Sunday, November 18, 2012
Did you hear the one about the 7 middle-aged overweight women on a fashion runway? I hadn't either ... until yesterday.
The owner of a local yarn store in my area decided it would be fun to host a fashion show featuring products her customers had knitted. Some of these women have been knitting their entire lives, and produce absolutely gorgeous creations. Others of us (like me) have only fairly recently started this hobby, but even we newcomers have products we are proud of. It did sound like fun, so we all signed up.
Well, it sounded fun at first, but as the date of the fashion show crept closer, the reality of the situation began to sink in. Think about it: knitting is not exactly a high energy, calorie-burning activity. When we get together, we sit. We knit, we sit. We knit, we talk, we sit. Once in a while we get some tea, and then we come back and sit. Our fingers might be getting a heck of a workout, but the rest of our bodies not so much.
If you were to join a group of hikers or cyclers, you'd find a range of body shapes, but the majority would likely be in the healthy end of that range. Join a group of knitters, you'll likely find the majority at the other end of the spectrum. I love my knitting friends, but taken as a whole we aren't the slimmest group on the face of the earth. And many of us have barrels of insecurities we carry with us. But, boy can we knit.
So, hey! Let's take those insecurities and have a fashion show! More and more, it was sounding less and less fun. I was an overweight middle-aged woman who recently decided to stop coloring her hair and let the grey grow in. Let's call it transitional; the fact is, it's looking pretty bad right now. I'm not really in a place to put myself up on a stage and invite people to look at me.
Fast forward to the day of the show -- yesterday. It was going to be a crazy day from the get-go, because my not-yet-driving teenage daughter had a jam-packed day herself. Up to the city for a very early All-State Chorus audition. Over to her voice teacher's house in the country for her weekly lesson. Down to her high school for a full day and evening of drama performances, where she was responsible for running the sound board. I'd planned it out carefully -- after dropping her off at school, I'd race over the farm for my weekly CSA box, and grab a quick shower, and head to the fashion show.
So far so good. The audition went well, as did the voice lesson. I dropped her off at school and headed to the farm. Nearly there, the phone rings. She had left the iPad with all the sound files in her backpack -- in my car. This was non-negotiable. They had both an afternoon and and evening performance, utterly dependent on those sound files in the iPad in my car.
I grab my CSA box, and back to school I drive, eliminating 45 minutes from my plan. The shower would have to go.
Yes, you guessed it: I showed up at the fashion show not only middle-aged with half of a greying head, but stringy hair and an unshowered overweight body at that. Isn't that a sight you'd like to see, prancing down the runway? Wouldn't that make you want to run right out and buy more yarn?
My first stop was the bar, to get a glass of wine to calm my nerves. Three of my other middle-aged overweight knitting friends were already there with drinks in hand -- apparently they needed a bit of calming down as well. They did, however, appear to have cleaned themselves. Some even wore makeup. What a concept.
Once we dropped off our items, figured out when we'd need to get up to model, and bolstered each other up a bit, we took our seats. At that point, there was nothing left to do but to be in the moment, give ourselves over to the experience, and enjoy it.
When we surrendered to the moment, we all did, in fact, enjoy it. And that turned out to be infectious. There was a wonderful positive energy in the room, lots of laughter, and so much support for the careful handwork we'd put into each of our items.
After the show, everyone returned to the store to buy yarn for more projects. Lots of us purchased what we'd need to make something we'd seen somebody else modeling. So, I guess it *did* make us want to go out and buy more yarn.
So, did you hear the one about the 7 overweight middle-aged women on a fashion runway? Turns out they overcame their anxieties, and had a great time.