Women think sexism is only about the fairer sex, but I am married to an upholsterer. Let me tell you about sexism and fabric stores, since the whole purpose of this blog is to give you an insight into behind the scenes in our business.
We are out running business errands. One of them involves the fabric store. *GROAN* Mitchell sometimes buys foundational materials, especially if it is that oddity or the house we buy them from is out: linens, muslins, felt, diaper cloth, or odd bits. I even sometimes must go to buy embroidery threads.
I like fabrics and threads, but hate fabric stores. I can entertain myself, so am not as bad as the husbands I see in stores, tapping their foot or pacing back and forth at the entrance. I am always amazed at the sexist treatment he endures. The clerks come to me and ask me if I want help. I usually giggle and try not to wisecrack, and point in his direction, “He sews, I hate sewing.” They are ALWAYS surprised. I am sorry, it can’t be that unusual, as I know three tailors, and more men who sew leather.
About half go on to diss him. DISS HIM. I don’t know if they assume he is not really going to be a sale, or if they resent it that he knows more about fabric than they do, with his 35 years to their 50 years of being a woman (entitlement) + 5 years working in the store. Maybe his follow up questions to their trite or downright poor answers may have something to do with it, as they are used to heads bobbing in acceptance of their suggestions and answers. Maybe it is because he has to explain so many things to them to get them to find what he needs.
They don’t stay with him to chat, so he has to go find another when he needs the next this or that. But hey, they follow me around with their tongues hanging out. I used to shoo them away, but now I can fetch one to help him when he needs them next.
If he is standing with rolls of fabric to buy at the cutting table, he can seem invisible. He’s had clerks pick up the fabrics in front of him to put them away, as if he is NOT THERE! “Hey,” he says, “Those are mine. I am standing her waiting for service!”
We had an amazing interaction with what we thought was a clerk the last time we were at the fabric store, only to find out she was a rep for what we were looking at. We took her card. We can buy direct.
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