I’ll bet he bakes bread from scratch, too

            I used to have his blog in my Reader.  Then, in one of my routine purges, I unsubscribed, on the logic that my limited blog-reading time should be spent on those reading mine.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

            No, I wasn’t jealous that his stories slide together without any of the awkward adhesive mine seem to need.  Of course, I was no at all envious of his wit that never advertises itself as funny.  It was not even remotely difficult for me to read writing so clearly superior to mine.  I’m just that big of a person.

            Then, he had to go and get himself on NPR.  I am not kidding you.  I was driving back from dropping off the boys, and an essay came on.  I missed the name at the start, but by the time I got to my driveway, I was so riveted that I let Lilah fuss in the backseat till it was over.

            Yes, people, it was he.  He had an essay on N-fucking-PR.

            The essay was about Recession Wear.  You can read all about it on his blog, where he describes it much more entertainingly than I do, but the gist of it is that he has been buying adult clothes as the Salvation Army and then using the fabric to sew dresses for his little girl.

            Yeah.  Just to clarify, he’s a stay-at-home-dad who in his spare time records essays on NPR and sews clothes for his kid.  And you wonder why I would stop reading his blog.

           Not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment.  I, too, have begun to switch over to buying used clothes whenever possible.  It started as an environmental move.  Around the corner from our house is a children’s used clothing store.  We walk there, select four pairs of pants for under $20, and walk home.  There is absolutely no cost to the planet, other than the price tags on the clothing, because I bring a canvas bag for my purchases.  I save money, I do not use any gas, no new crap gets produced for us, and, best of all, the clothes come already sewn.

           A few blocks in the other direction (thus confirming that pretty much anything one might need is a walk from my house) is a branch of the cleverly named Out of the Closet, a chain of L.A. thrift shops that raise money for AIDS charities.  I suppose I could start refurbishing adult clothes that I find there into kids’ frocks, but then I’d need both a sewing machine and the ability to sew.  No, I go there for my clothes.  Again, cheap, no environmental cost, and it raises money for charity.

          So, we’ve got our own version of Recession Wear around here, although I’ll admit it doesn’t look as good as the stuff on Mike’s daughter, nor is NPR likely to come calling anytime soon.            

          I just wish his blog weren’t so damned good.  I think I am going to have to add it back into my Reader.

18 responses to “I’ll bet he bakes bread from scratch, too

  1. That brings back memories! I used to make dresses for one of the Children out of my old things. One of my favorites was a soft flannel thing made from an enormous tent of a nightgown my sister-in-law gave me (honestly – we had been married less than a year. A flannel tent??). We were cash poor but I was time rich as we were living in Germany and my lack of language seriously limited the employment options. I remember hand sewing tiny seed beads all over the bodice… for a baby… who would inevitably be sick all over it. Hmmm, I think I’ll say I was making eco-wear rather than the more likely: I was utterly and totally nuts!

  2. His blog looks appallingly good. I am outraged!

    (Of course, Emily, I can barely read your blog, as your own writing can make me feel like I just post whatever I sneeze onto my laptop.)

    I’ve been getting into Recession Wear, too, though I didn’t have the catchy name for it. I’ve gotten quite a lot of kids’ clothes from a second hand place. (I admit that I’ve also bought more new clothes for my daughter than necessary. I’m trying to cut down. On the plus side, I buy almost nothing for myself.)

  3. You are far, far too kind, but I’m glad you’re back!

    For what it’s worth, I do try to keep up with a million blogs, especially those who read mine (so much easier to find!) but I have largely stopped commenting, as I try to fill my nap times with getting crap done nowadays. I hope that makes sense. But mostly I just wanted to say thank you!

  4. I couldn’t stand to read his blog for too long – I was seething with jealousy.

    I find I prefer to only hang with people I can feel superior to, you know?

    Uh, except for you though!:-)

  5. Oh my gosh, that’s funny because I heard his essay on NPR as well but had never read his blog before. The essay was fabulous and has had me thinking about Recession Wear (a.k.a. why don’t I know how to sew? and how could I learn?) for the last week!

  6. I save money in ways that I never thought I would…but not on my kids clothes. Then again, I donate all of them when we are done, so I guess I’m doing my part.

    I adore his blog, I’ve been reading it for years. I love seeing the clothes he makes for Emme. But I’ve never commented and told him so.

  7. I don’t think I’ve bought any new clothes for Monkey since she was born. Her grandparents have bought her some new stuff but everything we get her is from the children’s used clothing store down the street. You can also turn your stuff in for credit which we do once she outgrows her clothes, shoes, toys, etc. I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea of buying her something new that she will outgrow it so quickly when there are so many great clothes out there that are already in circulation. But then again the same thing goes for my wardrobe. I will wait sometimes months if I want a specific thing until I can find it at the local thrift store. Buying something new is always a last resort.

  8. Well, does it cheer you up to know that I AM “jealous that [your] stories slide together without any of the awkward adhesive mine seem to need. ” 😉

    I don’t know that I’ve bought a single new thing for my kids – no, wait. Mittens this year, and one pair of shoes. But I think that’s it. Environmental, financial motivations, but also just good sense – why spend lots of $$ when they will wear it so little and (at this point) don’t know or care WHAT they’re wearing?

  9. I was going to say something like Catherine just said, about your writing. But if you say this guy is good, I’ll have to check him out.

    Just let us know when your NPR essay will air. It’s just a matter of time, babe.

  10. Well, I mean, geez ……. *I* bake bread from scratch.

    Maybe you could do one of those “I Believe” essays for NPR? I bet you’d totally rock that.

  11. I’ve never read his blog before either.

    Most of the boys’ clothes are second hand or off the dirt-cheap sales racks. And I pick up a fair number of things in the second hand shops for myself as well. Just makes sense!

  12. Just today my daughter pointed to my sweater and asked if it was a coat. I told her it was a sweater. “Then why do you wear it every day?” she asked. Now I know the answer – reuse, reduce, recycle! I had the best intentions of making clothes, at least easy dresses, but I found nothing is ever as easy as it looks…

  13. Huh. He’s something else, with all that crafty shit. But for pure writing, I like you.

  14. Wow…you both are way better than me. I am still resorting to buying new stuff….I feel bad.

  15. Way. Out. Of. My. League. On many fronts. Many.

  16. I love your honesty, Emily. And you know, I think he’s probably a great guy but I bet he wouldn’t be sewing dresses out of recycled clothes if he wasn’t going to be able to show it off. That’s part of the fun, surely. Oh, and this is something I threw together for Emme in my spare time. I’ll have to read his blog as well now – does look good. But then I’m amazed at your energy, multi-tasking and writing ability as well.

  17. Well, I guess it means that the internet is doing its job and sifting some fabulous writers to the top of the pile. You’re next. As for recycling clothing, my son won’t let go of anything, regardless of the fact he’s grown out of it. I have to steal away three-quarter length trousers in the dead of night. I can’t sew, so maybe letting him keep them is the best I can do!

  18. Oh, I know it might feel that way to you, but your writing just flows wonderfully from the screen on my laptop.