Dust Off your Sewing Machine
A masked woman is picking away at my teeth and says, “My friend is one of those people who sew everything. She makes her kids clothes, her own clothes, sews for the church bazaar, and has holiday specific slipcovers for her furniture. Me? I used to sew. Back when I was in high school. Then I got married, had kids, got a job—who has time to sew?”
She turns around to get another monkey wrench to put in my mouth, and I have a chance to reply, “I was nine when I started sewing and never thought I’d make a living at it, but now I realize how many times it has saved my life. I think of it as a life skill.” She dives back into my mouth with suction tubes, water sprays, and chisels. “Well, I realized I just don’t have the patience for it. I don’t want to have to make everything perfect.” A few minutes later she turns around again and I am able to continue, “I think you’re patient, you spend your days inside the tiny world of a person’s mouth. Unlike the days when you were back in home-ec class, the unfinished, deconstructed styles today are the perfect answer for imperfect sewing.” She’s coming at me with what looks like a drill—but first I have to say. “You know, I make my living as an editor for a sewing magazine. I meet experts from all over the world and learn their techniques. But even more important is the whole sewing community and the genuine support they give each other.” This time the whizzing polishers interrupt me, buffing my clean teeth to a high shine—more hosing and sucking. Oh, she wants to take some x-rays; she drops a sandbag on top of me and shoves little squares of plastic in my mouth.
As we walk to the door she hands me a new toothbrush and says, “You know, I’m going to dig out my sewing machine and start sewing again, you’re right, it is a life skill.” I drop the latest copy of Threads on the stack of waiting room magazines and walk out the door. So many sewers, so little time.
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