being a good girlfriend

When I was younger, I was obsessed with the show Project Runway. And what girl wasn’t? It was a reality competition series featuring several talented fashion designers competing for the ultimate prize: $100,000 to start their own line and the chance to show their collection at New York Fashion Week. Of course, my impressionable teenaged self decided after the first season that I wanted to be a fashion designer. But when I announced this to my father, he told me it was a stupid idea because I would never be able to sew or make the clothes like a two-handed person. (Yeah, my parents are big believers in “tough love.”)

One of the pockets I sewed up for Chris

Although my dreams of becoming a designer eventually faded (along with my desire to become an actress and my goal to become a lawyer), I have always loved clothes and style. Up until recently, though, I was in the habit of throwing an item away if it had a rip or tear. What was the point in repairing it if I could just buy a new one of whatever it was? My boyfriend is way more practical and money-savvy. So when he ripped the side seam (and both side pockets) in his pants, he turned to me and asked if I knew how to sew. I didn’t, but I lied and told him I did. I figured I’d give it a shot.

The once-ripped/now-stitched side seam of Chris’s pants

And so began my first adventure with sewing. Granted, I wasn’t creating a dress for Versace; it was a simple restitching. But still, I was glad I proved to myself (and to Chris) that my lack of an arm doesn’t mean I can’t be a domestic diva. I’ve read and heard about people saying they wouldn’t be willing to date someone with a disability because of the lack of functionality rather than a more superficial reason. And while I understand the concern, I know first-hand (sorry about the pun) that someone with a physical limitation can still find a way to do almost anything and live independently. So am I concerned about being a good clothes-mending/dinner-cooking/floor-sweeping wife someday? Not at all. I’m already getting my practice. And to be honest, I’m way more nervous about finding a way to balance my career and my home, just like most “normal” young women my age.



Caitlin Michelle


(Mannequin photo from Pinterest; other photos my own)
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