tonite i had my first sewing class. i've been looking forward to this class for months... i've tried to sign up for it twice and twice it was full. i thoroughly researched this place and even though it was a bit more expensive, i just knew it was the right place for me.
i moved my whole day around so i could get to this class on time... got up extra early so i could leave work early, planned an outfit that would have enough comfort and longevity to get me through a full work day and a three-hour class, ate a large, late lunch so i wouldn't be hungry during the class...
and when i finally got there, it proved to be awesome. only 12 students so the instructor can spend lots of one-on-one attention with each student. the instructor is a fabulous old queen with more sass in his little finger than one would find in a cranky kindergarten class. and the other students were all gals... of various shapes and style sensibilities.
we started off with a bang. a few jokes about being the next project runway contestants and introductions on sewing 101 how to.
things were going great until we took a short break around 7:30. i went to the restroom only to come back to the instructor talking about how important 'fit' was. "forget size! have you seen what banana republic is calling a 12 these days? GEN-ER-OUS." shee-it. things started to go downhill from there... words from his introduction a few short hours ago were ringing in my head, "i can tell every single one of you what your measurements are - trust me. i've been doing this for that long." i wear a size 22. what the fuck do you think was going through my head after he basically just declared 12's to be ginormous?!
it was at that point that i became acutely aware of trying to not shift in my seat... the least amount of attention i could bring to myself the better... don't let the chair squeak, don't sip from your water, don't look up... just smile... smile... don't betray that anything else is going on.... i was SO uncomfortable. it seemed as soon as the size vs. fit diatribe started, an unmercifully hot, bright spotlight focused on me. i was so paralyzed that i couldn't even look around the room to confirm my suspicions that i had become the center of intense, boring gazes.
the instructor went on to evidence his 'fit matters most' bit by giving a couple of examples of famous women ... who are larger... who always look meticulous. "i've met queen latifah in person and believe me, she ain't a petite gal... but she always looks like a million bucks!!" true, but why use her as an example? why not talk about how bad kirsten dunst looks when she wears rags that hang off her tiny frame?
just when i thought i couldn't take another moment, it got worse. we were handed patterns and told that we were going to be measured for the patterns... right then and there.
the instructor started going around the room measuring each gal's hips. he was quick. he gave each woman's number to her under his breath. very polite. very sensitive. when he got to me, he had trouble reaching around me... so it was taking longer than everyone else. and then, when he finally gave me my number (51.5 in a VERY hushed tone) i didn't know what else to do but say out loud, "28?! how lovely!!!" get this... EVERYONE laughed. even the folks on the other side of the room. was everyone waiting to hear my gargantuan waist size?
i was dying from the mortification. i think at that point he was talking more about how to read the panel on the pattern packet... i have no idea what was told to us because i was busy falling down an inner spiral of shame. the fun didn't stop there, though... once he told us how much fabric we needed i realized i was a full inch and a half bigger than the biggest XXL measurement on the package. holy christ. now i have to ask what to do in my situation??
i summoned all the courage i had left and waited till the end of class and asked the instructor. again, he was completely nonplussed by the question and said something about 'wear ease' and how i would be just fine.
i have never bolted from a place so fast. thank god that's over. i'm actually kind of glad i didn't know that there was measurements-taking in store at our first class... i think i would have psyched myself out of it had i known that we would actually have to be measured... out loud... in front of strangers.
despite the utter humiliation, i'm glad i went. i'm glad i didn't lose composure when faced with a surprise measuring... there were definitely unsavory elements about this evening. but i refuse to let it tarnish my long standing excitement about learning to sew.