Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Maybe it's the fact that I'm on day 8 of 13 straight days of working. Maybe it's the PMS. Maybe it's that I have 3 sick people in my house and I'm running myself ragged trying to take care of everything. Perhaps it's not any of those things... but I had such a frustrating experience last night and I'm still irked by it.

Saturday and Sunday I worked my usual 5pm to 10 pm shift at the hospital doing Bed Control. Thank heavens it was a slow weekend and I didn't find myself stressed at all, which is unusual for Bed Control. In fact, yesterday was so slow that I brought out my knitting from my purse and knitted on a sock while I watched the bed board and the bed control program for new ER patients to place. I love that I can knit without looking at my hands! In between calls to and from the nursing stations I knit a good 1.5" on the sock!

At 8:45 the third shift came upstairs from finishing pre-reg close and started their other closing duties. They don't take over Bed Control and Labor & Delivery until 9:15 so there's a bit of time between when they come up and when they take over. At 9:00 they were both at my booth for some reason and one of the girls asked me about the sock I was working on. She talked about how she wishes she had time for doing something like this but there's just no time at all. I told her that I knit while I watch tv or movies, and that I knit some before bed or while I'm waiting in lines or at appointments. She asked how much yarn it took to make a pair of socks and I pulled out a skein of the yarn so she could see and then I told her that it took 2 of these skeins.

My coworker took the skein of yarn from my hand and turned it around and around to look at the colors. Then she saw the price and had a cow. "7.25 for this? And it takes two of them? Do you know how much this costs?" I looked at her and said, "Yes, I am pretty good at math, plus I PURCHASED the yarn so I know that it costs $14.50 plus tax"

She starts in about how she would NEVER pay so much for string and how RIDICULOUS it is! I asked her, "Do you go to the movies? You pay $9.50 for the ticket and more for popcorn or a drink. For that much money you get 2, maybe 3 hours of entertainment. For $14.50 I get 20 hours or more of entertainment and at the end of it I have a beautiful pair of socks that I get to enjoy or I get the pleasure of seeing someone else wear and enjoy." My coworker didn't care to listen but then went on for another 10 minutes talking with someone else about how crazy and stupid it was to spend so much money on string.

Allow me to vent for a moment.

1. Frankly, I don't care what hobbies you have. As long as what you do isn't illegal, hurts yourself or someone else then have fun! You like to garden? Great! You enjoy building stuff in your garage? Wonderful! Just don't have your fun by burning kittens with matches and I'll be happy for you.

2. I was raised that you don't talk about money and the price of things with people outside of family. Enough said.

3. Knitting isn't just about the socks, the sweater or the mittens that it produces. It's a process for me and I like to pick yarn and needles that are pleasurable to use. I love the feel of the needles in my hand and the texture of the yarn as it passes through my fingers. I admire the colors and the tone of the yarn in the skein, after it's been wound and in the fabric. I don't mind paying more for yarn that I'll love through the whole process and after the project is off the needles. I like quality items and it is worth it to me to pay more. I can get a pound of yarn at Wal-Mart for $4.00 but I won't enjoy knitting it and it won't be nice to wear. What is the point of that?

4. Yes, I paid $14.50 for a pair of socks that I'll have to make myself, nonetheless. What they won't know is that I waited until that yarn was on sale to purchase it. I also make other sacrifices if it is going to be an expensive project and will save up the money before I purchase the yarn. It may seem ridiculous to you but that's probably why this is not your hobby. Personally, I think her $10,000 collection of manga is ridiculous but that's why it's not my hobby. Refer to #1... as long as she can afford it and she enjoys it then that's great!

It took everything in me not to throw double pointed needles at them or make it personal by throwing their own hobbies back at them. (You just had major back surgery 7 months ago so why exactly are you swing dancing and hurting your back again to the point of missing work?) But I stayed on the high ground by just smiling and letting them be tactless. Ooookay! I feel better now!


Tammy said...

GRRRRR! You handled that with so much more class and taste than I would have. Dratted muggles - too bad we can't shoot 'em. I might take that up as a hobby if it weren't for your #1. :-)

Keep on knitting!

Kate said...

I chose knitting as my hobby because all the other "cool" things were illegal.... ;)

Danielle said...

I couldn't agree more! I've had a couple simlar discussions, but the other person never ignored reason like your co-worker. Congratulations on keeping a cool head about the whole thing! :)

Catherine Kerth said...

Amen sista'! what a freak... I totally agree about the movie thing...you pay WHAT to see WHO! and don't get me started on talking about what other people spend.... thats hilarious that she was floored by the price of the yarn....b/c you and I both know shes the crazy one ;)

oh email me your snail mail addy please :) i'd like to send you a little autism love ;)

StringPlay said...

Everyone of your points is exactly on target. You handled it so well, but too bad it even happened in the first place to ruin the good mood and relaxation you had just found in your knitting! And I'm with you about trying to save, waiting on sales, but still wanting to use wonderful materials to make the whole experience more enjoyable. Your socks will bring you pleasure every time you wear them. And the relaxation of knitting will be more healthy in your stressful job. Lovely spa cloths, too!