I have drawn an imaginary line in the sand and am determined I shall not cross it.
See, there's these two guys - one dad, one son. They live in the state below ours so we don't see each other often, just during Living History demos. They do Viking re-enactment and the dad 'took care of' his son's kit (clothing) after a demo one weekend, as a favour to his son. The dad is, shall we say, somewhat absentminded. Yes, he lost both his son's two outfits as well as the clothes he himself was wearing that weekend too. Mostly likely he dropped it all off at some cleaning service and then forgot to pick it up. That would be months, or even almost a year, ago.
So the clothing is long gone.
Now the son is working in retail as an assistant manager and doesn't make a lot of money, but he's been invited to a Viking re-enactment event in Scotland this September and is so very, very excited about attending. He's also, as I said, mostly broke. I told him that if he'd buy the fabric, I'd handstitch his clothing for him, making him two replacement kits. That would be four tunics and at least two pairs of trous.
The dad heard us talking about it and started telling me what he wanted, assuming right off the bat that I'd be sewing for him. This took me aback as I'd never extended the offer to him. In fact, until he started telling me what clothes I needed to make for him, I didn't know that he was going to Scotland with his son. I have no bloody idea how to sew for the guy and never intended to as his shape intimidates me - he is tall, extremely obese-but-losing-quickly, with a very pear-shaped body. So pear shaped that he must wear suspenders to keep his pants up as his skinny hips are completely overwhelmed by a massive belly and sides while his shoulders are almost thin enough to fit into a size large man's shirt. As a 'draper' rather than a 'drafter', I'm lost on how to craft whatever it is that he thinks he wants, especially since they both seem to think that the only acceptable type of trous to wear are the Thorsbjerg style. I am not making those for daddy! I have an old pair of the son's pants I can use as a pattern for him, which is the only reason I was willing to try replacing his. And as you can tell, I'm fairly angry about the assumption that I'd be sewing for two rather than one.
So... fast forward 6 weeks. The son has been in touch with me, asking about which fabrics to purchase, but the dad has been totally silent (I never said that I would so it could be he got the picture when I went silent). Nonetheless, it has been six weeks and I've had no fabric to work with. And I'm looking at the calendar and thinking about how fast I can hand-sew clothing.
Normally, I'd start sending the son reminders about what is needed and letting him know that he's already behind in getting the supplies to me. With those two, it is the normal course of action. But you know - I'm doing him a big favour, and would be doing his father an even larger one if I did make that guy something... and I have decided that I am NOT going to act like their mother or wife. I'm not going to contact them with reminders or yet more links to fabric sales online, nor am I going to rescue the son as I did six weeks ago and show up with a tunic whose material I'd paid for, dyed, and made on my own for him so he could take part in our annual Highland Games demo.
If it is important to them, they'll have to step up on their own. If they don't - then they are in the same spot they would have been before I said I'd help out. They can buy their stuff from commercial sources.
I usually cave in and in a flurry of busy-ness and stress get things done at the last minute for people who act like this, but this time - no. They, and I, need to learn that my time and talent are valuable gifts and ones they don't get to squander.