This morning I needed to hem a pair of pants for Len, for our trip later this week. The sewing machine gave me all kinds of trouble. Finally after I hemmed one leg, the machine quit altogether. If it had quit on the first one I could have done both by hand -- but now I had to find a machine or they wouldn't match.
I called sewing machine stores. They all have no interest in helping a desperate housewife with a sewing emergency. Plus one of them moved to Florida but kept the local phone number. Is sewing an in thing to do or out of style? Subject for another time.
I started calling neighbors. No one was home except one other retired woman whose machine is broken too. My neighbors are all at work at 10:30 on a Monday morning. And probably too modern to own a sewing machine.
Finally I tried my neighbor Kathy. Here is what I thought happened: she said her machine was fine, and that I could bring the pants over and finish them.
Here is what really happened. Neighbor Kathy's number is ONE DIGIT away from ANOTHER friend named Kathy. The digits are 4 or 9 so they even look alike. Yup. I dialed my other friend Kathy, whom I haven't seen in around 2 years. She has caller ID so she knew right away it was me. I thought the voice sounded a little different than that of neighbor Kathy, but I arranged to use her sewing machine.
Thinking I was all set, I walked down the block to neighbor Kathy's house. She let me in, and said she would finish the hem on the second pant leg. What she was really thinking (I know now) is how strange I was to show up at her door and assume she would let me use her sewing machine. However we had a nice conversation about what was new in her life (two kids graduating from U of M with Obama speaking last weekend) and she said she would bring the pants back to me in an hour or so.
A few minutes after my neighbor Kathy brought back the pants, my friend Kathy phoned and asked when I was going to come use her sewing machine -- she had expected me right away. At this point, we straightened out the mix-up and had a long conversation about our last 2 years. And about how this was such a coincidence that such an odd thing brought us back in touch.
Then I called neighbor Kathy -- dialing very very carefully -- and explained why I had showed up unexpected at her door with my sewing project that she had done for me. She was relieved (I think) that I'm really not as weird as I seemed. And agreed that it was a really funny coincidence.