Mar. 4th, 2010

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Today has been ups and downs. We started the day very early driving Jason to the walk-in clinic. He's just got a bit of bursitis in his elbow. No big deal, but a bit of a crimp in our schedule. On the bright side, Jason is being treated and we have a new family doctor (our last one moved out of the city and closed her practice here a few months back).

After dropping Jason off at work Georgia and I headed down to the local yarn shop for their monthly sale. Today it was anything in balls. I decided to take the plunge on some expensive Noro. I don't really like the feel of this yarn but I'm hoping it feels better once knitted, and to get the bright colours I was looking for this really was the only way to go.

This evening I wasted an hour or so doing what I always do when I buy a yarn without a very precise idea in mind. I know I want to make a scarf, but that still leaves it open to a lot of possibilities, so I stash the yarn in ravelry, and then look and see what other people have done with that same yarn. Sometimes you get an "ah hah!" moment where you see the PERFECT application. But more often than not you see a lot of examples of women grinning ear to ear in frumpy, mishapen knit disasters. It appears that it is a rare woman that can admit, after wasting hours of spare time, that what she has produced is in fact an atrocity that should not be allowed out in public. My personal favourites are the boldly and horizontally striped sweaters/coats/tunics/shells/shrugs/tank tops. Horizontal stripes are rarely flattering, make them a riot of mutiple colours and it is even less so. There's a special place in my black little heart reserved for the woman who knitted herself a large and unflattering sack 4 sizes too large and in her notes stated "Need to wear this with slim black pants/capris or a slim black skirt." Oh honey, that is soooo not going to help. Then there's the women who knit themselves "shrugs" that just look like they are re-purposing a garment stolen from their 4 year olds, complete with stretched-to-breaking fronts held together with a single button that is threatening to ping off and re-create that moment from the Incredibles trailer. Bonus points if their profile pic is of an adorable toddler, to whom they should probably return their "shrug". I'm tempted to post photographic evidence, but I'm not quite cold-hearted enough to mock a fellow knitter by name. Talking about these poor, tasteless, misguided souls in a general sense is one thing, but identifying them, even if they never saw themselves here, is a bit low even for me. Totally tempted though...

After the yarn shop, it was a beautiful day so I tossed my coat in the car, secured Georgia in her Moby and headed off to walk the strip. South Congress is an interesting place in which most of the stores give off a painful "trying too hard to be hip" kind of vibe. There's a lot of junk (they call it "vintage") shops, and stores selling crappy imported stuff (cheaply made jewelery and nick knacks), and then there was the back-alley record store that slavishly sold only vinyl. There's also the local food scene, which varies from nicer restaurants down to trailers flogging everything from tamales and BBQ to cupcakes and pies.

Most of the stroll was quite enjoyable, but I have learned an unpleasant thing... I can no longer shop in thrift stores. It's not that I ever did terribly well at these places. I lack the patience to sift through rack after rack of strange smelling garments for the perfect pieces. I did get my sewing machine from one of these places though, and at $35 for the machine and the table it was mounted in it was a total steal. I think I've been using it for 3 years now without so much as a single tune-up. Based on that success I keep holding out hope that I'm going to snag a really nice desk, dresser or mirror, so I poke my nose in if I happen to be close to one. In the length of time it took to walk from one end of this store to the other (just walking, not stopping to look at anything) I had 3 people try to touch Georgia. Complete strangers just sauntering up and trying to pet her like she was a chihuahua in my purse or something. The first woman simultaneously touched her sleeve and reprimanded me for letting her head flop forward (she's asleep, comfortable and none of your damn business lady). The second came out of nowhere and without saying a thing to me reached for Georgia's face. She barely brushed it before I swatted her hand away and she then shot me a look like *I* was the rude one in this exchange. As I passed the counter on my way out an old lady behind the counter exclaimed "she's so cute" and started rushing out from behind the counter. I high-tailed it outta there as I can easily outpace a senior citizen, even with 15 extra pounds and a door to contend with because the look on her face (and of course the bolting out from behind the counter) made it quite clear that she was wanting to reach out and touch.

I would never DREAM of touching anyone's child if they were not someone I was familiar with. What on earth would make these people think that is acceptable behaviour? Outside the thrift shop many people complimented me on how pretty she is (people especially like her eyes and eyelashes) but not one of them ever got within a foot of her. They didn't even bend down to get a better look much less reach for her. And some of them I even chatted with for a while!!! And right now, while we're dealing with the whole swine flu thing (we still have it here, Jason's bosses were both sent home for 2 weeks last month to recover from it) do they not get that physical contact with strangers is ill advised to say the least, especially for the young with their immature immune systems? The ill manners and over-familiarity must be something to do with the common background of these people. There has to be a pattern to the 3 attempted touches in 5 minutes I was there vs none in the other 3 hours I spent on the street and in other shops where I actually spoke to people. The only pattern I can discern is that we were in a religious charity shop. So it's either socio-economic class or religion. Am I more likely to encounter this kind of over-friendliness if I go to a Goodwill or a church? I don't spend a whole lot of time in either of these places so I wouldn't have had a chance to notice a pattern myself. And of course this is the first time I've set foot in a charity shop with a baby. So can I still comfortably wander into thrift stores if I confine my hunting to Goodwills?

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September 2010

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