Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Progress - One Stitch at a Time

I'm very pleased to report that I am making progress in The Belgian Years. Case in point:

Earlier this summer, I took two identical pair of black pants to the tailor around the corner. Both were missing buttons. (I see this more as a sign that Calvin Klein got some bum thread rather than a reflection on my expanding waistline!) The seamstress did not speak much English and, while my French has improved, it is nowhere near the stage where I can toss out the French word for "button". Fortunately for me, I was able to revert to dive signals. Two fingers to the eyes followed by two fingers to the area with the missing button. She shook her head and said, "oui, Vendredi." Rather proud of myself, I left the shop.

On Vendredi, I returned to claim my newly altered pants. I looked at the first pair and the button looked great. I looked at the second pair and there was no button. Thinking that she just forgot the second pair, I handed the pants to her and asked "ou est the button?"

When I saw the expression on her face, I knew something was wrong, and, by wrong, I mean in that "terribly wrong" sort of way. It was the whole hand over the mouth and wide eyes that gave it away. Apparently, the seamstress had taken it upon herself to hem my second pair of pants three inches. (This would be the same pair of black trousers that had already been custom-tailored for me by the excellent alterations staff at Nordstroms.) Why three inches? I have no idea. Why hem them at all? Again, I've got nothing.

So, I handed her the "capris" back and asked that she "un-hem" them and replace the button. She said, "oui, lundi." On Lundi, everything was fine.

I told you all of that to tell you this: Yesterday, I took a pair of black pants to the same tailor for them to be hemmed 3 inches. Today, I picked them up. They were shortened by three inches and still had the button. P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Deportation Mistakes, It's Not Just a Belgian Thing!

Just goes to show you, clerical mistakes are not unique to this side of the pond! Here's a link from an article in the San Diego Union Tribune where a lady was detained for 10 days before her deportation order (issued because of clerical mistakes) was revoked. While I may have been deported, at least I wasn't traded for a pack of smokes in some detention center! Stay strong, sister ...