I recently discovered a new tailor, she is amazing. Okay, scratch that, I have a tailor and I have known her for the past two years but our relationship has been on and off. You could say I have commitment issues, I guess. We will see.
The first time I walked into her shop, it wasn’t love at first sight. I immediately wanted to turn back and leave but the clothes in my paper bag betrayed me like the fake smile plastered on my face.
There she was, seated at her special corner sewing away, as you can imagine she never stopped or bothered to look up at me. I cleared my throat and when she looked up, I knew this wasn’t going to work.
“Unafanya repairs?” Flew out my words and why was I so scared? This is was so unlike me. I was so used to getting my way with tailors but with her it was different, annoying even.
As you can guess she never bothered to reply me, she simply asked for the clothes and started inspecting them. I ignored her cold reception and jumped right in with what I needed her to do for me.
All I got from her was a nod here and there but she never wrote anything down which was quite unsettling, how would she remember everything? This was a bad idea I thought but it was too late to back out, she had already set aside my favourite clothes in her corner.
Finally when she decided to say something you can’t imagine what she asked me, “wewe ni mjaluo?” Expectantly smiling at me. At first I felt uneasy and thought of lying but my accent and extensive code switching was obviously betraying me.
Just by looking at her you could tell she was a Kyuk and wondered if my clothes would pay the ultimate price. At some point she took my measurements but this did not help me relax one bit, all I wanted to do was carry my rags and run.
She told me to come back the next day and I swear I didn’t sleep, I kept imagining my ruined clothes and how I would pull the tribal card on her. She wasn’t going to get the end of my rant and I would even cause a scene if it came to that.
True to her word my clothes were ready on time and her stitching was textbook! And when I tried them on they fit perfectly, you can imagine my disappointed! She did a good job and now I had no place to channel my anger. Lucky duck!
Although we could be civil with each other, a part of me was still terrified of her, especially when I came with unusual designs and she simply gave me the eye. What did it mean? Can she do it? Can’t do it? She thinks I am crazy?
To make matters worse, I found myself constantly giving in to her contending nature, after I realized she did a better job when I ‘acknowledged’ her input. Most tailors have this thing where they intentionally do a shoddy job because a client feels entitled, then why do we pay for the service anyway?
At some point I cheated on her once or twice with some amateur tailors who unsuprisingly did a number on my clothes. Deep down my heart I knew she was the best but I didn’t want to accept it.
Even with that, I never gave up on my search, I still hoped I would get a nice tailor like Henry Kissinger from Kisumu, big up my brother! That guy understood me and was so easy to talk to unlike Cruella here.
After a while like the prodigal son, I went back home only I wasn’t welcomed with praise and love, that story lied. In fact our relationship got worse, it was almost as if she could read through me and knew I had strayed. She didn’t own me, well at least not yet.
Anyway, our relationship only got better thanks to the pandemic. Since I was working from home, she was seeing a lot of me and we kind of just hit it off, funny thing she wasn’t as bad as I thought.
As it turns out she genuinely loved her Luo clients and couldn’t get enough of our accent, so she says. Personally I think she likes us because we don’t lament over the hefty prices she charges.
Before we got friendly I was sure I had her figured out but I was mistaken. All along I thought she was an introvert but once the Pandora box was opened, the chatter never stopped. She turned out to be more talkative than I was and boy do we gossip!
Sometimes she hurts my feelings, ha ha! One time she made this comment, “huwa unanibamba na hizi vitu zako.” What did she mean? What was wrong with my designs? I guess you can say familiarity breeds contempt, “tumezoeana!”
She may have her moments but the best thing I love about her is that she treats all her clients with respect and she never works on a cloth twice! Her mantra is that if she can’t get a client’s request right on the go then she has no business sewing.
Full disclosure, if you have no working relationship with your tailor, then don’t expect the best from them either. You might think all it takes is the money but trust me tailors give preferential treatment to clients they like. So, love thy tailor!
For this post, it only made sense for me to have an outfit we worked on together. I almost went wacko explaining to her the design for this trouser but it all worked out as you can see.
Do tell me though, how is your relationship like with your tailor?