… not because they can do about 3,645 fouettÃ©s in a row or chaÃ®nÃ© all the way across a football field-sized floor or balance their entire weight on a point about the width of a dime on their big toe. I can never be a real ballet dancer because I can’t sew. Seriously and sadly. Not that I could ever do the other abovementioned things of course, but youâ€™d think sewing would be pretty basic. Not for me. The clerks at Blochâ€™s honestly laughed at me when they sold me the shoes and sewing kit and elastics and I insisted Iâ€™m a lawyer and will never be able to do it myself and please just tell me where I can find a good ballet shoe sewer, assuring me it would be no problem, they had faith, everyone can do it, children can do it for godsâ€™ sakes… I was up all last night with the damn things. The supposedly handy dandy little Bunheads kit did not explain how to thread the needle, make knots, make the closure, and stitch through the tough tough TOUGH leather. It took me hours, and though I did it, I donâ€™t at all trust my work. I’m sure tonight in class my elastics will go shooting and hit some poor student or teacher in the eye or something.
When I called my mom to enlist her help, I could hear her eyes rolling. Sheâ€™s long given up telling me that my lack of traditional female skills are at least partly responsible for you know what. Nope, I have none and never have. For the past six months Con Ed has been sending me warning notices that my meter may not be properly connected since it shows no gas usage whatsoever. And I remember in grad school my boyfriend was always expressing disgust with the sloppy apartments maintained by both me and my best friend and fellow female grad student. Many of my current female friends â€“ most of whom are lawyers or other professionals â€“ are just as hideously lacking. Yet, the single men I know, not so much. Not at all really. Do we just not have the time for such trifles, or are subconsciously acting out against a stereotype thatâ€™s really pretty much defunct now anyway.
And, now that I think of it, at one ballet studio I go to, most of whose patrons I think I can assume are professional women, I regularly see shoes with only one side of the elastic sewn, the other dangling, causing the foot to lift out of the shoe and the student obviously to lose balance, or one side of the elastic sewn horrendously crookedly, one end attached mid-foot, the other at, like, the heel, etc. You definitely donâ€™t see such things at, for example, Broadway Dance Center. And, one of the reasons I like the first studio is that the students are like me â€“ i.e.: not professional dancers, unlike those who, for example, take Ballet for Absolute Beginners at Steps, either for practice, or to freak out people like me. But, as Iâ€™ve always been told from the time I first began applying to college, itâ€™s largely your fellow students who will make your education.
Ugh, so I guess if well-sewn shoe equates with real dancer, I will have to overcome my probable subconscious-reaction-against-a-now-defunct-stereotype. Thereâ€™s a time for learning everything…