My Mother used to be quite a seamstress and was known for the dresses and suits she'd make for herself and my sisters. The Circuit Overseers wife, (J.C.) known for hoity toity manner, her long red fingernails and showy hats with feathers, had admired my mothers clothes and once she found out that she could sew, asked her to make a wool suit for her. My father had been laid off his job at the time and they needed the extra money so Mom agreed.
She gave Mom a pattern in her size and a swatch of the material she wanted. Mom took her measurements and they agreed on a price. She then purchased the expensive wool, the special buttons and the satin for the lining, all with her own money and set about making the suit which involved hours at the sewing machine and a lot of hand work.
A few weeks later when they were visiting a nearby congregation, the Circuit Overseer's wife came by our house and tried the suit on only she had put on a bunch of weight and it was too tight. She claimed that the suit had been made too small. Rather than make an issue of her obvious weight gain, Mom had to let the suit out, including the lining which wasn't an easy job. She stayed up till all hours of the night in order to get it done before they left for their next assignment. Long story short, the suit was altered to fit but after trying it on, the CO's wife decided she didn't like the color of the fabric and how it looked on her and refused to pay Mom for the material and for her work. Mom was too kind to insist that the lowly wife of a servant of Jehovah, pay up so she ate the cost herself.
Years later that same C.O and his wife returned to our territory. The C.O pulled my mother and teenaged sister aside and counseled them for wearing knee high boots out in service. He said he was from Chicago and only prostitutes wore boots and it could give people at the door the wrong impression. My mother got angry and said,
" It's 30 degrees outside and we're expected to wear skirts and dresses out in service. These boots keep us warm. Besides that, around here, only prostitutes wear long blood red fingernails like your wife does. I can only imagine what people at the doors must think as this so called humble Ministers Wife turns the pages of the Bible with those nails of hers....talk about a distraction."
She and my sister turned walked off and nothing more was said about boots. (P.S. This is the same Circuit Overseer that years later made an announcement when Price died calling him a "Brother in good standing", even though he was known worldwide for his makeup, facial hair, and wild hairstyles and gender bending clothing)
I was 23 and had been engaged for a few months to my beautiful wife who lived in another part of the State, we wanted to wait for a special occasion to announced it to our engagement to our families so know one in my Congregation knew I was engaged yet. The Circuit Overseer and his wife and their 20 year old daughter were visiting our congregation and apparently she was interested in me as a former Bethelite and so unknown to me, a sister in our congregation decided to play matchmaker and invite me over to lunch after the Sunday meeting.
I knew who the daughter was as she had been visiting congregations in our area with her parents since she was I was in high school. She wasn't a very good looking girl, pale and thin and worse yet she was about as interesting as a bucket. One of my friends used to unkindly refer to her as Ol' Brezhnev Brows because like her father, she had heavy dark eyebrows that sort of met up in the of her forehead like the Russian Leader Leonid Brezhnev.
Once I arrived for lunch it became apparent that it was a set up. The C.O was at the head of the table and I was seated across from the C.O's bossy wife and conspicuously next to
Brezhnev Brows the daughter. The next thing I know, I'm being grilled about my spiritual goals and why I left Bethel and why I wasn't Pioneering and being questioned about my job and what my plans for the future were etc. I could see what was happening so I decided that it was a good time to break it to them gently to that I had become engaged a few weeks ago but we were waiting to announce it at my future wife's parents 25th anniversary party as a surprise.
Once I said I was engaged, the girl got up from the table and made some excuse about needing to go shopping and that she needed the car. She drove off and left me sitting there with her Mother grilling me about my fiancé, what her name was, her spiritual standing, who her parents were and doubt our wedding plans. She said she recognized the family name and I proudly showed her the photo of my beautiful smiling dimpled faced finance that I carried in my wallet. She sniffed and flung it back to me and said that weddings were a waste of time and money and that one "spiritual" couple she knew, were putting the Kingdom first and got married alone at the Hall by an Elder and immediately drove away pulling their little travel trailer and had their honeymoon in a rural territory where the "need was great". (she was probably bitterly referring to her husband and herself 30 years ago)
The Sister giving the luncheon got angry and said "I don't care what anyone says, I think It's wonderful that Pete is engaged and is having a wedding. I had a big wedding and I'd do it all over again because it was the only opportunity I ever had to get my Grandparents and other non JW relatives inside a Kingdom Hall and to our reception where they got to see us as normal people !"
The C.O and his wife weren't having any of it and the lunch was suddenly over.