The Perfect Fit: A Girl's Best Friend
June 24, 2013
I mounted them, one after another, only to be met with the same exclamation, “Hm. You were right. It doesn’t fit, does it?” Followed by, “Well, I don’t have what you need. Perhaps you should try going to my friend. Here is his number.” They were bewildered, and I would walk away frustrated. Again.
Why is it a special-made, customized fit is so difficult to obtain? Walter Benjamin hailed ready-made products to be instrumental in minimizing class distinction. Fashion, once a leisure only of the most wealthy citizens, was, at the end of the nineteenth century, suddenly accessible to all. Or at least for those of “average” size.
I have lived with it my entire life, modifying my own sense of style with skirts—often creatively pinned up with a brooch, cinched up with a bow, or altered into a “baby-doll” dress with a wide belt—rather than slacks because one may always purchase a shorter length skirt and imagine it is supposed to fit right at the ankle. My generous upper curves can easily accommodate the extra few inches in the length of whatever shirt or blouse I may wear, although necklines are always plunging, showing off the curves a bit too nicely for most people’s tastes.
But other dry goods are different, more problematic. How, for example, does one order alterations on the length of a mummy sleeping bag, rain slicker or bicycle without paying exorbitant prices? After the fifth bike shop, I returned to the one place that had satisfactorily met my needs before: Bike and Roll Chicago. The sales staff and mechanics have always been helpful, quickly prepping the refurbished bikes, as quickly rolling out useful riding tips: routes to avoid, packing cargo, staying dry, changing tires should I be met with that turn of bad fortune.
With the proper equipment, comfortable frame and effective tire tread, I thought we would quickly be on our way.
I was wrong.
A crying child has always been my pet peeve. Even when I had my own. “Train up a child…” As parent, it had always echoed in the back of my mind while making decisions. If a child is crying, it needs care. Not discipline, and I often wince when I hear a crying child being scolded, belittled, or, worse yet, further injured through a “sound spanking” for its wails. Because of my discomfort from crying children and disgust for bad parenting, I do what I can to avoid most places where I encounter it—grocery stores, malls, and church.
You know what they say about karma?
I had taken the necessary steps to ensure our first experience would be satisfactory. Six miles of them, to be exact. I had finally found the right equipment, had a number of hidden rewards tucked into all the right places, and had reassuringly, coaxingly convinced her it would be perfect fun. I was wrong. She wailed. Wriggled. Howled. Drooled.
Poor girl, as it turns out, would prefer to limp along beside me and my perfect frame towing my perfect trailer, my perfect sleeping bag, my perfect rain slicker, ignoring the treat awaiting her on her pillow inside.
Not that I blame her. I, too, prefer to be in control of every move I make. She and I are just special like that, loving our custom-made fit.