and found the option to print my receipt, and it printed–but the bar code was only half there. I went back to the service desk. Now there was no one there at all, but I could see people walking around in the back area. Eventually the guy came back out front, but again refused to make eye contact with me, so I waited a minute or two more for the girl to reappear. I said, “Your printer ink is out. This only printed halfway.” I showed her the paper. She said, again with the wave of her hand, “You’ll have to do it again on a different computer.” “Really? I have to re-enter everything? But that just took me 15 minutes.” “Sorry,” she said, not sounding the least bit sorry, nor elevating her pitch of voice even a little. She did walk me over and get me started, but I still had to re-enter all the information myself. (It took me only five minutes this time, since I’d had practice.) I have serious doubt that anyone will have replaced the ink on the first computer by now.
On the next computer, my receipt printed correctly. Only half an hour after I’d started the process, I got my money back! (Or anyway it went back on my credit card account.) I guess that shows me not to forget my credit card. Or to expect helpful interaction from a Target customer service person. Or to meddle with the dark forces of women’s swimwear.