Ann & Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting are visiting Portland this week -- Wednesday afternoon. The yarn store isn't close by but it's not far either. To go or not to go.
I'd like to meet them and hear them read/talk/throw mitered squares into the air, since I find their blog entertaining and I think they'd be entertaining too in person. Some people have mentioned how their book makes them feel free to play around with yarn, to experiment with pattern and color and texture. I think that's fantastic, because it's my personal belief that my entire culture is losing that feeling of playfulness. People don't sing, because they're not good enough and the message is that they should Leave That To the Professionals. Or dance or joke make movies or write books. Because we're just amateurs and why bother when THE PROFESSIONALS do it so much better? Anything that encourages people to be creative, to think on their own - I think that's valuable and useful. Just because I don't do dishclothes (another story, not for now) doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy listening to Ann & Kay.
But I'm hesitant and torn, see? Because the last time I did one of these Big Author Events (last year's Yarn Harlot signing), I felt so profoundly alienated I felt alone for days. It's perverse, considering I was, for the first time, completely surrounding by masses of knitting women. My people. People who laugh at the cardigan/pullover joke. People whose eyes glitter and shine when you talk about yarn instead of glazing over with boredom. People who understand your obsession with decreases.
Yet in all that crowd, they all seemed to know each other, and nobody knew me. They were all very polite, I'm not saying otherwise, I just felt as if it was at a big cocktail party for the wrong company. Everybody was there with their own friends. And I didn't know how to break in. Did I even want to break in?
It's me, OK, not anyone else who's doing this to me, but just me. I don't blame anyone but my nasty twisted psyche. If I weren't quite so sequestered into my own personality, if I practiced harder at my socialization skills, I would have joined into the conversations, been less on the fringes and more involved. It's just hard, and I don't know if I have the energy for it. I don't want to cope with the alienation again right now (I also would prefer not to stand again for 3 hours, but hopefully I could get there early enough to get a chair. Or a bit of floor).
I know part of my reticence is because I work almost entirely with men. I'm extremely bad and out of practice with talking to women, face to face. I'm also, how do I say this?, not so good at the acting-like-a-girl thing. I identify as female, I just don't do a lot of the same things most women I know do. I don't even want to get into some gender-identity argument, I'm just staing facts. My mother-in-law, who is much better at the girl thing, and I get along best of all when we're both extremely drunk.
So there you go, too much information about my psychological hangups. I should just get over myself and go, huh?