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Brewer Burns

Monday, December 11, 2006

Things Which Cause Me to Break Out in Hives

What can I say? It was a rough weekend for me. We went Christmas shopping on Saturday. I bought (almost) the rest of the yarn needed to finish my Christmas knitting and we shopped for each other and the few people that I’m not knitting for. I do enjoy Christmas shopping. I don’t know why but I think it’s because I do so little of it. These last few days I really haven’t been holding it all together that well but that’s life, right?

I have been chugging away on my Christmas knitting. I’ve turned the heel on my second Kew sock and am working on the gusset. There are some parts of this pattern that are a little fiddly. The pattern has you divide the stitches unevenly, then work the first five (garter stitch) rows, then instructs you to rearrange the stitches again before beginning the lace pattern. Then, when you’re working the lace pattern you are instructed to move one stitch at the end of each needle to the next needle on every other row for several rows. This makes me a wee bit crazy. It seems like there is a purpose to all of this moving the stitches about but it also seems to me that there’s got to be a way to achieve the same effect without moving the stitches. But maybe not? Or maybe moving the stitches is easier than the alternative?

While we’re on the topic, I’m also a little suspect of the sizing. I tried on my finished sock once I had kitchenered the toe shut and I don’t know. It seemed to fit great at the top of the leg, but was a little loose in the foot. I’m hoping that this won’t be an issue for my mom, since her feet are wider than mine. Of course, LLSS (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock) does tend to grow a bit when washed. I don’t know. If I were to make these again, for myself, I would definitely go down to a size 0 needle. Or remove a pattern repeat.

The one thing that I didn’t get while I was out shopping over the weekend? More yarn for my BIL’s Fuzzy Feet. The yarn store didn’t have it so I’m going to have to stop by the other yarn store on my way home tonight.

You know, Christmas is such a funny time. We idealize it so much and yet it rarely lives up to such unrealistic expectations. Billy Crystal, in “When Harry Met Sally” says that Christmas is the traditional season for groveling. That may be, but in my family it seems to be the traditional season for guilting. My mother, for instance, would love it if Stephen and I came and stayed at my parents’ house Christmas eve, were there Christmas morning and opened presents. I understand this. She wants me home. She wants Christmas to be as it always was. What she conveniently forgets is that Stephen and I have formed our own family now. We are family. We have a home. I went home every year for Christmas until the year that Stephen and I bought our house and got engaged and every year my mother has tried to convince me to come home for Christmas. It’s not that I don’t love my family and it’s not that I don’t want to see them, it’s that I want to be free to chose how to spend my time. More importantly, I want to be free to spend Christmas in my own home. Stephen and I travel all year long seeing family and friends. Since we don’t have kids, it’s assumed that we will travel. And, for the most part, we do. That’s fine. But we decided that we had to put our foot down when it came to Christmas.

This year, for the first time in our marriage, we are traveling around the Christmas holidays. Why the change in policy? Stephen’s brother and his family are going to be in the Seattle area for Christmas. Since they moved to Atlanta, and may not make it over to Spokane during their time here, we decided to go over there to see them. And, since we’re going to see Stephen’s family, we’re also going to stop in and see my family along the way. I’ll be glad to see them all, but I have to admit that I’m not really looking forward to the trip. It will be long. The roads will be shit and they will be full of other people doing the same thing that we are. My dog will be nervous, and unwelcome at some of the places where we will be staying. All of this makes me supremely uncomfortable. I think that I may have to readjust my perception of the entire trip.


At 9:21 AM, Anonymous John Hanscom said...

"You know, Christmas is such a funny time. We idealize it so much and yet it rarely lives up to such unrealistic expectations."

Though you are absolutely correct, I hope you understand the problem is not with Christmas itself, as this implies, but with us, and the expectations we have.

When Berta was at IU, she had a suitemate, who was a wonderful person. And, she, when asked out on a date, built such expectations the stereotype of a white knight on a charger could not fulfill them, and she was always disappointed.

Pat and company are coming to SEA!!! That's swell.

Berta and I hope your [that's the plural "you"] Christmas is meaningful and merry. I also hope the drive is not as bad as you expect.

Please pass my greetings on to all the Burns, and, though I do not know them, your {that's the singular "you"] family as well.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Annie said...

I hear you. I've always spent Xmas with my family. My late husband was British, so we'd do the holiday at my parents house and then head overseas in the new year. Last year we planned for my family to go to the UK so we could all be together (in a lucky twist of fate, my parents and his really get on well), and when he was killed, my family still went. So now his are coming here this year, the highlight of which will be my 3 year old nephew.

But it's exhausting... it's like thanksgiving, which is like V-day... can't we all get together sometime when the rest of the world isn't also trying to get together? Preferrably not in a season when the roads are craptastic more often than not?!

No? Oh. Ok. I'll be there...

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Glaistig said...

I fear I am turning into a curmudgeon about Christmas. Yep, it is so stressful. Needlessly so in a way. *sigh* I just try to remember, look as long as the sun returns from its descent into darkeness (aka Winter Solstice), things will be alright. I hope. I feel you on the anxiety . . . .


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