Dealing with men clients just makes me crazy. The phone rings today and it is some guy who has made his own jockey helmet and needs me to make a cover for it.
OK, I say reluctantly, knowing a male voice usually involves way too much chin-wagging and posturing than I need or want in my sewing room. He arrives with the helmet and a nylon fabric cover that is too large and needs it made smaller. I can do it so I tell him I will phone him next week when it is done and that’s when the stories start.
“Well”, he says “I just got out of the hospital after having a heart attack and stents put in 3 days ago up in Washington state. “Oh”, I say, feigning interest, “How are you feeling now?”
He lets rip with a 2 week synopsis of his food and aspirin consumption, movies he has watched all night and activities that led up the point where he drove himself into the emergency room and all the details that followed. OK….enough said, let’s get your shoes back on and leave so I can get back to real sewing. But, no dice, this guy wants me to know his past history of being a stable hand for 30 years at a racetrack that was closed down 20 years ago. What? Did I ask for this? Do I want to know anything about racetracks and betting and corrupt owners?
No, but for the next 20 minutes I will learn about it, his roommate who was a jockey and never got over being laid off, the others who were like family and were left high and dry when “greed” took over. At this point, I open the door of the sewing room to slide/
drag him out to the entryway where his tennis shoes are waiting for him. He sits on the folding chair and recounts more stories about how many flowers were planted around the racetrack and how the owners lived behind the scoreboard and had a swimming pool too….I’m nodding and waiting for him to tie his damn shoes and the mother inside me wants to just bend down and tie the laces to get him moving out the front door….I hear my husband down the hall rustling papers and I know that this old coot/ windbag is just lonely and wants to hear himself talk about the good old days. I say “well I will let you get on with your day” and he says “I’m not working, I’m on sick leave” and starts telling me about the racetrack owner’s wife who died in 1994…or was it 98?
I open the front door and the blast of 99 degree heat hits him and he finally stands up. “I have sewing to get to” I say and help him out but he is still rambling on about the good old days and saying “no rush” on the helmet cover.
My next client, a possible bride, is 15 minutes late so I phone to remind her of the time she had booked. “Oh”, she says “I decided to get a different dress than the one we talked about and figured that you would help me fit the new one but decided not to call and cancel.”
Taking a deep breath I say how disappointed I am that she never thought to call me and that no, in fact, I never work with people who fail to show up for their first appointment and we cannot “work” together. Last week, when she phoned all I could hear was a crowd of kids shouting, a new baby crying and the TV through the receiver and when I asked what the date of her wedding was she said “maybe next year when my divorce comes through.”
She explained she bought a great dress for $80 but it was worth $1200 and she was going to lose weight (I’m assuming new baby weight?) and needed to know if that dress would work. My husband said it sounded like she bought a dress and failed to tell the boyfriend that she was planning a wedding for the both of them. So in a way it was a huge relief that she didn’t come and waste 60-90 minutes of my time prancing around the sewing room imagining herself swanning down the church aisle for the second time with kids in tow post divorce from the first hubby.
On the positive side, today I managed to give away 6 peaches to other clients from the huge bowl in the kitchen. Some days you have to be grateful for small mercies…and I am.