I Love You — In Papa-speak

In preparation for our marriage Stefan and I spent some time with the pastor of our church in pre-marital counseling sessions. We talked about things like money, and having children, and communication — all things I think our pastor wanted to make sure we had talked about before we committed our lives to each-other. During one of these sessions we discussed an article by Gary Chapman about how people express and receive expressions of love. Despite my loathing of the self-help genre I purchased the book, The Five Love Languages and read it. The idea is that people prefer to express and receive expressions of love in one, or a combination of, five ways — quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, act of service, and physical touch. Stefan and I laugh because we could not be more different. But I think the beauty of the idea is that if you recognize how your partner operates you are more likely to understand each-other’s loving gestures.

So, last week I wrote that post with a few questions, including what your thoughts were on a serger. My motivation in that question was twofold – first, I was hoping you’d all say You should get one now, you’ll love it, you deserve it and you did not fail; second, I know Papa Urchin reads my blog and if he saw all those comments maybe he could be convinced of the need.


Now let me say I have been searching on craigslist for months for a serger with no luck and I fully intended to find a used or possibly refurbished machine. Then, on Thursday night I was expected at a friend’s house at 7:00 and at 6:45 Stefan was still not home from work. He’s been working late a lot recently and it totally stinks for him but it pretty much stinks for me too. It’s really important to me that we eat dinner together (quality time anyone?) — except Tristan whose stomach is not big enough (despite evidence to the contrary) to wait — so we end up waiting to eat until he’s home. Undoubtedly this leads to a harried evening and late bedtimes for the urchins and urchin parents alike.

Anyway, when he did arrive home he was bearing a heavy box. To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first if it was a serger or a new sewing machine — it turns out it was the former. He was feeling guilty about the late nights — and the complaining to me about the late nights — and so in our house Papa guilt = Mama present. It’s like clockwork. And the super nice thing is I didn’t have to do any of the legwork to figure out what kind to buy. Plus, in typical Papa fashion, Stefan upsold himself into a fancy brand and a semi-fancy model. Turns out the retailer he went to was out of stock of any semi-fancy models so he ended up with a super-fancy model that is currently cooking our dinner as I type. Seriously, I don’t know if I’ll ever figure the whole thing out.

Serged Up Close

So the point is, Papa probably could have saved a whole lot of money and just been home for dinner on time and folded some laundry (acts of service) but since he wasn’t and he didn’t I can now show you my kids’ clothes inside out without shame and recognize that finished seams are his way of saying I love you.


13 Responses to “I Love You — In Papa-speak”

  1. 1 martha April 3, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Congratulations! What a guy. and what a machine!
    It sure didn’t take you long to figure it out. Mine sat on the table for days before I got over my fear….

  2. 2 Papa Urchin April 4, 2007 at 6:48 am

    In my defense…

    1. The only reason I went that night was because I actually got out of work early. The problem was that I had no idea I would have to spend almost an hour in the store buying something that I wasn’t very interested in. Sure I know it can do an 8 thread chain stitch and the exclusive wave, but I don’t even know what those are. 🙂

    2. The fancy brand was chosen because most low end surgers are not only hard to thread and tension, but seem to have very short if any usable life. Given that it took years for mama to get over her fear of threading a regular sewing machine and winding a bobbin, it seemed that any money spent on a machine that took 30+ min to thread was a waste. It was the auto tension that upsold me to the babylock. You see, one thing you might not know about Mama is that she doesn’t like things with a steep learning curve. If she isn’t good at something the first time she tries it, she rarely tries again. Given how many things have been through the new machine already, I think it was a good choice.

    3. I am not going to lie, I like nice toys.

  3. 3 Connie April 4, 2007 at 7:47 am

    what a great present 🙂

  4. 4 Nic April 4, 2007 at 8:27 am

    Go Papa U! Enjoy Mama U. 😀

  5. 5 laurie April 4, 2007 at 10:10 am

    What a great guy!! I’ve read that book and it was very helpful. Right now we are in a Sunday school class studying The Five Love Languages of Children.

  6. 6 June April 4, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    We love Papa! Enjoy the new toy.

  7. 7 kathy April 4, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Greg bought me a Babylock as a Christmas gift several years ago. You could have been telling his story about going to the retailer by himself! Gave me a great chuckle. I finally took a serger class last year and my appreciation for the machine went up tenfold. Definitely take the classes at the shop. The manual doesn’t begin to do the machine justice. Have fun!

  8. 8 Sonya April 4, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    What a lovely surprise! I am not a subscriber to the steep learning curve – you know it was a good choice from those beautiful seams.

  9. 9 Jen April 5, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Wow! Those are some beautiful seams! You lucky, lucky duck…

  10. 10 amandajean April 10, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    I loved reading this post of yours….it is nice to get to know you a little more.
    my husband and I discussed the love languages thing just a little bit…and the ones that are good for me (words of affirmation) is the one that is the most difficult for him…doesn’t that figure???

    way to go Papa, for buying you such a great machine. (He sounds kinda like my husband…loves nice toys…gadget guy…likes to spoil me a little bit…)

    I love that fabric that you have showing the seam…I have a half yard of it that I am hoarding….don’t know what to do with it yet.

  11. 11 Susan April 11, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Yay, Papa — what a great guy for knowing just when to spoil his gal!

    My husband has been trying to get me to read the Chapman book since our own pre-marital counseling. Perhaps I should get down to it… 😉

    P.s. Nice seams!

  12. 12 mermaids April 24, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    congrats on the serger! don’t let it intimidate you. sergers can take your sewing to a whole new level. technically, you don’t *need* one to sew, but, gee, a serger makes sewing so much easier.


  1. 1 Unmentionables « mama urchin Trackback on May 2, 2007 at 7:58 am
Comments are currently closed.

flickr photos

Mama Urchin. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

With Friends…