Abby Glassenberg wrote today on one of dated constructs within the quilting world. She wrote on the topic of the “Husband’s Lounge” at International Quilt Festival ( Houston) and how perhaps in 2016 we could use a label that was a bit more open and inviting to all who might need a bit of a rest while at the event.
Language is important and while I fail at times ( old habits die hard) I try mightily to write for all quilters and use words that are inclusive as possible. So yes, I support what Abby has to say but have to admit that the bit at the end is what made my “spidey senses” tingle.
Pull quote from http://whileshenaps.com/2016/11/language-matters-making-quilting-more-inclusive.html
As a former quilt shop owner I would have been a rich woman if I could have banked all the times I had women say that they were on their way home to hide their “stash” so that that their husbands did not know about it. Some went to some pretty serious lengths to make sure their level of spending was undetected in the family budget with some going so far as having secret checking accounts to hide their purchases. Holy hell there is even a song devoted to ways to hide your “stash”.
This was always incredibly uncomfortable, sad and perplexing as someone who has always felt worthy and in control of what I spent on fabric to know that so many of my customers were:
1) Out of control about what they spent
2) Did not feel worthy enough to own up to what they wanted and needed.
Let’s break that down – In the first scenario, buying fabric you cannot afford. Just stop that shit. If you cannot afford more new fabric right now there are still ways to be active and vital in the quilting world, every generation before you has done it, you can too! Tapping out the family checking account is no more worthy and self loving than blowing it at the race track or on booze.
Now to scenario two – Feeling worthy. As women we are possibly the most craptastic species ever to value what we do and choices we make. From something as simple as taking a compliment, to which we say “oh this old thing, it is just one wearing away from the rag bag” to “but look, I screwed up here and here and I am hiding this fuck up here as well” We can’t even take a compliment without deflecting it like our lives depended on it.
So really is it any wonder that on a regular basis we feel the societal pressure to deny our needs and desires for things even when we can legitimately afford them. Feeling worthy is everything, and if the ~quilt store as barometer~ is at all accurate I think we have a long way to go in claiming our innate worthiness, but I do think it is about time.
Please note that I don’t think every quilter feels this way but I challenge you to examine your words and spelunk around in your thoughts and feelings on the subject. Does it make you squeem to even think about going home and laying your new purchase across the dining room table for all to see. And if not you I bet you know someone who is hiding their fabric with the skill of a cat burgler only to be able to pull it out later and claim “this old thing” status.
Just a little something to think about… does it seem quite as funny now?