The One Where I Am Deformed

So, I’m having a dress made. This is probably a mistake, because, as loyal readers (hi, mum and dad!) will remember dressmakers hate me. But I am doing it anyway, and unfortunately for me, a necessary part of this process has involved being measured. Which has led to the discovery that I? Am deformed. Yes.

The dressmaker, you see, provided a list of about half a million different measurements she would need in order to make this dress for me: bust, waist, hips, shoulders, distance between left buttock and back of right ear, right elbow to left little toe – that kind of thing. I knew beyond doubt that, left to my own devices, I would screw this up beyond belief, and so it was that my mum and I spent a strangely puzzling half an hour or so on Saturday night trying to work out what the hell size I am. This was made more difficult by the fact that, as we measured, we discovered that my shape was subtly, yet constantly, shifting (AM SHAPE SHIFTER! WOO!) all the time, so that no matter how many times we measured a particular part of my body, we would get a different measurement every time.

Eventually we managed to pin down a set of measurements that we believed to be accurate. We double checked these, to make sure no further shape-shifting was going on. It wasn’t, so I went home and the next day, sent off the measurements to the dressmaker, and then sat back, in happy anticipation of the arrival of my perfectly fitting dress.

It was at this point that I discovered that I was deformed.

“Are you SURE these measurements are correct?” asked the dressmaker in an email, clearly puzzled. “I mean, are you REALLY sure? Can you double check them for me, please? FREAK.” I could almost see her, staring at her computer screen and scratching her head, thinking, “Man, this chick is deformed! DEFORMED!”

So, I measured again, and discovered that, at some point in the intervening hours, I had managed to lose an inch off my waist. Yay! And also: HOW? (“Read my amazing weight loss story in next week’s Forever Amber!”) Well, I emailed the dressmaker back, and admitted that actually, my waist measurement had changed. Again. This blew her mind.

“This is definitely your WAIST you’re measuring, right?” she asked. “Like, the NARROWEST part of your waist? Are you sure you’re not measuring your hips? Because most people measure their hips. FREAK.”

Yes, I was sure I was measuring my waist and not my hips. I was sure because:

a) I have been able to tell the difference between the two for quite some time now, and

b) My hip measurement hasn’t been that size since I was in short pants. (Note: I have never actually been in short pants. But you know what I mean.)

The dressmaker, however, was convinced I was lying. And she was also convinced that I was DEFORMED.

“Do you have trouble buying jackets and tops that sit right at the waist?” she asked, still presumably scratching her head in bemusement. “Like, do they normally sit either way above your waist or way below it? Because it sounds to me like you’re deformed. FREAK.”

OK, she didn’t actually say that last bit, but she may as well have, because WHAT”S THE BIG DEAL WITH MY WAIST? And you know, I’ve thought about this, and actually, no, I don’t have problems finding jackets and tops that sit on my waist. I mean, almost everything else about them will be wrong: the sleeves are always so long that I look like I’m wearing a straight-jacket, and the necks are always so low that last time I went out wearing a scoop necked top I had to get dressed and then painstakingly sew my top TO MY BRA, otherwise I would have spent the evening, er, flashing people. But waists? Generally sit right where they’re supposed to. You know, on the waist. Such are the joys of being a “petite” person. And, actually, such are the reasons that drive me to have my clothes made, rather than buying them off the peg. Well, that and the fact that I’m way fussy.

Apparently, though, I am deformed. My waist is not where it should be. (WHERE SHOULD IT BE?!) This has thrown me for a loop, because I thought I had successfully listed each and every one of my physical defects when I was a teenager (I’m not joking, by the way – there is an actual list) and “position of waist” was not one of them. It is now, though, obviously.

I haven’t heard from the dressmaker in a few days now. I’m assuming she’s too busy laughing at my freakish shape to type. I have to say, I can’t wait to see where the waist is on the dress she sends me. In the meantime, I’m off to get my deformed ass some coffee…

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  • Stephen


    Just so happens that one of the photos from your Flickr account that was showing while I was reading that was from the "2007 Florida Swimsuit shoot."

    Deformed? Hell no.

    Homana homana.

    February 13, 2008
  • Steph


    If it's any consolation, my freakishly disproportionate body is frequently seen as a source of extreme hilarity by my friends. Namely my frighteningly long and skinny arms that make me look like Mr Tickle from the Mr Men books. I wish I was kidding. It's been a while since I was mocked by a stranger, but I used to get it all the time as a kid – stupid ballet lessons…

    February 14, 2008
  • Honey, I think you need to find yourself another dressmaker. If she thinks a grown woman's hips would be 24", she's the one with the problem, not you.

    February 14, 2008
  • Haha oh man. Can you find a dress maker that will measure you herself? Then she will have proof! 🙂

    February 14, 2008
  • I'm a FREAK too. I have a very long inseam because I have FREAKISHLY long legs. Yet, I have NO torso, and am very short-waisted, which means that all pants either sit below my boobs or I get the low-rise ones and really, no one needs to see my ass crack.

    February 17, 2008
  • I refuse to go to a dressmaker because OMG, they'd laugh at my lack of a waist!

    February 17, 2008
  • hmmm that is strange. i doubt you are actually deformed…perhaps you should just go there and tell her to measure you – that was you don’t end up with a deformed dress!!

    February 18, 2008