Meeting with Manang

Having just had lunch, I'm wondering if the hot spanish sardines I just had is the cause of the butterflies in my tummy.

I am having an after-the-fact panic attack.

I just interviewed a prospective full time, work-in-my-home sewer. Manang. I can't even remember her name. She's probably in her 50s, a bit plump, with salt and pepper hair and a pleasant face. She loves iced tea. She had two glasses of them. One of them hers, the other the untouched glass of Ate Talen who introduced and brought her to me.

She asked to see the stuff I've had made. I showed her an assortment of skirts, dresses and a few sketches of new projects.

"Maganda," she remarks, lifting to see underneath a skirt, examining the lining.

"Maganda," she says again as she checks out my sketches.

I am worried she's just being polite.

"Kailangan po ba natin ng edging machine?" I ask her. We'll be shopping for equipment this weekend.

"Hindi na... I-valencia nalang natin."

I keep silent, praying my silence will mask the fact that I have no idea what she just said.

Ate Talen scrutinizes the lining again. "Kailangan ng edging machine ito. Hindi pwedeng zigzag lang."

"Hindi... I-va-valencia ko nalang yan. Malinis naman eh."

Me: silence. If it were night time, I would cue cricket sounds.

I know I am not skilled in the technical aspects of this craft. But I do know I have decent taste and know how things should look and feel, from the lining, the stitching and how a piece falls on someone and how they move in it.

I resist the urge to grab pen and paper (and further reveal what a novice I am) as Manang rattles off needle numbers I need to buy for our start-up operation. I memorize the numbers: 9, 11 and 14. As well as the thread brand: Moon and the size (yung one thousand meters).

Next week will be Manang's trial period. She lives nearby and has committed to come in after breakfast. I am excited and really praying things will work out.

For now, I need to calm down and accept the fact that I have much to learn. And be thankful for the chance to learn some more.


Anonymous said...

i think her name's manang linda. and you can ask mama what's valencia haha.


makescoffeenervous said...

hahaha! thanks, sweets!

Anonymous said...

i tell you she's just bluffing on the valencia haha. what the hell's valencia? orange? haha.