Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 20: One of the Good Ones

Date: February 20, 2010
Friend: Danelle Myer
Activity: Tea, Cookies, Knitting, Thrifting
Location: Danelle's house, Scout, Hobby Lobby
Total $ Spent: $1.07

"But you're one of the good ones!" Danelle sympathetically declared on the day I resigned from the botanical gardens. Feeling validated but burdoned, I awkwardly asked her if she would escort me into the administrative building so that I could officially submit my letter of resignation. I hated putting her in that position, but she was the only person still around that afternoon and more importantly, I trusted her. That was one of the most defining days of my life, and Danelle was there to bear witness. AND boost my confidence.

Turns out Danelle and my family have been linked for years. She went to college with my brother-in-law's sister and her husband. To make things easier, let's just refer to them as Brenda and Lars from this point forward. Danelle, Brenda and Lars have all been friends for so long, and somehow Danelle and I never met until we worked together.....for approximately 77 days. If you refer back to date #1 with Miss Emily, you will discover that Danelle was a member of the "pretty girls" who intimidated me. Even though I thought I had an "in" with Danelle because of the family connection, I assumed she saw me as an outsider. One July morning, I mustered up the courage and invited her to coffee. We went to 13th Street Coffee, sat outside in the sun, and got past each other's preconceived notions. Done. Friends.

Today, I arrived at Danelle's house mid-afternoon (and guess what, it was snowy and cold) for tea and cookies. I am so envious of her house and how every inch of it fits her personality. When I daydream about how I will one day decorate the house I might one day occupy, I think of Danelle's home and how much I adore her style. From the moment I walked in the door, we were racing to catch each other up on all the little things we'd missed out on. She had a fancy spread of tea options waiting for me, as well as several ideas for our date. She dug out some books on writing and very kindly loaned them to me. She said some wonderfully delicious things about my writing and I think I blushed. No, I know I blushed. Resting on the books were a few skeins of yarn. I assumed she was in the middle of finishing a project, but it was better. So much better. One of her ideas for our date was to teach me how to knit!!! I actually jumped up and down with excitement.

We brewed our tea and cozied into her oversized couch cushions. We shared our secret desires to "backpack through Europe" and really find ourselves while living the simple life. Stop laughing, I could make that work. As long as I had bug spray and chapstick, I could survive. Of course we reminisced about our short-lived time as colleagues and accomplished some healthy venting over homemade oatmeal-raisin cookies. Yummo.

And then........the knitting commenced. She chose some yarn for me that was extra but also meaningful to her as she had originally purchased it for a relative who passed before their time. The story of the yarn itself was enough to make me want to learn knitting.

She showed me a little scarfey thing she made called a "Draft Dodger" which I kept accidently calling a "Cold Catcher." This was to be my first project. Danelle took care of the first row of the basic stitch so that I could focus on the technique of the actual looping and knotting. While her graceful, long fingers danced around the needles, I proceeded to tell her my entire life story from years 1995-2002 ish. When the first row - 26 loops - was finished, she guided me through the stitching.

When she passed me the needles and the yarn, I suddenly felt like my hands were big as boxing gloves. Clumsy, awkward and totally uncoordinated, I worked my fingers slowly and carefully. And guess what? My very first stitch was correct! We screamed and then laughed at each other for screaming. And then my beginner's luck curse stepped in and it took me several more tries to get the stitch right again. Danelle tried to fix my errors but I kept making the same mistake. Finally we realized I was going over instead of under on the final weave. See, now that I'm a knitter I can speak jargin.

We took a quick jaunt over to a house that I want to rent, but for the sake of not jinxing myself and the possibility of me getting said house, I didn't take pictures and I'm not going to share much of this part of the date, except to say that I adore the house and I am doing everything in my power to make it happen.

One of our early ideas for our date was to hop around thrift stores. Building on that, we thought I might find some buttons for my Cold Catch....I mean Draft Dodger at a cheap price if we tried thrifting. We started at Scout in Dundee. Um, why don't I shop there more often? Who has been keeping this a secret from me and why? Totally freaking fabulous finds. But for the random screaming toddler running around and continually turning the lights off, I fell in love with this store.

We pillaged every little item but found no buttons and nothing for less than $2. I considered cheating (like I always do) but didn't actually do it. I finally caved and asked the clerk if she knew of any items for $1 or less. This is when she pointed to the very obvious sign made on the Lite Brite glowing right in front of my face. Every Sunday, they have $1 sales. Sunday? But it was Saturday! Blast it all!!

Feeling a mixture of disappointment over the lack of buttons yet totally excited about $1 Sundays, Danelle and I decided to try a craft store instead. RANDOM CELEBRITY SIGHTING: PAT PERSUAD WAS WALKING INTO SCOUT AS WE WERE WALKING OUT. I TRIED TO ACT COOL BUT I STARED, OKAY. I STARED.

Hobby Lobby is one of those places that you either love or hate. I thought I would hate it, but I think I could learn to love it. Danelle led me to the fabrics and notions where we found buttons. So many buttons! There were a few for less than $1 but most of them were unattractive and not what I wanted. Of course the buttons that I coveted were in the $1.50-2.50 range. Again, cheating crossed my mind. And then Danelle found it - the one! The perfect button for my Cold...Draft Dodger and it was exactly $1.00. Victory is mine!

Our lovely date was drawing to a close and I dropped Danelle back at her darling home. I have my yarn, needles, and writing books to keep me company. I have a friend who inspires me, and helps me find my spirit. She's a good 'un, that Danelle.
On deck for day 21: Jenny. I'll be seeing you....

1 comment:

  1. Yay for knitting and writing books. My knitting has fallen by the wayside. There needs to be a way to write and knit at the same time.