Last weekend I went to a “Stitch In” at my favorite needlepoint shop,Louise’s Needlework, in Powell, Ohio. All sorts of women who love to needlepoint came together to stitch and bitch, oooh and aaaahhh over each other’s projects, and, of course, shop. During the course of the stitch in, two young women, recent graduates from the University of Kentucky (where Raftbuddy’s father was a “football figure”), came in to buy projects. One was recently engaged and was looking for projects to needlepoint as groomsmen gifts (herein after referred to as Wildcat Fiancee). The other (Wildcat Girlfriend) was debating whether or not to move in with her boyfriend, without a ring. She was going to needlepoint a belt for her potential future father-in-law, whom she loved.
Because I am a Nosy Parker, I asked Wildcat Fiancee why she was going to the trouble of needlepointing – cufflinks in this case – gifts for the groomsmen. Herewith, a curtailed approximation of our conversation:
WF: Needlepointing is a big part of my relationship with my fiancee.
EPP: Say what? [I was gobsmacked at this point].
WF: Yes, when we were in college, I needlepointed him several “Breakup Belts”.
EPP: Say what? [It was like she was speaking a foreign language to me]. What the heck is a “breakup belt”?
WF: Oh, when we were in the sorority, we used to make them all the time for our boyfriends. Generally speaking, by the time you were finished with the belt, you had broken up.
EPP: What if you broke up after the belt was finished? Could you ask for it back?
EPP: All that work, flushed down the toilet?
WF: Well, if you were smart, you put a little heart and your initials by the belt buckle so that future girlfriends would know you made it for him.
EPP: Brilliant. So why was needlepointing so important to your relationship with your fiancee?
WF: Well, we broke up once – my decision – and to get back together I needlepointed him a belt, which he accepted.
[The Makeup Belt is obviously a variation on the theme].
EPP: So, WG, why are you going to the trouble of making a belt for your future father-in-law?
WG: Well, I am thinking about moving in with my boyfriend. And his father is really sweet.
EPP: Without a ring?
A survey of the older women at the table indicated that while compatibility is a huge issue in marriage, moving in together minus a ring decreases the chances of formalizing the arrangement. All of the women sitting at my table were over 50 and all considered the issue seriously.
WF piped in: My mother always told me, “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?”
EPP: Exactly! Before moving in together, I think you should read a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
WG: Both of us?
EPP: Yes – there’s even a slightly different version for the men.
WF: Yes, you need to read that book. Both my fiancee and I read it.
Really, at this point, my head was swimming. First, there is hope for humanity! Young people reading the seminal work The Five Love Languages, which I blogged about soooooo looooong ago! Second, these girls were so normal it made me want to take Thing 3 on a tour of the University of Kentucky since it is not so far from home, is in the college budget, and horses and bourbon abound (the Kentucky Derby is on my bucket list). Lastly, girls sitting around sororities needlepointing gifts for boyfriends? Unreal. I guess that is the beauty of the American heartland.
As we approach, Superbowl Sunday, I am asking my readers to predict the outcome of the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. The photos posted above are of Mood Ring Momma’s Seahawk Glassybaby Shrine [if you don’t know what a Glassybaby is, click Glassybaby] and my nephew’s Seahawk ‘do procured at Bach’s Barbershop in Bellevue, WA. Touchdown points for whomever finds continuation of a theme in this post!