Dodging a bullet…again

An email came in from a man about his wife and her need for a seamstress and a silk suit:

Love your website! We are based up North but spending a few weeks in your town. There’s an upcoming wedding in Ireland in early August and my wife has decided she wants to wear the suit she wore at our wedding 27 years back. She can get in it but, to be comfortable and realizing that going on a starvation diet is not a great idea, it would help if it could be modified to account for a minimal but measurable increase in size.

Do you have a telephone number and convenient time to call so we can call to discuss this? We’re in your town during the week Mon – Fri and she is free normally ~ Midday for an hour and after 5pm.

So, I agree to meet the wife at 12 noon. She calls at 12:30 to say, “I couldn’t get away so you will see me when I get there” and then hangs up. At 12:50 she parks her car and opens the trunk and back seat to drag out 2 huge bags, the type you see refugees carrying when they flee their country. I’m imagining that the suit is just the foot in the door and she has brought a closet clean-out for me.

I open the front door and she announces, “Well, you had better be able to make miracles.” We go into the sewing room and I ask to see the silk suit. From out of the bag comes a faded, stained, once was coral, now poopy orange colored skirt. It is unlined with pockets and it has been let out on both side seams 1/2 inch many many years ago and the original seam and needle marks make a defining wear line. There are no seam allowances left to release and I say it is not possible. She grabs the skirt and holds it to her chest like Gollum in Lord of the Rings with his “precious” and says, “but I have to wear this, I wore it 27 years ago” and I reply, “There are clothes in my closet 30 years old but I sure am not going to wear them to a wedding. If you want to make a good impression and look classy…this ain’t it.”

She says that she has been to every store in the entire northern half of the state and not one store has anything better than this to wear to the posh wedding…at that point I realize there is no pleasing this woman and I show her the door…but one last request…Can you just make me another silk suit in 2 weeks?”As another seamstress sister tells me…”you have a “NO” card in your pocket…be strong and use it”…so I did. I watched her walk back to her car with those 2 huge bags packed tight with clothes and I smiled with relief!

To keep my sanity I wander through my backyard/veggie beds to remind myself that life is not all about cranking out wedding gowns…hope you enjoy these photos taken 2 weeks ago…the baby plants have tripled in size by now…corner-bedsarchwayblue-flowersraised-bedsresting and a parting shot of Mr. Mole resting in the shade

Wishing you all a chance to sit back with a cool drink and enjoy this time of summer, especially the 4th of July, the season of rapid growth both for veggies and pesky weeds. Thank you to bridal seamstresses who have been writing to me privately to share their stories…it makes me smile to hear that there are lots of clients who reside in Crazytown!

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38 Responses to Dodging a bullet…again

  1. Bunny says:

    Hope you have a great Fourth too! May I suggest a cool gin and tonic under that umbrealla with Mr. Mole and the shade? You’ve earned it. You called that one spot on. Here’s my question for analysis – why did the husband call? Hmmmmm.,…..got my theories.

  2. a great post as usual to make me laugh (and cringe) with my morning coffee. Your garden looks fantastic! no wonder you have such a great harvest. Happy 4th!

  3. sewbussted says:

    Way to go!!! I am so proud of you :)

  4. Gloria Williams says:

    Yayy for you! I am in the same business and I say “no” quite frequently nowadays. I just don’t know why people want to hang on to these things when they can have a beautiful garment if they just give you enough time!

  5. 916susanc says:

    Hmmm, you’ve got me thinking. In your business you run into a startling number of people with a questionable grasp on reality but a firm belief that the world revolves around them. I wouldn’t have thought there were so many of these people wandering the planet. But you’re just one person and if you run into quite a few of these special snowflakes, that must mean statistically speaking there are many more of them gracing us all with their undeniably special snowflakey presence. How do they survive? Do the rest of us just pander to them? Every time I read one of these stories I just am floored by the rude (50 min late?), the delusional (just needs a bit of room added) and the gall (well, can you make me a suit?). And I thought I had a tough job!

    • mrsmole says:

      They either have some magic or a baby voice or huge balls…there are days I want to listen to the voice on the phone and quickly decide if she “sounds” right…ha ha. Susan, it does seem as though some weeks there are more demanding weird-os out there and they read my killer reviews on Google and must say to themselves..”that’s the girl for me”. Not many are referred by friends!

    • Val says:

      What astonishes me is that I thought ALL of those snowflakes lived in my community here in California. Who knew that some have managed to migrate from the magic center of self-entitlement? ;-)

      • mrsmole says:

        Val, they migrate up the I-5 heading north to Canada until they decide which perfect little enclave is hippy and weird enough to accept them…some days you can almost tell when they announce…”I live in XXXXX, and I want XXXX”, that you are in trouble and need to find that “NO” card. Lots of them manage a trip back down south to San Francisco for a fabric buying trip and a visit to Trader Joe’s. Thankfully I live in a rural town filled with retired folks and bears…very few of which need wedding alterations…ha ha.

  6. Susie says:

    Although I am glad for you that you dodged a nasty bullet, I can’t help but think about the other great stories inside those bags! Your analysis was correct, there is no pleasing her. Enjoy some time in that gorgeous yard!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Susie…today Mr. Mole and I trimmed/whacked down monster hedges and bushes down a side breezeway…about 50 feet of misery…with him wielding a dangerous 3 ft long hedge trimmer up a ladder and me on the ground scooping and trimming branches down to fit in the green topped trashcan…5 hours…but tonight…cocktail time and maybe some Tylenol. What mysteries lay in wait for me in those bags….only the next poor seamstress will discover!

  7. sewruth says:

    Well done you for saying ‘No’. Enjoy your day off

  8. girl in the stix says:

    Oy! Entitled, rude and delusional–just my cup of tea (not!). I have toyed with the idea of offering alterations, but never for bridal. My years as a wedding photographer have taught me that there is no dealing with the crazy. Thanks so much for your blog–really enjoy your writing and your stories.

    • mrsmole says:

      Wedding photographers have it the worst…at least I never have to actually GO to the wedding and try to herd a family of cats and weasels into a suitable grouping to make an heirloom portrait….you earn your money for sure!!!!

  9. Lydia says:

    Way to go!!! -now enjoy your holiday and reap the efforts in your gorgeous garden.

    • mrsmole says:

      What you cannot see in the photos is the huge carpet of weeds…but today they have been wrestled with and yanked from their comfy home turf….

  10. Mary says:

    Happy 4th Mrs. Mole! I enjoy your blog very much and am so happy that I have none of these stories in my history. Casual wedding 39 years ago with my own alterations and modifications :-)

    • mrsmole says:

      Casual wedding, me too, both times…simple dress, 10 minute ceremony, out the door…each one lasted 20+ years and I hope to have another 20+ years with Mr. Mole working in the garden and having a laugh. Stories like these are best shared with other seamstresses…everyone else thinks wedding sewing is “glamorous”.

  11. Ola says:

    I’m glad you used that “NO CARD”…that woman would have been a piece of work to deal with…you definitely dodged a bullet there… :)

  12. Monique says:

    I was so hoping you’d say “no’ whilst reading! Good for you.
    Lovely garden; at least plants don’t make unreasonable demands or comments. Hope you enjoyed the 4th of July.
    Have a good weekend, Mrs Mole.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Monique….it has been 100 for days now and we are wishing the nighttime temps would drop a little more! At least the fireworks did not cause any fires in this dry season.

  13. Trish says:

    Thanks for reminding me to be assertive when the crazies come to call (oh, yes, we have plenty in Australia!). It makes it easier to say no when I realize that the same ghastly situation is being played out on the other side of the world. Thank goodness for the lovely clients who help us retain our sanity.😊

    • mrsmole says:

      It’s true…there are some clients we look forward to working with and then there are the others…we do it for the money. Makes you wonder if they ever give a thought to how we actually feel? Do you ever think about how the service folks feel when they work for you?

  14. Rena pearson says:

    Good job using your “no”! I’ve switched to teaching Tweens/teens for the summer…less drama! I love your garden. Something about seamstresses and gardening because I grow lots of edibles and flowers too. Maybe it’s a necessary escape from the crazy!

    • mrsmole says:

      Maybe it is the color and texture too, Rena…or just escaping the machines and phone calls…in the end you get to eat everything the birds don’t nibble or eat down to the ground. My poor neighbors get bags of extra produce left on their doorstep at night…and it is fun to see that they write on their Facebook pages…”Someone left me more zucchini”.

  15. prttynpnk says:

    I don’t know how you ever come inside- what a gorgeous area!

  16. MIchaelC says:

    One of the hardest words in the English language is the word NO. It has taken me a long time, but now I use it easily. NO means NO. No excuses, or explanations. I probably would have told her to make another appt (with someone else) when she called to say she was late. It’s about respect. Love the garden.

  17. mrsmole says:

    You are right, Michael…I could have/should have said she was out of luck. Even Mr. Mole admonishes me for being so nice…

  18. Award yourself a gold star for using that NO card! It gets easier to do the more you use it – and sometimes you just know it is time to dust it off. She really seems to have been one of those times.
    I have just got back from time away leaving The Management holding the fort and answering messages. He has asked to change the message on the answerphone (not to what he wanted to say!) and says he can’t believe some of the requests but saved me from a ‘bullet’ by confirming I was away and couldn’t do anything at all. Phew.

    • mrsmole says:

      Hubbies can be pretty useful at times and my husband with his British accent can melt hearts and soothe over situations for me and my clients on the phone.

  19. jillybe says:

    Going from the “No” card directly to the garden – that’s right living in my book!

  20. Pingback: Do You Ott? | fit for a queen

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