Monday, February 11, 2008

Always the bridesmaid...

Continuing on the non-crocheting front - sorry - I went and picked up the bridesmaid for one of the weddings I'm in this spring. Now I went with the MamaJama to get measured at the place - Bridal Reflections in Massapequa NY - just to make sure they go their measurements correct. They do their thing, and size me at two sizes bigger than I normally wear. Honestly, I was fine with that - I know I'm not a size 2 and that formal wear can run on the small size and blah blah blah… Talking to some of the other bridesmaids, they seem to all have gotten sized at their regular size or just one bigger.

This made me go “Hmmmm” just a little.

So myself and two of the other bridesmaids (did I mention there are ELVEN bridesmaids in this event?) go this weekend to pick up the dresses and get fitted. First – they fail to mention to the bride who told us all to go ASAP that they don’t do fittings on weekend. This means all of us city folks have to trundle out to Long Island yet again after work one day to get this done. Then I try on my dress…

And I begin swimming in it. It’s at least 2 inches to big all over – not just that the waist is a little loose, but it’s fine across the hips – nope, the darn thing is freakin’ huge all over.

The girl working there tried to convince me that I must have changed measurements – I think me and the jeans I squeezed my lard-butt into this morning would have realized if I had lost any weight, let alone 2 or more inches. She really was condescending and quite a little bitc… erm, I mean annoying.

Now, I know how dresses are constructed and tailored, and with the seaming in this dress, the work that would need to be done would be quite extensive and frankly I’m paranoid that it would turn out horrible because I don’t know the quality of their seamstresses. I believe the MamaJama was also quite peeved – especially when was hysterical when I called her but that’s another story. (I cry at the drop of a hat – or apparently the drop of a dress…)

The only upshot is that one of the other bridesmaid’s dress is a touch too tight in the bust, and they were talking about letting it out. Instead we’re going together and we’re going to just trade dresses so she can get the bigger one and get that sized down and I don’t look like I’m sporting a bloody caftan.

The reason why I’m posting this – besides just to rant about obnoxious shop girls and PMS-induced hysterics – is to make a point about how the loss of knowledge of fiber arts and even basic skills such as being able to hem a pair of pants or fix a button leaves people vulnerable to situations like these. If I hadn’t signed the contact that says that if I ordered the size they recommend that all the alterations would be free (thank god I did that) I’d be paying out as much as the dress costs to get it fixed. Kinda like the woman-visiting-the-mechanic routine, I feel that it’s almost criminal how people – men and woman – can be taken advantage of because they feel that it’s too difficult to learn how to do it. Now I’m not saying that I’m stellar at it, and if I had a really nice piece I would have my mom fix it (and that’s why I love her) because, frankly my sewing skills aren’t exactly the neatest… but I can do it by myself if I had to. I ran a cottage-industry in college – and got paid in food and beer – by fixing buttons and fallen hems for people, even though I offered to sit them down and show them how to do it themselves…

I have a similar rant about the Geek Squad/Firedog type places that offer to set up your computer for you – I mean, ok, it can be a little intimidating at first but most of the time, the cords have a little picture that you line up to the plug with the same picture. And all the plugs are diffent sizes and shapes, so unless you really ARE trying to put a square peg in a round hole you’ll figure it out. And hell, most big name computers these days are COLOR-FREAKING-CODED (did I mention this is another thing I made $$ off in college?) And again, I did offer to show people, but they thought it was too complicated.

Society tends to push us towards a mentality of specializations and that if you’re not in that group, well then you’ll have to go to someone to have it done. Or just throw it out and get a new one. And I admit, there are times when I farm it out to a professional – such as eyebrow waxing and surgery – because it’s worth the time to me to just have it done right then or it really IS a specialty (I’ve thought about performing the self-surgery thing, but trying to get my hands to work in a mirror can be annoying. And I’m afraid blood would stain the floors.) But to shorten a pair of jeans? Or fix a button on a cardigan? Or even – gasp! – learn how to knit or crochet to make your own scarf – heaven forbid!


AN said...

so you'll be hemming your own pants now instead of making Mommy do it???

themamajama said...

Yes, she is - and doing a great job, too.