Nothing against Rowan Wool Cotton, or even the celery color. Perfectly nice yarn, perfectly nice color. But it’s not what I wanted and it’s the situation that required the purchase that makes it a yuck.
Knittykid had a birthday party today, and I had a coupon to use, so I took advantage of being without a rowdy three year old and hit a LYS.
Little Man was whiny and annoyed about being there, but he was fine. Spinner was secured in the backpack, so I picked out my skein of yarn, looked through the books and grabbed my favorite and had about $10 to spend to be able to use my coupon. As I looked over the tweeds, I felt something dragging behind me. Spinner had grabbed the Rowan off the shelf and pulled the label off, with the ball beginning to unwind.
As I reigned it in, thinking it could easily be put back together, an employee held out her hand, “Here,” she said and proceeded to wind it up while making small talk. “Nope. I’m going to have to put this in the sale bin.” She sounded annoyed. I thought I could have wound it up and made it look like new,or at least pretty close.
But, not wanting to be “that” customer, I told her I could buy it if I needed to. It’s my kid, and he did mess it up. That’s when it got weird. She just handed the ball to me. No “thanks for doing that, I know it’s hard shopping with kids but we appreciate you buying the skein” or even just a “thanks” or better, what I was hoping for, “thanks, but don’t worry about it.” Just this weird vibe that I was this annoying customer who dared to think her one year old was safe from all yarn in a back carrier. No empathy at all, which just made me feel embarrassed and dumb.
At the counter, I still got the cold shoulder. When the other employee rang it all up she asked the yarn winding employee if it was a sale yarn. She just replied no, and I told her that my son grabbed it off the shelf and it unwound a bit, so I guess I needed to buy it, in kind of a half laughing but half yeah-this-sucks voice. Again, no comment at all.
It was the no comment on the situation that made me feel so dumb. Shopping with kids is tough, and as much as parents try to avoid it sometimes it’s what you’ve got to do. The Twin Cities is a pretty kid friendly place, and this yarn store has usually been good when I’m there with my kids. They even have a basket of toys, which to me says that yes, you can bring the little ones in. So the vibe there today really threw me. I was already annoyed about the yarn, and while it would have been nice for them to say “no worries, you don’t need to buy it” I’m fine with buying it if that’s what I needed to do. It was an accident but it was still my kid.
But, had it been my yarn shop, I think first up I would have said no worries, and given the mom the option to not buy it, because for me I’d rather lose the $2 I’d knock off the price to not have some poor mother feel like an idiot. And then if she did still insist on buying it, jeeze, I’d at least say thanks!! And give her a little love. Instead I just got the Minnesota passive aggressive vibe. That’s what made the whole experience a big “yuck.” Not that Spinner messed up a skein of yarn and I had to buy it (like I said, my kid, my responsibility) but it was the total lack of empathy, or a “thanks for doing that” which made me leave and feel like I don’t ever want to go back, I don’t care how much Malabrigo and indie sock yarn they have.
Now, to give the benefit of the doubt, maybe I’m being too sensitive. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe instead of sounding like the “tired, slightly frazzled but still friendly mom” I came across as the “tired and bitchy mom.” But, I’m pretty sure I was nice. And I know I was trying my best, and I know I did not let my one year old loose to run about the shop and rip all the yarn off the shelves. And yes my six year did complain a bit too loud at times and he did put a skein of yarn on his head and say “look mom! I have green hair!” But the green yarn was undisturbed and he stopped when I asked him. So in terms of a mom with two kids in a yarn store I thought we did pretty darn good overall, up until the yarn grab.
So there, end of the yucky Rowan saga. End of rant, I feel better now. It’s been a long day, The Skeptic is on an 18 hour workday, which is one of the reasons I feel the need to rant about this a bit, so thanks for sticking with me if you read to the end. Now, all three boys are asleep. Keep your fingers crossed that they stay asleep so I can have a quiet evening of knitting and recover from this very long day…
Now, anyone want to buy a skein of Rowan?