Monday, June 23, 2008
My Evil Twin
One of the other people at the Literature and Medicine Training Institute is a fellow knitter, also named Susan. We sat together during dinner last night and had a long talk, during which we decided, based on family similarities, that we must have been twins separated at birth. The Other Susan asked if I'd like to have dinner tonight at a nearby Italian restaurant, so we arranged to meet at 6:00 in the lobby.
Today we were both knitting during one of the sessions, and the woman sitting between us said, "It's so comforting to have knitters on either side of me. It reminds me of my grandmother, who always used to knit."
Today's sessions closed with an optional discussion, which I elected to skip so I could dash over to the UPS store before it closed and buy a box and some packing tape, since I have to ship books home.
On my way from the UPS store I passed . . .
Two blocks from the conference center . . .
Drumroll, please . . .
A YARN STORE.
And they were having a sale.
It was a little before six, and I had to get back to drop the box off in my room and meet Susan, so I didn't stay. But the first thing I said to Susan when I saw her was, "So there's a yarn store two blocks from here, and they're having a sale."
She didn't hesitate for a second. "Let's go."
We went. I've almost used up the lovely Noro Silk Inez gave me, and I'd decided to buy two more skeins in another colorway, even though it wasn't on sale. That was a relatively small purchase. I picked out my Noro Silk, and then the saleswoman helped me with a stitch I'd been struggling with. Susan, meanwhile, was loading up a basket with sale yarn. I'd looked through the sale yarn and had seen one gorgeous one that tempted me, but it turned out to be soy yarn, which I've worked with and don't like, so I passed on it.
But then I saw a stunning scarf in an amazing pattern. "What's that pattern?" I asked the saleslady. "Is it hard?"
"It's easy," she told me with a smile. "And it comes free with this yarn."
"This yarn" wasn't on sale, and it wasn't cheap. But it was gorgeous, a silk-wool combo, and the scarf only takes one skein. I looked through different colors. I dithered. Susan and the saleslady ganged up on me. "Come on, you know you want it! If you leave without it, you'll be kicking yourself."
"I can't justify this," I told them. "My husband will kill me! Do you have any idea what I've spent on yarn recently?"
"Oh, come on! This would look so lovely on you!" Whereupon they started holding different colors up to my face, oohing and aahing and nodding knowingly at each other.
"My husband will kill me," I said.
"You can tell him it's my fault," Susan said.
"Yeah," said the saleslady, "we're enablers."
I dithered some more. And then I remembered a friend I didn't think would like any of my current yarns, but would probably like this one in a particular color. And she has a birthday within the next year. "Oh, all right," I said, and Susan and the saleslady grinned at me.
I spent far more than I should have, but Susan spent more than I did. The saleslady threw in an extra "free" pattern for both of us. After we left, clutching our precious bags of yarn, we got a cab to the Italian restaurant and pigged out on polenta fries, veal meatballs, and shrimp risotto. We also had decadent desserts: she had a gelato combo, and I had hot Italian doughnuts -- think beignets -- with dark chocolate sauce.
I'm moderating a session tomorrow and have to review the readings we'll be discussing. I meant to spend all evening doing that, and instead I shopped and ate. So I should feel guilty, but, y'know, somehow I just don't.
Gary: it was the Other Susan's fault! Please don't kill me!