Sunday, June 29, 2014


Once of my favorite phrases is "I was told there would be no math." Feel free to tell me where that comes from. I don't know--and don't particularly care. It completely suits my math-phobic life style. 

I have chosen a life bereft of math. My undergrad degree required NO MATH COURSES. My graduate degree required NO MATH COURSES. I use a calculator for the most menial of numerical chores. And, if necessary, I use my fingers. I'm that person who, when determining the hours between 1p and 7p says "Let's see. That's 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5, 5 to 6, 6 to 7. That would be 6 hours." Every freaking time. 

I am not stupid. No, indeed. I am not. But there are certain areas of my brain that do not function particularly well. Learn all about the Affordable Care Act and how it interacts with Special Needs Trusts? I'm obsessively all over that. Percentages? Not so much.

Allow me to demonstrate. I am finally going to put up a pair of curtains in Annie's room. Now, Annie doesn't actually live in her room. She lives some place else. Minnesota. Or North Dakota. Or anyplace but here. But she does, on occasion, deign to take up residence in Oak Park.

And, when she does, her Grandma (otherwise known as my mother) has a fit because Annie hasn't had any curtains over her windows. Grandma is convinced that lurking males are looking into her windows and watching her and waiting to molest her adorable self. 

No, she doesn't change in the room without curtains, and she doesn't walk around unclothed. She just sleeps and hangs out there, fully clothed. 

Nevertheless, I am making Grandma happy and finally applying cloth to window to save Annie from prying eyes. And, of course, I purchased curtains that are 16 inches too long. 

OK. I can solve this problem. I can sew. I have a sewing machine. It is a Singer. Portable Electric. It is 98 years old. The instructions tell me that it can be operated on either alternating current or direct current. How's that for diversity? And all I need to do is sew a straight line across the curtain, making it 16 inches shorter.

But, as I fold and pin up 16 inches, it occurs to me that, perhaps, a 16 inch hem is not de rigueur. I would normally consult with G on such an issue. G quilts. And G likes me enough that I don't mind if she laughs at me. But G is in Germany. So, I move to plan B. Who else likes me enough that I can let them laugh at me?

C! So I texted C:
Hello, person who sews. Question is, if I need to make a pair of curtains 16 inches shorter, may I make a 16 inch hem, or must I take scissors to fabric and cut off 13 inches, then hem? And stop laughing!
C indicated that she would not stop laughing. But she did give me helpful, salient and crucial advice, which included the fact that some savior makes iron-on hemming tape!

So, I thought I was in like Flynn. Which I just googled and discovered is a sexual reference to Errol Flynn. Who knew?!

But. I realized that further math was needed. And not just math math. But math during which I needed to visualize the playing field. Like a living story problem. Just kill me now, people. Visualization is even further out of my comfort zone. Watch and see:
Liz has a curtain that is 16 inches too long. She cuts off 10 inches, leaving 6 extra inches. How and where does she fold the curtain so that she has eliminated the 16 inches of extra length?
Now, I know that the vast majority of my readers are saying, "Um, duh." But the vast majority of ME is saying, "Um, duh??" This, alas, is precisely the type of math problem that I will be forced to perform with the materials at hand numerous times until I am confident that I have the correct answer. Which you'll notice I'm not announcing. Because I have not yet determined it. 

Have I mentioned that math is not my strong suit? Have I mentioned that I don't even have a math suit? Swimming suit? Check. Business suit? Mmm hmm. Math suit? Not so much. 

Off to fold . . . .