My cosplaying hobby has brought me on many occasions to the fabric store. Whether it’s to pick out fabric, search the catalogues for a workable pattern, or making a “quick” stop to get velcro, I always meet interesting people. I’ve noticed that they tend to follow a pattern. There are certain kinds of people you will always (or at least frequently) see. Let me introduce you to a few of them.
You walk into the fabric store. It’s lit in flourescent lighting, the floors are white tile, and there are shelves covered in things that are in no way related to fabric–jewelry, home decor, children’s toys, candy, etc. You walk past these shelves until you find a table (usually next to the racks of colorful thread) that is covered in books. Some of these books do not belong there–they have simply been dropped there by irresponsible children. There will undoubtedly be other people sitting at this table. One of them might be an otaku, recognizable by a cat-eared hat and buttons all over his or her messenger bag. Or maybe it’s a woman with her baby.
Once you’ve picked out your pattern, you stand up and walk to the drawers of patterns to find it. A middle-aged lady is standing in your way, and you politely ask her to move. Now it’s time to find the right fabric. You walk up and down the isles, and you run into a few kids with their mothers, pointing to sparkly fabrics. These children are usually too loud, and they never watch where they’re going until they’ve run into something.
So you pick out your fabric and wait in line to get it cut. Here, you see a pair of twins, dressed in matching dresses and holding on to a shopping cart full of wildly-patterned cottons. There will undoubtedly be a few old ladies. The one in line behind you strikes up a conversation. She’s very friendly, and tells you about how wild the store was on Black Friday, asks you what you’re making, and tells you all about her projects and her grandkids.
Finally, you get to the front of the line, and tell the grouchy lady behind the counter how long the fabric is. She tells you about their special offers in a bored, droning voice, and takes her sweet time folding the fabric. The lady next to her, cutting another person’s fabric, is cheerful and smiley and strikes up a converstation with the customer.
The same old lady that was behind you in line for cutting fabric is in front of you while you wait to check out. She tells you stories, and you listen politely. The cashier is helpfull and waits for you to arrange your coupons in the best way to save money, and sometimes she even gives you advice on how to get the best deal out of it. The cashier at the next register is grouchy and impatient, and you’re glad you got the nice one.
Now you leave the fabric store.