Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "I'm afraid that won't be possible." => Topic started by: Runningstar on October 15, 2013, 05:39:21 AM

Title: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Runningstar on October 15, 2013, 05:39:21 AM
Hi, I'm new around here so please bear with me! 
I have been asked to sew an extremely intricate, fitted costume for an acquaintance.  I said no, but I'm being hounded to do it by both the woman and her
daughter.  This would take me hours of work, fittings, shopping for the materials.   Yes, to make one would cost about $50 while the one they want runs
$300 before alterations!  They can't afford it, she is a single mother and not well off.
She just won't stop with the pa comments of how she can't afford the costume and how she wished she could sew.   We went to an event with her and her daughter last week end and I saw that she is an angry, rude, and self absorbed person who I can not stand to be around more than I have to (my daughter does the same shows as hers).
Since our daughters are in the same club, I'll continue to run into her at least weekly.  I don't have the time to sew this for her, nor do I want the aggravation
and stress if it doesn't fit perfectly, etc.
I need advice on how to remain polite, not create an enemy, but not give in and just sew it.
Thanks for reading!
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: aussie_chick on October 15, 2013, 05:45:32 AM
Welcome!
I wish I could sew too!
Acquaintance is being rude since you have already said no.
I would keep up the "i'm afraid that won't be possible" and smile, change the subject - or bean dip.
If she persists, I think it's ok to say "I am not able to. I'd prefer not to discuss it again" and walk away.
Just remember you do not owe her an explanation and you do not need to justify your decision.
 
Alternatively say to her what you said below "i I don't have time."

It can make you feel a bit icky when you have to see her weekly but remember you are not doing anything wrong by saying no. You're allowed to say no!
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: MariaE on October 15, 2013, 05:52:56 AM
Would you be willing to do it at a price? If so, just say "Sure, I can do it - it'll cost $whatever for materials, work hours etc."
Her: "I can't afford that!"
You: "I'm sorry - I really can't go any lower at that!"

Make sure not to set the price any lower than what you actually would be able to do it for.

If you're not willing to do it under any circumstances (which is fine!), ignore the PA comments and if she asks straight out just keep repeating the board phrase.

... Or you could do a Phoebe and reply, "Oh, I'm sorry, but I really don't want to." That might not go over so well though ;)
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: camlan on October 15, 2013, 05:58:18 AM
She was not rude to ask you to make the costume, once. After you said no, her repeated requests are indeed rude.

All you have to do is stay polite as you continue to say "No." I realize that this can be difficult to do the 100th time around.

It's okay to say "no" and then walk away. It's okay to say "no" and give her a puzzled look, because you've said "no" 50 times already.

If you really wanted to, you could look up the name of a professional dressmaker and refer the woman to her.

If you really wanted to, you could find out where sewing classes are held, and refer the woman to them.

But what you should not do is go into long explanations about why you can't make the costume--time, the amount of detailed work, the cost of the fabrics. That will only give the other mother things to argue with you about--"Oh, we can wait for the costume until you have time," "Oh, you can go to Bargain Basement Fabrics and get it all so much cheaper."

If you never sew for anyone other than family, tell her that. "Other Mom, I only sew for myself and my family. I cannot and will not make the costume for your daughter."

And "I'm afraid that won't be possible," is a nice tag-line to keep repeating.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: that_one_girl on October 15, 2013, 06:42:10 AM
If the costume she wants costs $300 ready-to-wear, then tell her that a custom-tailored costume will cost $800.   If she can't afford the ready-to-wear, then she won't agree to pay you more for a custom job.  After all, most of what goes in to the cost for a custom-made job is not the materials themselves (which cost an artisan more than they cost the company that makes the ready-to-wear stuff since they buy in bulk) but the artisan's blood, sweat, and tears.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Redsoil on October 15, 2013, 08:20:12 AM
"It would actually take more than 10 hours (or estimate) to do that sort of incredibly detailed work - I simply don't have that sort of time to spare!"  Then beandip or keep repeating variations of "I can't help you out - I'm already short on time."  "As I mentioned, it's a LOT of work and I can't do it."
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: z_squared82 on October 15, 2013, 08:30:00 AM
If the costume she wants costs $300 ready-to-wear, then tell her that a custom-tailored costume will cost $800.   If she can't afford the ready-to-wear, then she won't agree to pay you more for a custom job.  After all, most of what goes in to the cost for a custom-made job is not the materials themselves (which cost an artisan more than they cost the company that makes the ready-to-wear stuff since they buy in bulk) but the artisan's blood, sweat, and tears.

While "I'm afraid that won't be possible," is the best and most polite response, if she bugs you until you break, I vote for the bolded. Heck, tell her $1000. Then you can start with, "I'm afraid a lower price won't be possible."
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: JenJay on October 15, 2013, 09:02:22 AM
Yep, be blunt. Tell her "I understand that you wish 'd make you the costume, but what you don't understand is that making it would take every bit of free time I have for weeks and cost $300 in materials alone, let alone my fee. I don't have time to make this for you but if you're seriously interested in a $500 costume I can refer you to a friend who may be able to do it."
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: lowspark on October 15, 2013, 09:12:34 AM
If I understand correctly, they aren't actually asking again, just making lots of PA comments in front of you (or to you?).

My advice is to ignore the comments. You've already said no, so to continue to say no, or anything, sort of gives them an opening to continue asking. When she makes these PA comments, if possible, remove yourself from her presence. Walk away. If that's not possible, then bean dip.

But honestly, I would not even dignify the subject with another word.

If she asks (directly) again, then I'd say, "I already said no." Full stop. And again, walk away or bean dip if you're stuck.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: MrTango on October 15, 2013, 09:19:53 AM
An alternative to saying "no" over and over is to throw it back at her: "What gives you the impression that I'll change my mind?  If someone comes up to you and starts whining that you aren't giving them what they want, does it make you feel any more inclined to do so?
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Zilla on October 15, 2013, 09:23:34 AM
Yep, be blunt. Tell her "I understand that you wish 'd make you the costume, but what you don't understand is that making it would take every bit of free time I have for weeks and cost $300 in materials alone, let alone my fee. I don't have time to make this for you but if you're seriously interested in a $500 costume I can refer you to a friend who may be able to do it."


If you do know of a friend, I would so say this.  If they aren't asking directly but making PA comments, I would say, "I noticed you have been saying a lot that you can't sew or wish you had a costume.  Too bad you can't sew but I have a friend that does but something like that would cost X dollars.  If you are interested, let me know."  Firmly and every time she moans, offer this.  If she snaps she can't afford it, then tell her oh okay.  But just as she repeats it, you can repeat yours too to let her know how it feels.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: SleepyKitty on October 15, 2013, 09:59:39 AM
If I understand correctly, they aren't actually asking again, just making lots of PA comments in front of you (or to you?).

This was my understanding of the situation as well, and I think it makes it more difficult. If she was directly asking you, over and over again, you could just keep saying 'no'. But if she's not directly asking, just making PA comments, then a direct response can be more confrontational.

I agree in general with lowspark to just ignore the comments, but I know how hard it can be and how they can get under your skin. Could you try countering them? If she's making comments about how she can't afford the costume: "I know, things are so hard these days! The economy is so terrible! Why, I've had to forgo buying X and Y to make my budget work myself, I know exactly how you feel."

Or when she's saying she wishes she could sew: "I'm so glad I learned! It took me so much practice and a lot of effort, but it was worth it. You can check out these youtube videos to learn!"

Basically, counter her PA statements as though they are genuine, without any malice or irritation.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: amylouky on October 15, 2013, 10:06:01 AM
PA Mom: "Gosh, I sure WISH I could buy that costume for daughter.."
You: "Yes, it is lovely. I understand though, things like that don't come cheap".

PA Mom: "I really wish I knew how to sew!"
You: "Yes, it's been really useful for us. I think <local sewing shop?> offers lessons, if you're really interested?"

PA Mom: "Couldn't you just make it for me?"
You: "I'm sorry, as I said before, that won't be possible."
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: VorFemme on October 15, 2013, 10:11:14 AM
I have given sewing lessons (and some of the people at the hobby center in *other state* would take ONE, realize that there is a LOT more involved than they thought, or fall in love and start teaching themselves by doing - one student came back to the second lesson with three extra completed projects & questions to ask about a tricky fabric she'd fallen in love with. Others would shown up & be amazed that Ireally meant that they had to WASH and iron the quilt fabric before cutting into it - not just show me the fabric still in the bag from the store with the slip from the cutting table pinned to it,  and then starting to sew AND one lady was shocked to find that  she would be cutting & sewing her own quilt...never saw her again (also in another state).  Not that she'd paid for the lesson, either.

I did have a "deal" going with members of a mailing list for owners of a particular program, if they lived near me & needed a measurement set taken for the pattern drafting program (the list existed to talk about the program) that I would do it.  It took about as long to do as it took to fix dinner and clean the kitchen afterwards. 

Since they could not fix dinner while I measured them - they could pay for a pizza & have it delivered & they paid for it *or* they could bring dinner with them.  Voila - the time needed was freed up!  Most of them preferred to go the pizza route!

For other people (once I went back to working outside the home), I would tell them that I would have time to sew while they did my laundry, ran the dishwasher, watched my six year old, or ran the vacuum cleaner over the living room & dining room carpet (fifteen minutes, tops and it was a house guest of ours) - but either they did that while I sewed or I had to do it and wouldn't have time to sew.  (She went into another room & ignored the six year old and none of the other stuff got done, so I put away the fabric & pattern & never finished the garment.  She griped ONCE - I pointed out that she had to do the stuff so I had "spare time" and she never mentioned it again if it meant giving up HER spare time).

So - my suggestion is to tell the lady that she pays for all the material and either pays for someone to do YOUR housework, etc. while you do the work OR she does your housework herself while you sew (and it will take more than one hour of her doing the housework to barter for one hour of your time because YOU are a skilled seamstress & designer who is going to earn MORE than minimum wage for the work).  People value what they pay for and seem to think that "free" stuff is worth what they paid for it...make her PAY for it, one way or the other.

A former coworker was flummoxed by how long a "simple" top had taken me to make (she'd apparently assumed that I ran the whole thing up in less than an hour) rather than altering the pattern, cutting the fabric, basting it together to try on to make sure that I had the alterations correctly done, then sewing, and doing a couple of specialty finishes including double needle hemming - which took most of one evening off work and a little time the next day because I still had to cook dinner, wash dishes, do a load of laundry, help the kids with homework, and the like instead of JUST the sewing.

So she may be thinking that she's asking for "simple favor" that will take two or three hours, at most, rather than two or three weeks (or even months, not knowing how complicated & detailed the costume is, I cannot begin to guess).  Let her know that it is a MUCH bigger favor than she thinks....and that she is going to be paying for it one way or the other. 

You start working after she's deposited X many hours into doing your chores for you (at least one hour or so - to get a feel for whether or not you'd be happy with her laundry & housecleaning standards). 

Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Tierrainney on October 15, 2013, 10:25:21 AM
I;m jumping in to agree with pretty much everyone else so far. If she asks directly, just say no. If she doesn't ask but only hints, just ignore.

One thing I learned on Etiquette Hell that you may have seen in other posts is don't J.A.D.E

J= justify
A= argue
D= defend
E = Explain

In other words. If you give excuses, people will come up with fixes. When what you really mean is I don't want to do this for you ever. THis has helped me in the past.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: EllenS on October 15, 2013, 11:59:04 AM
She can't "afford" the costume?  You can't afford to work for free. You also can't afford the stress and aggravation of dealing with her.

"I've told you, that will not be possible."  Change the subject, or avoid her.  If she is making comments around/near but not to you, just ignore her. That is silly childish behavior that does not deserve a response.

Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Runningstar on October 15, 2013, 12:03:14 PM
Thanks for the replies!!  She not only asked several times, then had her daughter ask another few times.  We had all driven to the event together, and she knew
that I needed to be home (we were hours away) by 6 pm.  So, at 5:30 she finally gave up on getting me to sew the costume and bought a shirt for $25 that she then said loudly that she would have to try to find someone to modify and glitz up for her.  I ignored it, and ignored the anger during the 3 hour ride home.
It seemed to me that she deliberately made sure that I'd be late getting home, but had the excuse that the show her daughter will be in is next week and so she had no choice.  She drove, I paid for the hotel, and figured that the cost was about even - but she had the control to decide when to leave even though we had previously agreed on no later than 3 pm.

I have been reading e-hell for a while now and so just remained silent, but it is hard for me!  I want to jade!  I want to give my excuses!!
After reading the responses, I think I'll just remain silent, and avoid future situations where I'll be at her mercy again.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: cwm on October 15, 2013, 12:07:36 PM
The problem with giving excuses is you're giving people things to overcome. For example,

You: Well it takes so many hours to work on it.
Her: You don't work weekends, do you? You've got time then.
You: But the materials you're wanting are very pricy.
Her: I've seen some of the other things you've made, you've got to have some fabric somewhere you can use.
You: I can't do this because I need to have someone watch my child.
Her: Oh, I can do that for you.

The more excuses you give, the more objections she has to overcome, but it makes it sound like you're willing to do it except for this one tiny thing. In reality, you're not willing to do it, so don't even make it sound like you are.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: EllenS on October 15, 2013, 12:08:08 PM
avoid future situations where I'll be at her mercy again.

This is key. What a horribly awkward situation.  Definitely avoid this person at all costs. I'm so sorry you had to put up with that foolishness.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Zilla on October 15, 2013, 12:10:21 PM
Thanks for the replies!!  She not only asked several times, then had her daughter ask another few times.  We had all driven to the event together, and she knew
that I needed to be home (we were hours away) by 6 pm.  So, at 5:30 she finally gave up on getting me to sew the costume and bought a shirt for $25 that she then said loudly that she would have to try to find someone to modify and glitz up for her.  I ignored it, and ignored the anger during the 3 hour ride home.
It seemed to me that she deliberately made sure that I'd be late getting home, but had the excuse that the show her daughter will be in is next week and so she had no choice.  She drove, I paid for the hotel, and figured that the cost was about even - but she had the control to decide when to leave even though we had previously agreed on no later than 3 pm.

I have been reading e-hell for a while now and so just remained silent, but it is hard for me!  I want to jade!  I want to give my excuses!!
After reading the responses, I think I'll just remain silent, and avoid future situations where I'll be at her mercy again.


The more you are silent, the angrier she gets as apparent in your update.  I would directly tell her and nip it in the bud.  And I agree wholeheartedly, avoid going "in" with her on future shows.  If she asks why not, just say you made other arrangements.  No need to be exposed to that.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 15, 2013, 02:20:29 PM
I would avoid getting in a car with this woman ever again.  She has you trapped that way and is using it to try to beat you down so you'll relent on sewing the costume.

Just keep saying "I'm afraid it won't be possible" if she asks directly and ignore any PA comments.  The way I look at it she has three choices:

1.  Shell out the money for the ready to wear costume
2.  Pick a less expensive costume
3.  Remove her daughter from the shows if she can't afford the equipment necessary
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: MrTango on October 15, 2013, 02:41:30 PM
Thanks for the replies!!  She not only asked several times, then had her daughter ask another few times.  We had all driven to the event together, and she knew
that I needed to be home (we were hours away) by 6 pm.  So, at 5:30 she finally gave up on getting me to sew the costume and bought a shirt for $25 that she then said loudly that she would have to try to find someone to modify and glitz up for her.  I ignored it, and ignored the anger during the 3 hour ride home.
It seemed to me that she deliberately made sure that I'd be late getting home, but had the excuse that the show her daughter will be in is next week and so she had no choice.  She drove, I paid for the hotel, and figured that the cost was about even - but she had the control to decide when to leave even though we had previously agreed on no later than 3 pm.

I have been reading e-hell for a while now and so just remained silent, but it is hard for me!  I want to jade!  I want to give my excuses!!
After reading the responses, I think I'll just remain silent, and avoid future situations where I'll be at her mercy again.

If she ever tries to pull the stunt of making you late again, when you get to the time at which you need to leave, tell her "It's [time], so I need to be leaving."  If she tries to delay you, say "I'm sorry, but as I said earlier, I need to leave by [time], which is now.  You can come with me now, but if you need more time to shop, I'm sure you can find alternative transportation."

At that point, start walking to your car.  She will either follow you or not, but that decision is entirely on her.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: MariaE on October 15, 2013, 02:47:24 PM
I think you misread, MrTango. OP was driving in Acquaintance's car rather than the other way around.

She drove, I paid for the hotel, and figured that the cost was about even - but she had the control to decide when to leave even though we had previously agreed on no later than 3 pm.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: MrTango on October 15, 2013, 02:51:00 PM
I think you misread, MrTango. OP was driving in Acquaintance's car rather than the other way around.

She drove, I paid for the hotel, and figured that the cost was about even - but she had the control to decide when to leave even though we had previously agreed on no later than 3 pm.

Ahh.  In that case, I'd never agree to ride with her again.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: z_squared82 on October 15, 2013, 02:52:51 PM
I would avoid getting in a car with this woman ever again.  She has you trapped that way and is using it to try to beat you down so you'll relent on sewing the costume.

Just keep saying "I'm afraid it won't be possible" if she asks directly and ignore any PA comments.  The way I look at it she has three choices:

1.  Shell out the money for the ready to wear costume
2.  Pick a less expensive costume
3.  Remove her daughter from the shows if she can't afford the equipment necessary

Did I miss the part where it says this costume is for the daughter and has to do with the club both daughters are in?

Not that it would change my answer, Iím just checking my reading comprehension.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Acadianna on October 15, 2013, 06:37:10 PM
So - my suggestion is to tell the lady that she pays for all the material and either pays for someone to do YOUR housework, etc. while you do the work OR she does your housework herself while you sew (and it will take more than one hour of her doing the housework to barter for one hour of your time because YOU are a skilled seamstress & designer who is going to earn MORE than minimum wage for the work).  People value what they pay for and seem to think that "free" stuff is worth what they paid for it...make her PAY for it, one way or the other.

This is brilliant!
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: VorFemme on October 15, 2013, 07:10:20 PM
I sew "free" for close family - mother, husband, son, daughter, sister, etc. - sometimes for nieces & nephews.  But I sew for them on MY time - not on demand.

Except for one annual embroidery project that I am in the middle of right now for VorGuy - and he makes sure that I have DINNER on days when I am embroidering eight, ten, or more shirts in one day.  He may do takeout, he may grill, or he may have leftovers from a restaurant from the weekend - but I do NOT cook on these days.  And I really like it if I don't have to reheat my own leftovers...but he's not feeling well and I'd rather not catch it, if it's contagious.  (I don't think it is - but I have been known to be wrong and I will admit that I've been wrong in the past. Sometimes...)

Twenty-nine (?) down, one on the machine, and only thirty-seven (?) to go.  I forgot to count the danged pile of things and I have no intention of pulling them out of the stack just to count when I will be handling every single shirt at least five or six more times as it is (hoop, embroider, trim threads & stabilizer, wash to remove markings [soap], dry, and put on a hanger).

That one project has a deadline of "as fast as possible" - which is why I negotiated that he take care of the meals these few days a year...if you want something done with high priority and high speed but done well - you have to free the worker from distractions, as much as feasible.  Getting takeout seemed feasible to ME!
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: DragonKitty on October 18, 2013, 09:50:12 AM
I sew for close family, and also a couple of friends that I am close with, who understand they have to put up with my schedule.  I do like these friends, they either buy the fabric that they want stuff made out of, or accept what I buy (or pick from my fabric horde).  and they are willing to pay me for my services with...... buying me fabric!   :D

When anyone else asks for me to sew for them, I tell them that I charge $40 and hour, with a minimum of 3 hours, and that they will have to wait until I finish *a list of projects that I am in the middle of*.  Most people shy off after the quote of money, and the rest do not want to be on the waiting list.  I tell them they can jump the list for $1000.  No one has taken me up on my offer yet.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Runningstar on October 18, 2013, 03:28:58 PM
These are all great ideas - I really think that I'll tell her to stop asking me and that I just won't do it.  If I think it through there isn't any way to "win", they have outfits from other shows - and could re-wear them, but want a new one.
I only sew when I want to, and make gifts or things for myself.  To me it is too stressful to be on the spot.
When I sew a gift, there isn't pressure as if it doesn't turn out I just don't give it. 
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: FoxPaws on October 18, 2013, 04:17:16 PM
I only sew when I want to, and make gifts or things for myself.  To me it is too stressful to be on the spot.

This - or a variation of it - is a perfect response to anyone who asks you to sew for them. Quick, to the point, and absolutely JADE free.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: MrsJWine on October 18, 2013, 05:35:31 PM
Yes, I actually think being direct with her is good. I think passive aggressive people count on you not responding directly, and that's why they're passive aggressive. They're avoiding real confrontation. In my experience, they HATE it when you respond, and it generally shuts them up (or, at least it does more often than just ignoring it does).
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: LEMon on October 29, 2013, 12:38:13 AM
Reading through your replies, this woman doesn't "need" this.  She "wants" it, but not at her own cost or work, at yours.  I would even allow myself to become indignant at her.  She is using guilt and more pressure, then punishes you when you refuse by making you three hours late.  She's like a child who wants and demands, but has nothing really to force this to happen.

Shine up your spine, and ignore.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Runningstar on October 30, 2013, 10:14:19 AM
Reading through your replies, this woman doesn't "need" this.  She "wants" it, but not at her own cost or work, at yours.  I would even allow myself to become indignant at her.  She is using guilt and more pressure, then punishes you when you refuse by making you three hours late.  She's like a child who wants and demands, but has nothing really to force this to happen.

Shine up your spine, and ignore.
I've seen her a few times since this (at meetings for the kid's group) and she seems to have gotten the message.  I so agree with you and if it comes up again - I'm going to directly say no - and walk away.  The punishment (3 hours late) will NEVER happen again as I now know how she operates.  There has already been
some offers from her to share some equipment and I've plainly stated that we will buy our own thank you or do without.  It sounds like such a nice offer - but
I've seen where it will get me and I'm just not falling for it. 
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: StoutGirl on November 01, 2013, 11:46:16 AM
This is one of the reasons why I don't share my sewing talents anymore.  I have never had anyone get nasty with me, but people don't realize that it takes a lot of time and energy to sew, and it comes with a cost.

Being in school right now, I am lucky to get a few stitches done one day a month for myself, and people wanting me to do a project for them?  Ain't nobody got time for that!

OP, it is absolutely fine for you to want to keep your talent to yourself, daughter, and close family and friends that know, appreciate, and deserve your gifts of talent.  Do not give into this woman!  Drive separate from her and find other parents to hang out with at the club events.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: Kaypeep on December 04, 2013, 01:44:06 PM
OP, I know it will be hard but I think it's worth it for you to practice saying no.  Practice with your partner or a trusted friend.  Role play what's going on here, and practice saying no, and walking away so that she can't trap you into more pleading.  Specifically, I think you should practice telling her, "Listen PA Mom, I need to tell you something.  I would like for you to stop asking me to do the sewing favor for you.  The answer remains the same, "no."  Also, more importantly, please stop having your daughter ask me the same favor.  The answer is the same, but more importantly, it's extremely uncomfortable for HER, me, and my daughter, when she asks for something that you and I have already discussed and the answer remains no.  I would appreciate it if you could respect my answer and consider this topic closed.  Thank you." 

If you can't talk to her, then maybe text her instead.  I think it's the only way you'll shut her down, plus it's a great feeling when you get used to telling people no, and makes it easier for the next time.
Title: Re: Acquaintance wants me to sew an intricate costume for her?
Post by: TootsNYC on December 04, 2013, 01:59:40 PM
Thanks for the replies!!  She not only asked several times, then had her daughter ask another few times.  We had all driven to the event together, and she knew
that I needed to be home (we were hours away) by 6 pm.  So, at 5:30 she finally gave up on getting me to sew the costume and bought a shirt for $25 that she then said loudly that she would have to try to find someone to modify and glitz up for her.  I ignored it, and ignored the anger during the 3 hour ride home.
It seemed to me that she deliberately made sure that I'd be late getting home, but had the excuse that the show her daughter will be in is next week and so she had no choice.  She drove, I paid for the hotel, and figured that the cost was about even - but she had the control to decide when to leave even though we had previously agreed on no later than 3 pm.

I have been reading e-hell for a while now and so just remained silent, but it is hard for me!  I want to jade!  I want to give my excuses!!
After reading the responses, I think I'll just remain silent, and avoid future situations where I'll be at her mercy again.

I think you should go on the offensive. "Jane, you're acting very angrily right now. That's not fair to me. I thought you were a better person that that, I'm disappointed that you'd treat me so badly."

Don't say "treat me so badly just because I can't make a costume for you..." bcs that opens the door to the wrong argument.

The point is that the "make me a costume" is off the table. And -now- you are talking to her about how she is treating you.

YOU get mad at HER! Lord knows you deserve to.


Though I do like Kaypeep's advice as well.