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As a card-carying member of male society, I was just as shocked and skeptical as you fellow guys are at the following prospect.

Cross Stitching is Fun.

Wait wait wait. Don't walk away so early. Just hear me out. For this to work, you need a suitable boredom period in your life. Usually around 2 hours per day does the trick. Since most of you are jobless nerds, this won't happen often - there is no such thing as boredom when you have the internet. Or, perhaps you are a nerd WITH a job - and doubtless you are not bored and/or have the internet at work. If this is the case, cross stitching is not for you. Unless you're broke and need some holiday shopping tips.

However, I worked a graveyard shift answering telephones at one point in my life. I was sitting there for hours on end, with no radio, no TV, no entertainment whatsoever - except what I brought with me.

Engaging things, such as books and handheld video games, were strictly banned.

Now then, I'm sittin' back layin' my cut straight, gettin' my drink on and my snack on, surrounded by mothers and housewives. I was young and impressionable, and I was peer-pressured into giving a simple cross-stitch a try.

Of course, I grabbed a $2.50 kit, which consisted of two needles, a tiny spindle of thread, and a giant plastic grid with holes punched in it. On the included cardboard sheet was a blueprint for a giant yellow and black happy face. By giant, I mean, like, 5 inches square. I blasted through it, trying to jury-rig my threads and soup up my design, being true to my testosterone. If I had the know-how to put a bigger engine under the hood of my plastic sheet I would have.

I was hooked. I did a jiffy jog down to the jiffy mart and bought a jiffy $20 cross stitching kit. It was a nice picture, counted stitch, of an eagle landing on a branch. Looked very pretty. Little did I know it was huge and fucking hard.

The months flew by. I was no longer bored at work. I had made a purchase, and I'd be DAMNED if I let the thing rot in the closet. The thing about this eagle kit, was that the canvas was about 2 feet square, and the stitching was smaller than industry standard. This piece of work was going to look beautiful - but, as my co-workers so firmly pressed into my skull, it would take me a year or so to finish.

I finished it in four months, with some time put in at home. I was trying to beat the christmas rush, you see.

Not only did it make the most touching, impressive gift I've ever given, but chicks dig it.

So, if you're looking to make that perfect, home-made cheap-ass from-the-heart gift, try picking up a needle and thread.

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