I came of age at a time when some feminists argued that young women should not learn to type; learn how to type, they argued, and you'll always be a typist.
Likewise, when I got serious about amateur theater, veterans told me, "Don't learn to sew. If you learn to to sew, you'll never do anything else."
So I didn't, and now I'm kind of sorry about it. Not sorry enough to seek out sewing lessons, but sorry.
It's one of those things, like cooking, that anyone ought to be able to teach themselves. You buy a pattern and some material, you pin it, you mark it, you cut it out, you sew it. But the few efforts I've made have looked like a kindergartener's craft project: stained, puckered, lopsided and frayed. When I try to use a sewing machine, the thread gets tangled, and I have put needles through the skin of my index fingers more than once.
This summer's Gaslight musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, includes many spectacular 1920s-era costumes. Some we borrowed, but at least half have been handmade by our director, Deb Howard, with the help of our stage manager, Jenny, and a couple of cast members, Jen and Karen. I'm dazzled by their skill, and more than a little intimidated.
It's probably too late for me to learn how to use a sewing machine, but it's still on my list of things I'd like to know how to do before I die. What are some things you'd like to learn to do, before it's too late?