Sunday, September 21, 2008
I have been knitting since I was 8 years old. It has seen me through heart breaks, loneliness in a foreign country and recently has put me in touch with other women in my community who enjoy coffee, company and of course knitting. One would think that a knitting group full of women (and some men) would be an enjoyable way to unwind at the end of a day with good friends. That is until there was drama in the knitting group.
I have learned the hard way that if you put a group of women together, there will be a struggle for control of the group. This is how it was with the group of knitters I joined in Seattle. Several nights a week the knitters would meet at various coffee houses around town. Usually the same few women dominated the conversation around the table, but everyone seemed to get along somehow. One day someone came up with a plan for a group of us to go and attend an event in Oregon for the weekend. Plans were made and then changed to try and accommodate everyone in the group. Feelings were hurt in regard to the change of plans and drama ensued. People were shunned, talked about behind their back and some encouraged others to gang up on the people they saw as the reason for their unhappiness. Personally, I am not into drama, back stabbing, or ganging up on people for any reason. I view it as immature and an unhealthy way of dealing with ones problems. For that reason I left the knitting group behind.
Now I was left with all sorts of time on my hands that use to be filled with knitting groups. After a few weeks of sitting in front of the television by myself, I decided to gather the friends I had left from the knitting group and form a new one. We decided to call ourselves the Cast Offs, a knitting term that seemed appropriate for our group. For a while things went well in the group until a few of us decided to go back to school. I then did not have the time to attend the group as my class schedule interfered with our set knitting time. Once again, I was shunned from the very group that I started.
I now knit alone usually with the company of my cats and dogs. I once thought knitting was a nice way to enjoy some me time and relax. I now await the time when my pets will decide it is their time to turn their backs on me as well.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
In my early thirties I was living on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington. I met Charlie. He was good looking, had a good job, liked music, did I mention he had a job? I was very attracted to Charlie and I felt confident the feeling was mutual. We did what I like to call “hang out” together. Not really dating, but an emotionally safer way to spend time with someone without the pressures dating brings with it. Hanging out with Charlie went on and on and on. I began to doubt our relationship would ever go anywhere. My self esteem at that time was about as low as Tom Wait's voice slowed down to a crawl, and rejection was out of the question. So instead of sticking it out to see where it might lead, I moved on.
Months passed, life happened and I ended up in San Francisco. My good friend Rhonda invited me to stay at her flat near The Haight while I looked for work. Jobs were hard to come by, but how could that be? I had never had a problem getting a job before. I was either over qualified, under qualified, or not what they had in mind. “I'd like to give them a piece of my mind” I thought after leaving the 10th interview of the week. I began to run out of money and food. One day while I was home alone, hungry, deflated and wallowing in self pity, I wondered what the hell I was going to do, I began to cry. Sobbing ensued, my body shaking uncontrollably. This move may have been a huge fucking mistake. There was a knock at the door. I wanted them to go away. “Leave me alone so I can continue my self loathing,” I thought. The knocking continued. I collected myself the best I could and opened the door. It was Charlie.
I'm so happy to see you! I know I said it out loud, but silently I screamed it over and over in my head. He was there on vacation and thought he would look me up. I'm so happy to see you, I silently screamed again. Embarrassed about my situation, I reluctantly divulged the awful truth about my failures in the city by the bay. The next week was filled with Ethiopia food on Haight Street, a punk show in the Mission, hours of good conversation, and several packs of cigarettes. A little voice inside my head whispered “you don't deserve this, any of this.” His lips told of news from home. The words swirling around the smoky air of the tavern and sticking to my soul. I want to go home. Pride stops me from telling him this and I deceitfully rattle on about my confidence things will change. Why can't this week continue?
He's leaving, my only friend and companion is leaving. How will I go on? The day he left I felt a huge emptiness for San Francisco. Why was I here? Who was I here for? Certainly not for me. Can't he just pack me into his Bronco and take me along for the ride? Pride got the better of me again. I stayed. I stayed long enough to know I would move back to Seattle and not return as a Bay Area resident again. Now as I reminisce about these few short months of my life, I can laugh. Laugh that I am happy in Seattle and never want to move again. I'm sorry Charlie for not being a better friend in the beginning and in the end not keeping in touch.