I will be attending and participating in a food show next week. I know, pretty big news for me. At this particular food show one of my coworkers got the great idea to have matching shirts. No offense men, but when the men pick out the shirts we generally get a bright construction-worker-orange polo shirt with the top of the sleeves running the length of my arm. Pretty! But with a woman in charge this time there was hope for something that fits. Think again, what I got instead was a mirror image of a bowling shirt, except the logo is on the front of the shirt. I told her what specific shirt I wanted and to order a petite, because they fit best. NO, it was easier to buy in bulk and I mean bulk as in big BIG BIGGER. A shirt of this breadth would make a dandy car cover or an awning to shelter the firewood. I could drive in one arm hole, tour the neck line, and drive out the other arm hole and then go park next to the firewood.
When I mentioned how large this shirt is to my coworker, she told me to have it altered, yeah like I have a bunch of time for that nonsense. Ok folks, I own a sewing machine, that’s really as far as it goes. I’ve heard that the sewing gene skips a generation, and well since I have no natural children, it’s the end of the line for sewing from my immediate family. Therefore there is little or no chance of me actually altering this garment myself. Sure I thought about it and I even attempted to pin in darts and stuff. It was all bunchy and well, bunchy in places there shouldn’t be bunches. I was getting nowhere fast, so I decided to take to the road and find me some alteration place. But not before I got online and ordered not just a new shirt in the correct size, I also ordered a new fleece jacket. Those new things arrived right in time for me to wear the fleece to a new store opening last week where the internal temperature of the store was hovering right about freezing. I was cozy in my new duds.
Today I finally had time so I took all the pins out of the shirt and headed out to some dry cleaners that have signage stating “we do alteration.” I stop at the dry cleaner closest to my house, take the shirt in and ask to be fitted by the seamstress. I was told in no uncertain terms, “we no do”. According to the sign that I took a photo of and that I have conveniently placed at the top of this blog, states that you do, but he was adamant, I think. I left in a huff, it made me cranky.
Next stop several blocks away. The woman working, paused long enough from spoon feeding a perfectly capable 6 year old to look up and say, “we no do”. I asked why they had a sign up that said they do alterations. She says louder, WE. NO. DO. Got it. I told her that she should take the sign down. Cranky factor is rising.
As I’m out tending to additional errands I remember there is one other dry cleaner near my home so I head that way. I pull into the parking spot and immediately look for an alteration sign. There isn’t one, I take that as a good sign. When I ask about a seamstress I’m told they can direct me to one that works out of her house. He gives me the address and off I go a few short blocks away.
I ring the bell and a very old little poodle offers up a half-hearted bark and wanders down a stone walkway to sniff my outstretched fingers. We bond. From inside I hear another dog bark and a woman’s voice telling it to shush. The sound of a door being unlocked follows and a very elderly bent over woman invites me in. Someone in the house is a very heavy smoker and from the looks of all the Jesus paraphernalia around I don’t think it’s her. I never could equate those two anyway, loving Jesus and loving cigarettes, but I digress. I tell her what I need, I slip into the shirt, she pokes some pins into the side and I hear. Pfffft, followed by “Oh my!” I don’t hear an ‘excuse me’,’ it must have been the dog’. Or, ‘oh I had a hotdog for lunch and they always repeat on me’, nothing, it’s as if she just didn’t bend over to get a pin and squeak out a fart. I wanted to laugh, but she just continued to put pins in my shirt and I let her, because I finally found a seamstress. The shirt will be ready by Tuesday, I’m to pay in cash and it will cost more to have this article of clothing altered than the original cost of the shirt. Oh my.