Personification is primarily a literary term that is the giving of human characteristics to objects or animals. There is no better example of personification than the way in which we talk about and address our sewing machines. They are our children.
Many of us have given names to our machines. We have Stella the Stellaire, Luna and Luigi the Luminaires. Jamie and Claire our Scottish-born Featherweights. And, of course, McDreamy the Dream Machine. We have fun giving our machines names but it underscores just what an integral part these machines play in our lives.
We have intimate, parental relationships with our machines. We know what they are capable of doing, what they do best, and what they are fussy about or downright belligerent about. Many of us have more than one machine precisely because of these personality quirks.
We have an intimate bond--such a human way to describe our relationships--with our machines that is so important,. We never know what kind of day our children are going to give us.
We do know pretty early on, though, when a day is just not going to go our way. Our machine acts up from the get-go and despite efforts to push passed it (a.k.a. yelling and cursing), nothing seems to work. We eventually cry uncle and pack it in. I don't want to necessarily go as far as to say that sometimes my machine is possessed, but it can give me a devilishly difficult time at times.
We have one machine that we know will give us that perfect 1/4" seam. It is the favorite child for piecing. Sewing on this machine is as easy and comfortable as slipping into fuzzy slippers. This child rarely gives us any trouble and can pretty much guarantee a smooth running day and enjoyable experience.
We have our workhorse machine--the one that will plow through any project. This is the reliable child, the one who is always there to get the work done. If one of the other machines acts up, we can always go to this one.
We have the prima donna or primo uomo, the one we have to handle with kit gloves and like royalty. We make sure we have given it everything it needs, all the finest materials, preferred supplies, etc. It can be exhausting!
But this one's personality quirks can be particularly troublesome and seem to surface at the most inopportune times--during class or at a retreat. When the tantrum comes.... well, look out. She needs a lot more attention and care. We pet her and speak sweetly and quietly to get this one to play nicely. When she gets what she wants, she may give you what you want.
As with children, we know what each one sounds like and can recognize in an instant when something is not quite right. As dutiful parents, we are always listening for that cry of distress that requires us to step in and fix whatever the problem may be. We know when they are sick and need a hospital visit or when they just need a simple chiropractic adjustment. Sometimes it just requires us to kiss the booboo.
We care for our children. We make sure that they are clean and well fed (oiled). We pamper them at least once a year with a complete spa day. We make sure they are secure when transporting them, and we don't leave them in a hot car--ever!
These are our precious children. Take care of them, and they will take care of us. Yes, some days are rough and some are smooth going. That's life. Despite the trauma and drama they sometimes give me, I love my machines and can't imagine life without them.