Cross-stitched Rejection

A few months ago some friends of mine hosted a Mad Men-themed cocktail party at their apartment. Whether this party was initially planned so that they could dress up in snazzy outfits or simply serve ridiculously strong alcoholic drinks with equally ridiculous names, I’m not so sure. Either way, it was a blast and prompted our circle of friends to hang out on the Upper East Side, dressed to the nines. I showed up in my favorite vintage dress with an Ambrosia salad in tow (which is apparently a vintage Southern thing? The Yanks didn’t seem to have any memories of it, but enjoyed it nonetheless). I also spent more than an hour, an entire pack of bobby pins, and a whole month’s allotment of cusswords on creating my era-appropriate hairdo which was subsequently smashed by the roof of my car.

However, my night actually ended on the Lower East Side much later at a regular hangout with a non-dressed-up buddy. In a stark contrast to the LES scene, I was still in my very large Mad-Men outfit (see below). While at the dive bar in a petticoat, I apparently attracted many strange bar-goers who all decided to comment on my costume. Among them was a fellow named John with whom I exchanged many a joke and then phone numbers. A couple days later, Mr. John asked me out on a date for the following Saturday.

Fast forward to Friday. I’m having the worst day imaginable, however am looking forward to my date the next day which is scheduled at one of my most favorite NYC sites. Then… I receive this text:

So, my exgirlfriend who moved 2 Paris called last night & informed me she’s moving back 4 me, and since I kind of want to marry her, I sort of think I have 2 cancel tomorrow. Sorry for the late notice!

I stared at it for a moment in disbelief, rereading it repeatedly, possibly expecting it to morph into something less absurd. However, it never did. Its craziness seemed to magnify with every read, so finally I reached out to my friends who only added fuel to the fire. With each person I showed it to, it seemed as though the reactions became more and more dramatic. Why on earth would this person choose to share this much information with me? Why not just cancel and not talk to me again? Clearly, they all deemed, I had dodged a bullet. Among the many derogatory terms that were used to describe John during this time by friends, my absolute favorite was “Fart Knuckle.”

Needless to say, the text has stayed with me. It fueled a long-winded inside joke that friends still tease me about, so eventually I decided to embrace its absurdity through cross stitch. Above you can see my angst-fueled labor in action, now that all of the text is complete. Now I’m debating on whether to add an old-school border in a grandma-esque motif. Either way, it’s getting mounted in a frame and hung on my apartment wall to remind me every day of the sitcom that is my life.

Nicole Smith is an author, editor, designer, and instructor who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Check out her latest book, Skirt-A-Day Sewing, out now at your local bookstore, or online.
  1. love it. you should make another “well my ex girlfriend is a ninja in the yakuza and will kill us both if we are seen together” and start a whole rejection pillow line. heh

  2. Forget the cat — get a fancy houseplant. They never quit you (#4).

  3. So Awesome! I agree with the rejection pillow line. You would make a mint!

  4. Brilliant Post

  5. Dear Nicole, I appreciate this guy’s honesty.. He has feelings for a former love and wants to try again with her. PS you look amazing in your dress and hairdo,and I love your website.

  6. PSPS- you also have a great sense of humor!

  7. This is good stuff!!

  8. Stumbled upon this through the magic of Google Image Search and thought it was some obscure indie movie quote. Oh how wrong I was. What a cool project. 🙂

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