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I have spent half my holidays, by my admittedly exaggerated estimate, being bossed around by my bossy grandmother. If you have a really good memory, you might recall that several weeks ago, I said I would rather learn to sew than go clothes shopping ever again. I said this in places besides my blog, and of course, my grandmother found out.

I understand that my grandma is simply really excited that I am expressing an interest in her favourite hobby. (Well, one of them.) What she doesn’t seem to understand is that there’s no deadline. It’s not a race! It’s not like I have to sew an entire wardrobe before school starts again; I already have a perfectly adequate school uniform. Nothing bad is going to happen if I only work on my sewing one day a week. Spending as much time on it as she’s making me spend only makes clothes shopping look appealing. And who wants that?

I have been woken up by phone calls about this. “Be at Spotlight in 45 minutes,” and then the line goes dead. I have to drag myself out of bed and get there on time, just so I can spend THREE HOURS trying to appease my grandma. This is impossible, because she’s never satisfied. “What material would you like?”

“Um, I like this red one.”

My grandma ignores me and points out a dozen different floral materials. When I veto them all, she cries, “Jessica, is there one material in this store you like?”

“Yes, I liked the red one.”

Again, she ignores me. “The dress is for you, not me. You can choose whatever material you like; it’s not going to affect me, after all.”

“Well in that case, I choose the red one!”

Finally, she accepts my choice. “Now choose another material. I’m not letting you use that one right away.”

When it comes to choosing a pattern for the dress, again it’s been a battle. I selected two that I thought looked nice, and grandma even accepted my choices. Then we went to the counter so we could collect the patterns and pay. Only one was in stock, and printed on the packet were the words, “JUST 4 KNITS”.

“Jessica! This pattern is for knit material!”

“Oh,” I said. “Well, okay.”

“But it’s only for knit material. And that’s so much harder to sew! Are you sure you want it?”

“Yes, it’s fine.”

“All I’m thinking is, it’s not a very good pattern for you to sew from, this early in your sewing career. Are you sure you want it?”

“Yes, it’s okay. I’ll deal with it.”

“The dress is for you, not me. It doesn’t bother me if you try sewing a dress you don’t have the skills for.”

“It’s fine! I don’t care –”

“You don’t care? It’s your dress! You should care!”

“I mean, I don’t mind that the pattern is for knits. It’s okay.”

“Are you sure?”

The girl behind the counter looked totally bewildered — should she scan the packet or not? In the end, I managed to persuade grandma to buy the stupid pattern. It wasn’t even going to be a project right away, so what was the big deal?

Even though the ordeal of material-shopping is over, grandma has been harassing me with phone calls about my sewing. Every day (almost), she calls and goes, “Should I come over there so you can get some more sewing done?” Well, not always. Sometimes she says something even worse: “Jessica, collect your material and catch public transport here, so we can cut it out!” (I managed to get out of doing this. Only by volunteering to buy a $100 folding table, mind you. Which I had to carry home.)

It wouldn’t be so bad if sewing was actually fun. No, sewing is horrible. The majority of my time is spent watching my grandmother do stuff, and I’m not even allowed to sit down. She accuses me of laziness because I’m not enthusiastic about sewing. She also talks continually about flaws in my figure — that is, my malformed neck and shoulder — as though I haven’t noticed them. After sixteen years of looking in the mirror, I have. I don’t need these constant reminders!

What I have to do, I’ve learned, is to question everything and argue when I don’t want to do something. My grandma hates it when I do this, but she does eventually let me get out of sewing. Okay, she puts on a big martyr act and accuses me of laziness and of trying to waste her time, but it’s pretty much the only reason I’ve had any free time in this half of the holidays. I don’t really feel guilty about it.

Except when she nags my dad about it, I guess.



  1. Ouch, that sounds pretty irritating. I hope your grandmother eases up a little bit. 😛

  2. Hahaha I’m not sure you meant this to be funny and I bet it was really irritating to have to deal with your grandma when she’s being like that but it really cracked me up.
    Oh man, I can’t sew if my life depended on it. I’ve tried so many times but my mom has to keep re-doing everything I’ve done. I hope you’ll get better then at least one of us can proudly say that we can sew.

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