I’ve already written one post about one particularly crazy week in August. I mentioned work stress, the bedbug scare, and a stray pit bull puppy. But I didn’t even bring up the cursed socks. I figured they deserved a post all their own.
They look innocent enough, don’t they?
Actually, it’s possible the socks pictured are the curse-breakers. Let me start at the beginning.
I wanted to make a nice pair of hand-knit socks for a Christmas present for a close friend. I started really early, in August, to avoid stressing myself out. Ha!
I started the socks with amazing, multi-colored hand-dyed wool sock yarn that I bought on a special outing with my sister-in-law in July. I was about half-way toward completing the first one when someone distracted me, and I…dropped a bunch of stitches!
If you’re not a knitter, you don’t realize how gasp-inducing this is. If you’re a really good knitter, you know how to fix dropped stitches and it’s not a big deal. I’m somewhere in between. I know it’s a big deal, but I don’t know how to fix it—at least, not so it looks decent. So I gasped. Loudly.
But I tried my best to get the stitches picked up and back onto the needles and make the sock look as good as possible, and soldiered on. I did quite a bit more. But the boo-boo really looked awful. And it was such special yarn, and a present for a special friend. I just couldn’t be happy sending her these flawed socks.
I had the socks with me at the August convention in Savannah, and showed them to an expert knitting friend. She said the words of doom. “You’re going to have to rip all those rows out.”
Again, if you don’t knit, you don’t know the sheer horror of those words. It’s not the time spent re-knitting. It’s that, once you take the loops off the needle and start pulling out stitches, they get away from you. It’s like herding cats. They take off running through the rows in all directions—or some of them hang up and tangle and won’t go anywhere. If you don’t know what you’re doing and tackle it just right, you can end up with a tangled wad of hand-dyed multi-colored wool.
Guess what I ended up with?
I ended up throwing the tangled wad away at the hotel. At that point, I figured there was a chance they were infested with bed bugs, anyway.
What really ticked me off was that I was about to go stay the rest of the weekend with a friend who had an injured leg, so we were going to spend a lot of time sitting in her house, chatting or watching movies. Great knitting time, in other words. I could knit half a sock…if only I had more yarn.
I’ll skip lightly over the walk I made through the hideously hot and humid streets of Savannah to the yarn shop, and finding it had less sock yarn than I have in my stash at home.
I was starting to become vaguely aware of the Curse of the Socks, but I tried to shake it off. No problem. I would just stop at one of the big box hobby stores on the way to my friend’s house and pick up some yarn.
By the time I pulled into the craft store parking lot, it was pouring rain. Pouring! And I realized that my umbrella was in one of the bags I had left at the hotel for the bed bug check. But fortunately, I saw a car pulling out just two or three spaces from the craft store door. As I waited for it to clear the space, I saw another car pulling into the row from the opposite direction, but no problem. It was so far away, and I was obviously waiting. I put on my blinker to indicate it was my space. As soon as the car finished backing out, I started to turn into the space.
Now, I know what you’re all thinking. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Somebody coming from the other direction, ignoring our clear right to the parking space and stealing it. Yeah, yeah—but this was WAY worse.
The woman in the other car stopped, let me start to turn into the space, then apparently thought better of letting me have it, gunned her engine, and shot in ahead of me.
She almost hit me. Almost caused a wreck. And the fact that she stopped first, looked at me, and then gunned it meant she had thought it over. It was PERSONAL.
I cannot begin to fully express my rage. For a few seconds, I couldn’t move the car. I wanted to yell and scream at her, of course, but then that feeling started to subside a little. Instead I started to want her to look me in the eye and give me an explanation. Why, exactly, did she think that was acceptable behavior?
I decided I was going to sit there until she got out of the car, roll down my window, and ask in a very calm, Christian-acceptable, courteous voice, “Hi, are you okay? I figured you must have some reason for really needing that space, like you have a disabled or elderly person in the car with you who couldn’t make it any further. Or some emergency. Its okay. I’ll understand. I just wanted to see if I could help you, because there’s no way you would have done something like that if you didn’t need help, right?”
I was going to kill her with kindness, fill her with remorse and shame.
She wouldn’t even look at me, and also didn’t bother getting out of the car. She stayed on her cell phone for the four or five minutes I sat there, waiting to confront her. So finally I went on, found a space far away from the door, and hoofed it through the rain. When I reached the door, soaking wet, I did turn to look toward her car again, just to see if she was still chattering on the phone—or see if maybe there really was a baby or elderly person with her.
At that moment, she turned and saw me watching. She didn’t let the window down so I couldn’t hear her, but I could see she was yelling and gesturing at me—something to the effect of, “Yeah, that’s right. I took it. What’s your problem, woman!” Her face was contorted with rage. She looked almost demonic.
And why? Because SHE took MY space and I dared to even think that might not be appropriate. How dare I not realize she was entitled to whatever she wanted!!
At that moment, everything sort of drained out of me except incredible sadness. For this woman. For the fallen world we live in. All I knew was that I did not want to be anything like her.
And I think the curse was broken at that moment. I took a deep breath, went inside, and bought sock yarn that wasn’t nearly as nice as what I had ruined. But I had a lovely time knitting and visiting with my Savannah friend.
And my Arkansas friend loves her non-cursed socks.
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