I threw away my favorite t-shirt from high school today. Rebecca has
made several attempts to get rid of this particular shirt, but seeing how
Im the one who puts the garbage out, Ive been able to rescue it each
time. Therefore, it was with a great deal of trauma and ceremony
that I finally admitted that the shirt had seen better days. It
didnt matter to me that I couldnt even read or remember what the
decal had once been because of all of the holes, but when the two sleeves
and neck became a single opening, I knew all was lost.
Women simply dont understand the connection we men have to our clothes.
Its not that we dont like shopping; its just that you cant buy
Journey shirts or muscle pants anymore. Honestly, I dont care
much for some fashion designer telling me that my favorite velour jacket
all of sudden doesnt look good. Unfortunately the only clothing
stores that cater to my fashion sense sell all yellow tagged items for 75%
off on Wednesday mornings. And, as each year passes, the pool of
available clothes from my cruising years dwindles as thoughtless
girlfriends and wives throw away perfectly good garments with years of
wear still left in them.
I for one refuse to let myself become a slave to fashion. Thats
why Im learning to sew. The possibilities are endless. As
long as I can buy the fabric, I can make anything I want. As a
consequence, my friends call me Too-Difficult-To-Look-At-Man. Some
of the color combinations I come up with are outright illegal in some
parts of the country. Once while in Vegas, home of the worlds
ugliest carpet, I tripped and fell in a casino. The people who were
with me swear I just disappeared as my pants blended into the carpet.
The lady who cuts the fabric at my local store is a real professional.
I can tell shes been doing it for a while because she never makes the
mistake of talking about the fabric she is currently cutting. I would
wonder what someone is going to do with six yards of poorly drawn bears
with angel wings sitting on clouds playing harps, but she lets it all go
past. I respect her a great deal. She lets me buy whatever
fabric I want without any hassle. After all, what business is it of
hers if I want to sew a pair of pants out of upholstery?
I love the challenge of trying to understand the clothes patterns from
companies with names like Simplicity. My two best honed skills so
far are ripping out seams (third times a charm for zippers) and
rethreading the needle. I get particularly excited whenever I have
large leftovers after I cut out a pattern. This means that I can
make a smaller version of the shirt or pants I am making for my son so
that we can match. The thought of wearing matching clothes has
always sickened Rebecca, even when we were on our honeymoon, but Skylar
doesnt seem to mind.
Recently I sewed a baby blanket for a friend. Being a man, I
wasnt invited to the baby shower, but my blanket sure was welcome.
Did Nick really make this? the mother-to-be asked Rebecca. The
other women in the room slowly started to back away. What did it
mean that a man could sew?
For her part, Rebecca has embraced my new hobby with surprising
encouragement. She has forbidden me to buy any camouflage fabric,
but everything else is game. At first I sensed a sinister purpose
behind her support, like she would do me the favor of clearing out my
closet to make room for all the new clothes Im going to make for
myself. Oddly enough, she has not taken this course, which is
frustrating because Im starting to find myself itching to get rid of a
few former favorites to free up hangers for my handcrafted reproductions
of old classics.
Overall, sewing has given me a renewed sense of freedom. No longer are my
choices limited to what other people are willing to buy. I am in
control of my wardrobe in a way I never imagined possible. And when
I go out in public, I can see the envy in the face of other men as they
wonder why my day-glo parachute pants arent faded or full of holes.