One of the things I did while sorting out my room, was that I hemmed my curtains. I had a set of long heavy white cotton ones, that I put up on moving here. These were a healthy foot too long and the sheer lightweight flowery ones I used underneath, were almost 2 feet too long. I hemmed and as I sat and hemmed, I was reminded of this story.
Mr. Needles was not the kind of guy who thought a lot about Christmas gifts. Many times, because things were tight, we agreed no gifts. But when there were gifts to buy, he was usually stumped. On occasion, he would farm out the task. I have a really lovely porcelain Santa music box that a sister in law helped him choose. Once in a while though, he blew it right out of the water.
One year in mid fall, while waiting to pick something up at Sears, he was stuck wandering through the section of vacuum cleaners. I know, you are thinking, what not to get your wife for Christmas. but he did spied a pile of velvet boxes on a shelf.
He had never seen anything like them before, so curious, he picked one up and opened it. The clerk in the department asked if she could help him. He asked about these things, and decided to purchase it, and took it home and he felt pretty good.
He went out and purchased a red ribbon to tie around it, and a huge bow, and when it was time, that velvet box went under the tree. With no name on it.
I figured it would be mine, but for the life of me, I could not figure out what it was. I thought and thought. The only thing I could think of was pearls. In movies, pearls come in boxes and I wasn't sure how I would feel about that. I like pearls, but I am more of a costume jewelry sort. I did not think pearls that came in lovely velvet boxes would be something we could really afford or that I would ever be really comfortable wearing. That whole Christmas was torture with the box sitting there.
And Christmas morning, I was, quite simply blown away.
A house of boys and men don't think about the sanctity of your sewing sheers. They really don't. A scissors of any kind is for cutting anything and saving one pair for cloth? Whatever for?
But to a sewer and crafter, such a thing is sacred. Over the years there was a lot of shouting, 'What scissors are you using?' and 'It better not be my good scissors.' These have stayed safe and replaced in their safe velvet box after every use. They have been much, much used. To the very best of my knowledge, only once, did they ever cut paper and yes, I yelled at the guilty party.
Over our Christmas morning beverages, Mr. Needles told me how he came across them, and what the clerk told him and wrapping them. He didn't claim the privilege of forethought. He always said that he just recognized something right when he saw it.
Each and every time I use them, I think of that and I think of him. He scored and got me something so exactly perfect and sweet that they still make me smile with pleasure, even now, almost 20 years later.