Calming the savage beast

Truth, they say, is stranger than fiction. When you work with the general public, people can be very strange indeed. As a professional seamstress, it means that I work with all kinds of people, not just brides but cosplayers and renaissance actors as well; notwithstanding everyday folk looking to have their skirt or pants hemmed. My degree is in psychology (not fabricology as would seem logical) and I have always enjoyed the study of human nature and how quirky we often seem. The following story will appeal to you closer in the realm of the ridiculous as opposed to what is accepted as normal behavior.

It’s been my experience that brides come from all walks of life. As for this bride in question, I’ll call her Stacey (all names in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent, the excessively crabby, or those with no sense of humor.) Stacey was exceptionally high strung. In fact, she was so anxious that when the day she came for her fitting, she ran late as she had forgotten to put the dress in the car and had to turn around to go get it. When Stacey finally walked through my front door, she was so flustered, she was talking a mile a minute and radiating so much angst to the extent that it was stressing me out. In order to restore decorum (and my sanity,) I took the dress out of Stacey’s hands and instructed her to sit, like you would an errant puppy. I almost laughed out loud when she obeyed me upon command! I then placed a very large glass of red wine and two recently homemade brownies in front of her. She smiled cheerfully and proceeded to partake in my offerings. After about an hour with some more wine, my gifts enabled her to slow down to a discernible elocution instead attempting to comprehend the babble of a crazed woman on Adderall. Only then was Stacey calm enough to proceed with the fitting.

Now, it wasn’t just this particular fitting that Stacey’s manic reflex kicked in. During every appointment, I had to infuse her with wine and chocolate to get her to calm down in order to be able to proceed. In the meantime, I endured frantic texts and emails in the middle of the night, lamenting about everything from the fit of the bodice, to the cut of the under petticoat, to where she exasperatingly culminated with; “I just want to throw the dress out and start over again.”

Putting on my best business practices hat, I decided to ignore all Stacey’s late-night communications. The following mornings, calm and reassuring responses soothed her trepidations. She always had a ready apology for her craziness from the night before. Don’t get me wrong, Stacey was a very lovely person and I enjoy working with many different types of personalities. It was my pleasure to help her through the process, regardless of how off-beat it may have been at times. By the time I applied the final touches, Stacey’s wedding dress was absolutely divine, she looked like a queen.

In my trade, it seems wine and chocolate are just as valuable tools as needle and thread.

May all your seams be straight!

~Heather

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