Monday, January 7, 2013

New Buttons on an Old Coat

This last weekend was one of recovery. I know, I know...I had a whole beautiful wonderful ten days away from work over the holidays. What I did with that time, I don't really know. It is all a blur of red wine and this amazingly fatty dip my dad makes that involves cream cheese and a whole jar of olives. There was a moody California landscape as well as the faces of so many people I was very nearly overwhelming. So much so that I had to keep reminding myself how blessed I am to get to see all of these people in such a concentrated period of time. The holidays left me breathless. And just a bit petulant. I was elated and hungry, hungover from drinking too many cokes. My face hurt from laughing but I was quick to tire out, and I didn't read more than a paragraph from a new book I brought with me.

But then, suddenly, there was silence. Deep and sobering, this last weekend came on with a thud. There have been healthy meals (I'm pleased to report), and very few phone calls returned (I'm not so pleased to report). I spent the entirety of Saturday putting things away in their right place. Luggage in the closet, stocking stuffers in the junk drawer, laundry washed and folded, old clothes put in a good will bag. I spent a long hour on Saturday night sewing new buttons onto my old peacoat. It was nothing fancy--the coat or the buttons--but I felt new life breathing into the old wool. I also spent a long hour (or was it two?) searching high and low for a zipper that I've been meaning to put into an old vintage dress for the last eight years*. I bought that zipper three years ago and put it somewhere...where it went, I have no idea. But there I was, finally ready to fix the dress and not a zipper in sight.

On Sunday, we left the house, sewing machine and iron in hand. The bar where Robb works had decided they really ought to have a heavy curtain at the front door to keep out the draft, and so we arrived in the afternoon, with our scissors and our measuring tapes. We folded and pinned while the day-drinkers looked on curiously. Julie sipped her white wine and entertained us with tales from her Friday night. And then we got into a rhythm, Robb pinning one curtain while I sewed the other, and then switching out while we each sewed sides. I turned around at one point and saw my man, in his winter cap and plaid mountain-man shirt, very confidently tugging a velveteen strip of curtain beneath the presser foot of my machine, right there out in the open for all to see, and I thought, well if that isn't the sexiest thing I've seen in a long time. (I do love a man who sews.)
And then we hung the curtain, which floated a very satisfying couple of inches from the floor (you don't want it dragging, you know). And Robb settled in to watch the Seahawks game with Julie, and I filled up my water bottle and headed off to hot yoga. And I thought, this was a necessary weekend. Even though I got a little bored at times, a little restless. Even though there was not much fat and not a drop of booze. Remind me to do less more, I say. To sit still, to sew a few new buttons on an old coat. 

*Funny story about that dress. I bought it from a woman at a sidewalk sale in San Francisco eight years ago. It's a gorgeous wool dress with a crocheted neckline, but the side zipper has a gash running alongside it from one night when the girl got the zipper stuck and her fireman boyfriend had to cut it off of her, thereby (sexily) ruining the dress. I used to wear it to parties, literally sewing myself into it, which was a little punk rock but very impractical. It really is time someone put a new zipper in that thing, for crying out loud.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me want to visit again and sew in the bar. Except for how I don't really sew. Damnit! It looks so cozy in there.