Tuesday, July 08, 2008

in which i am hunted like a dog

Remember back in April, when I went to see my father because he'd been in the hospital? Remember the talk we had at Olive Garden? Okay, maybe you should forget that. But remember how I made pajama pants for him? And how he declared that they weren't pajamas, but "summer pants"?

Apparently, he liked the reactions he got while sporting his big ol' "summer pants" down the boulevard (reactions don't have to be favorable for my father to like them), because the first day of wear, he called to tell me he'd be needing "four-five more" of them. I told him I'd see how many I could do. "Good," he said. "When do you think you'll have them ready?"

A few days later, he called again, asking if I knew how to add pockets. "These same pants," he specified, "but with pockets." I told him I'd never made a pocket, but I could figure it out. Anything but "I don't know how," or "I can't" works for him. My father has never in his life been too high to offer encouragement. If you tell him you lack a certain ability, you're just firing up the cheering section, is all you're doing. I always tell him yes I can, then figure out the truth when the time comes. We left the pocket conversation on a high note.

Then came the voice mails.

June 10th
I'm lying in bed. My phone rings. I see that it's my father, but I don't answer because guess what, I'm sleeping. This is no barrier to the Summer Pants Man. He is not shy about leaving messages:

It's about a quarter to six in the morning here, and I can't sleep. I had a thought that occurred to me. I'm sayin' to myself 'Now, if she can make pajama bottoms, what's to stop her from making pajama tops?' I'm just kidding! You know I'm crazy.

Okay now I heard the beep. I don't know if it recorded my last message or not. I said, 'If she makes pajama bottoms, what's to stop her from making pajama tops?' It's a thought. Just an idea. Love you. 'Bye.

You know I was thinking maybe uh ... like you said, uh.... What did you say? No, I said. A top. You know, the pullover type. Since you can make the bottoms, why not make a pullover top? Just kidding! I know you're not gonna do that, are you? Heh heh heh. Are you?

You know, like -- the scrubs? Aw naw. I don't even know why I called you back to leave another message. You ain't gonna make none of that. Ha ha. You know, like the doctors wear, their pullovers? Naw, you're not gonna do that. Alright. 'Bye.

June 28th
HEY! Oh. Did I holler? I didn't mean to. I was wondering if you think I can have my summer pants before the summer's up? And my summer shirts before the summer's up? Heh heh. You know I love you. I wish you could come here for the 4th. I swear to God I do. Okay, love you baby. Hit me back. 'Bye.

June 29th
Oh, I'm sorry, I thought I was calling the sweat shop and I was checking on my order, but this is Carla? Oh well ... I thought I had -- this is not the sweat shop? I was checking on my order. Okay. Well thank you.

I think now you can see why I've been sewing like a slave wench up in here, and why I needed the IMF in the first place. The pinnacle of summer is the 4th of July, and my sister throws a giant block party every year. I knew my father would want to show off his new threads at her party, and of course he did. He and my brother and one of my uncles are restoring a classic Cadillac, and my father described to me how he planned to step out of it at the party, looking stunningly "unique" in cowboy boots and clothes I made for him. He usually wears a little beanie hat to cover a thin patch, but he was going to do the opposite on the 4th, and be even more unique by letting his baldness show. I told him he'd best wait and see the clothes before he got that happy about wearing them. "It doesn't matter," he said. "I can say for sure, nobody else will be wearing what I'm wearing, and my clothes will be beautiful."

I finished two pants to match the two shirts, and took them to the post office last Wednesday afternoon for Thursday morning delivery via Express Mail. Can you see where this is going? The clothes were delivered on Saturday, and today I went to the post office and got my money back.

My father assured me that everything worked out for the best, as he had wound up manning my sister's grill all day. There was no way he would've put on his good clothes to barbecue. He went on to say that my sewing had gotten "the seal of approval from a professional." He told me, "You know your aunt Stephanie's friend? Butch? He checked out your stuff and said the stitching is excellent. And you know he oughta know. He steals enough clothes to be able to tell."

Onward to photos:
1) & 2) the goods
3) me modeling a pair of the pants
4) me stressing to you that there are dandy pockets in the pants, and
5) that things can be carried in them, and
6) that things carried in the pockets can be juggled (who knew?)
7) Schmin knocking you out with his male model vibe

When my father wears these clothes, he says he's going to call himself Dr. Who?

Project Notes
Summer Pants: Because my dad wanted pockets, I didn't use the same pattern that I did for the PJs. Instead, I used
New Look 6321. In the right fabric, these bottoms are less PJ and more casual pants. The pattern is uber easy, though I did have to consult a couple of websites to get an understanding of how to do the pockets. The pattern confused me. Also, I left out the elastic in the waistband. The drawstring will do the job.
Scrub tops:
New Look 6634.
Size medium on everything.
Fabrics: cotton/linen blend for pants, purchased at Michael Levine's, downtown LA; cotton batik for shirts, from Jo-Ann's
Did I get some satisfaction? Yes, because my father is my favorite pain in the ass, and if he's happy, I'm happy.


yaiAnn said...

OMG! I would LOVE to meet your dad! You're such a good daughter! And Schmin, cutie as always!

Adrienne said...

OMG!! you are a good one !LOL

Stacy said...

Too funny! A prize to you for being such a great daughter.... the middle of the night calls alone would have killed me. ;-) Great job!

Laurie Ann said...

The sweat shop call was my favorite. Hooray for pockets! and Juggling!
You did a fine job as always.

Jenni said...

Your daddy cracks me up. He reminds me a lot of my grandpa :) He would do something silly like that sweatshop call.

Ellen Bloom said...

Nice work on the pants and tops. That Andre is simply adorably handsome!

My uncle calls my cellphone all the time too. I try to keep it in the "off" position as much as possible!

Carmell said...

gurl your daddy is off the chain!!!!

glad nobody calls me that early!

nice work!

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing so hard I can't even read the main post....roflmho here...I'll come back to that later..lol..

So that's what all those fine fabrics were for, you are something else.

I think I'll be re-reading this for a couple of days...

Know the little kiddies book...'If you give a mouse a cookie'?


Orchidophile said...

Your dad's messages have tickled me! Great job as usual!

msaims said...

love your photos of the goods. all the different poses.

i hope your dad does not ring at 3 in the morning to thank you!

congrats on the label-free venture.

would love to see what schmin comes up with if he turns his hand to sewing coz that walking stick was amazing!

Carol said...

I am laughing like an idiot (at work) reading this. If I get fired, it's your dads fault!

Frank said...

Clearly I've got too much going on because I cried throughout much of your story. It's so cute that your dad loved your clothes that much. And kinda sad that he didn't expect you to do it. Reminds me of my mom who would give you the shirt off her back and the shoes off her feet but finds it difficult to expect anything of anyone else.

You're a good daughter and a good person.


(Now where are my summer pants?)

woolanthropy said...

we are all gonna start calling and leaving odd messages about our summer pants.

you have been forewarned.