Knitting and patience

I am not a patient person. I come from a family where the notion of waiting 30 minutes for a table at a restaurant—or 15 minutes or 5–-is beyond our ken. Waiting makes the tops of our heads blow off. You should join us at an amusement park when the lines are really long. It’s a good time. Really.

Odd then that the women of the family are drawn to knitting. Perhaps it’s the perversity of the universe, disguising a life lesson in purple merino and azure mohair. Whatever. It is what it is.

For those of you who have ever taken brush in hand, you know that house painting requires the patience of a Tibetan monk. It’s been almost 10 years since Mitch and I painted an entire house—”entire” meaning, ceilings, floorboards, doors, walls, basically anything that didn’t meow. Ten years ago, I didn’t handle this project with great equinimity—a function of a spastic thyroid and a general feeling that sensitive esthetic beings shouldn’t lower themselves to physical work. We’ll just leave you with this image: Diva armed with two-inch sash brush. It’s a miracle Mitch didn’t drive a screwdriver through my frontal lobe.

Fast forward nine years and here we are in possession of a tiny, ranch house in desperate need of paint. I’m thinking, I would rather have dental surgery than paint. Mitch is thinking, I would rather have dental surgery than paint with my wife.

This is the emotional environment in which we launched our latest project.

In the insuring years, I’ve knit a lot and learned a thing or two about process. Yesterday, we finished painting. The place is still a mess and there’s touch-up to be done, but the worst is over. And I remained cheerful throughout, even while edging.

The difference? Mama’s little helpers: Knitting. Audio books. And black cohosh.


Comments (5) -

October 30. 2006 10:11


a great story... I lean toward your views on waiting and painting.  Its nice to see us sensitive, aesthetic beings can be adaptable.  Good survival instincts!

John |

October 30. 2006 13:27


Sometimes a mama has use all the help she can get. Good luck in your new place!

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