Monday, December 17, 2007

Beware the

I didn't do it on purpose. It really wasn't my fault that Mr. C., the nice post office counter man, the man who has competently taken charge of my packages for more years than I can remember, the man to whom I entrust the timely management of my birthday cards and insurance payments ... no, it wasn't really my fault that Mr. C. was looking at me strangely in the post office today.

It was chilly early this morning, so I put on a hoodie when I went out the door for my walk. And in addition to being early it was also bright, which required sunglasses ... then the wind picked up, so I pulled up the hood.

And then when I went to the post office a little while later, I had packages -- several of them, in fact -- which required me standing in the long, long line and scrawling on little pieces of paper while I balanced the pile of boxes in front of me in a little tower on the post office floor, scrawling madly and frowning at my slightly leaky pen and all those little labels and pieces of paper, and then periodically nudging the little tower of boxes along with my foot as the line progressed.

And when I looked over at the counter, Mr. C. was looking me up and down, head to toe, scrutinizing me in exactly the same way as a mother evaluates her teenage daughter before allowing her out the door to go to school.

I had entirely forgotten about my morning walk, and I'm not the sort to admire myself in every reflective surface that I pass, so I had no idea that I looked alarming. And also? I am entirely absent of any notion that maybe I should consider dressing like a woman in her forties instead of like a thirteen-year-old boy.

So it is completely not my fault that Mr. C. stared for awhile, and I stood there wondering if maybe my fly was open or there was an unspeakable substance on my jeans ... and then Mr. C. cracked a grin, and started into a jelly-belly laugh, and then he cut his eyes toward the reflective window nearby, so I looked over my shoulder, and of course I fell out laughing in the middle of eighty-seven Christmas-laden people standing in line at the post office, because I was standing in the post office, in the post office for gawd's sake, and I looked like this:

That will be all.

P.S. -- That scarf you can see a tiny bit of? That is my weirdest knitting accomplishment -- greatest amount of praise for least amount of effort. I made that back in Nineteen Eighty-Something. I found some speckly black-and-white loopy mohair on sale, and didn't knit it, then later I found some weird speckly black-and-wite ribbon yarn on sale, and didn't knit that either ... but the two yarns, purchased years apart, happened to match exactly ... and then I decided I needed a salt-and-pepper scarf to go with a jacket (which I no longer have) and I knitted that scarf in plain old garter stitch and used the ribbon yarn for the fringe. That's all. And it has become my workaday scarf. But it never fails, whenever I wear it, that two or three people stop and ask me where I got it. You'd think the entire staff of Queer Eye stayed up all night picking out yarn, the way people carry on over that stupid black and white garter stich scarf, even when I look like the Unabomber. But do total strangers ever notice eighty gabillion hours of Fair Isle or cablework?



At 7:53 AM, Blogger Barbara-Kay said...

Ah-ha! YOU'RE the source of the rumors of danger in the BR post office! Still a student radical, eh?

Merry Christmas, dear friend. Glad you got your packages on their timely way.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said...

::snerksnerksnerk:: Priceless! And so serious-looking, too. I'll bet the scrawling and frowning didn't help any, either.

As to the scarf, I know. Picture a baby shower. I show up with a humongous baby blanket in plain ol' garter stitch, done with #17 needles, using white worsted acrylic carried with a strand of multi-colored Jiffy. Looked a tad lacy, but heavy lace, and nothing to swoon over. I made it the day before the shower; about 5 hours' work. Another woman shows up with a wonder of a baby blanket in delicate crocheted lace, which must've taken days to finish, over which I was wopjawed in awe.

Guess who got all the oohs and aahs? I swear, I nearly went and hid somewhere, it was so embarrassing!

At 8:54 PM, Blogger unokhan said...

hasta la victoria siempre!



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