Tuesday, September 30, 2008

That was the moment when I knew...

In “Good Omens” there’s an adorable little scene where one of the characters has to explain why his car is named Dick Turpin, causing him great embarassment—“because it’s always holding up traffic.” That’s sort of how I felt today when I was chatting with a black lab’s cute grad-student owner who queried how I named Kizzy. “Well,” I said, blushing ferociously, “have you ever heard of Admiral Horatio Nelson…”

Tomorrow all hell is going to break loose, loyal readers, and I’m not looking forward to it. The powers that be have decided that once every six months, the two tailoring teams will swap genders, meaning tomorrow the men’s team (including me) will become the woman’s team. Instead of shirts, weskits and breeches it'll be shifts, petticoats and jackets. I’m okay with it—I’m still learning the role, so even if I stayed on the men’s team, I’d be asking a lot of questions. Making women’s clothes will be differently challenging. The thing I’m most upset about is the fact that, well, there are no breeches or regimentals on the women’s team, so I won’t get to touch so much as a kneeband, not a single bloody epaulet, for the next six months. Sigh.

But a lot of the tailors—well, all right, just about everyone else—is upset about this change. The two teams were well-chosen when it came to assigning mens-vs-women’s clothes, and the switch isn’t making anyone happy. There’s nothing anyone can do about it except deal, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of rudeness going around—“I hate men’s clothes!” “I hate women’s clothes!” Yes, well, that’s charming, but it’s not going to change anything.

It’s interesting how awkward I feel whenever I put on my women’s clothes. I’ve been rehearsing in my petticoat and shoes, to get the feel for them, and I feel really… dorky. My roommate can swan about in her period clothes looking like she’s just stepped out of an American Girls book (the early ones, before they were sold to Mattel), but I look like I’m wearing a costume, and I walk like I haven’t worn a skirt in years. Oh, wait, I haven’t. Much less heels. On the other hand, I love wearing breeches. I would wear them all day, every day if I could. They are that comfortable, and I love showing off my shapely leg. Arg. I’m going to have to take lessons about how to be a lady again…I’m guessing lesson one would be “don’t hike up your skirts to your thighs to give your mosquito bites a good scratching.” At least no one can deny I’ve got the period leg hair for it…

2 comments:

Laura said...

I don't have the faintest idea what a weskit is but it sounds sexy. I hate the thought of you being banished to the women's wear and not getting to soak up all that masculine energy from the men's clothes. I feel your pain. In other slightly disturbing news - I noticed Supernatural Season 3 outtakes on youtube where the brothers like to try to screw each other up by professing their love to each other on camera....I've only watched it 3 times...so far.

Samantha said...

I wish I had the opportunity to swap genders at various shops I've worked at. I usually get pinned as a menswear person because I can tailor, alter suits, teach others how to make welt pockets etc etc. But menswear gets so routine so fast (and it certianly ain't easy, even you are just altering as opposed to building--there's a lot of crap inside the guts of a suit!) Especially when you aren't dealing with the earlier frothy periods with all the trimmings, lace and buttons. Sometimes I just want to make something pretty!