24 July 2010


So I went in an estate jewelry store today. I knew I couldn't buy anything, so there was no danger in me looking.

And then I saw it -- it whispered to me from its velvet-lined box.

It sparkled from across the room, its soft siren voice asking me to come closer, to be nearer, to come and see...
It lay nestled in soft black silk velvet, its box tilted open. As I came nearer, I felt my heartbeat quicken.

I stood before it. I looked down at it. And when I saw, I wanted to wear. I wanted it. I wanted to possess it, to have it, for it to be MINE. I could not remember wanting anything in my life as badly as I wanted it at that moment.

My desire ran on a knife's edge.
I exhaled slightly. My mouth felt dry. I bit my lip.

In an instant, I recognized it as my precious. I knew it because the thought that ran through my head with wild passion was, I would sell my soul to have this.

And then I thought, well... maybe not sell it as such. Maybe mortgaging it at a reasonable rate. On a non-recourse loan. After my lawyers have read it.

I asked to try it on.

As the saleswoman opened the clasp, I knew it was too small. This tiny Victorian beauty was made for wrists smaller than mine. She slipped it onto my wrist and closed the clasp. It fit perfectly. It was light and sparkling. They were stars of diamonds. My constellation... my perfect tiara I had searched so long to find wasn't a tiara at all. The perfection I had sought was here, now -- it was real, now. It was bright dizzy delight of champagne and sensual earthy pleasure and it belonged here, now, with me.

It was so right. It was the inherent rightness that makes you think, "this is so right."

There was never any question that I had to give it back. At the same time, it was almost painful having to admit to myself that I had to take it off. It was like something that had come out of a blissful golden afternoon, stayed through the jasmine-scented night and --


It was not mine. It felt like heartbreak, that it could not be mine. This beauty, this delicate sparkling beauty, that I would adore -- that I would love as much as a person can love something so cold. It felt like having come home, only to be asked to leave again.

My beautiful bracelet.

Maybe in another life...

15 July 2010

Miss Manners Disapproves of This Post

I do not like these socks.
The yarn is Elann Harlequin. It is cheap, rough and full of sadness.
Alternately, these may be incredibly durable, hard-wearing and economical... yuck.

Many people think etiquette is a bunch of stuffy rules for rich people who have nothing better to do than show off what fancy manners they have and lord them over the ill-informed masses. No. Etiquette is there to help you navigate social situations so that you (a) at best, avoid inadvertently hurting other people's feelings, or (b) at worst, don't leave people thinking you're a horrible, callous, insensitive and/or boorish person. I screw it up a lot... but I do try to get it right, and the intention must count for something.

I feel like I've been immersed in etiquette esoterica lately, with massive party-planning underway. It's wrapped up in every detail from how to address the envelopes to who sits where to who wears what. This little-used knowledge is far beyond my basic childhood primer, which consisted of:
  • how to talk to old people
  • how to introduce two people who don't know each other
and, the all-time favorite
  • how to eat without being a disgusting pig with whom no-one wants to dine -- because if you are, you will eat alone for the rest of your life and won't have any friends and because you have no friends won't be invited to any parties and because you're not invited to any parties you won't have any pretty dresses and because you have no pretty dresses you will have to stay home in rags like a poor person's help and eat alone at your piggy trough with your face in the slop, and you don't want that, now do you, Courtney?
Nonetheless, there are countless books and consultants available to fill the etiquette esoterica gap (cf Crane's Blue Book, Emily Post). Thanks to them, even the rudest of us can learn to not be complete assholes when it comes to dealing with other people. Even if you don't know what the exact protocol is, you probably have a vague idea that there is a protocol out there, somewhere, and someone who knows it.

Another function of etiquette -- and perhaps the favorite for detail-oriented, melancholy types -- is that a breach of it is a wonderful outlet for righteous indignation. Think about how much satisfaction it gives you, when you feel slighted, to think, "I can't believe she said/did that! She ought to know better!" Suddenly the slight doesn't sting so much, because obviously the deficiency is in the other person. It's magical.

There's a reason you don't invite people to your bridal shower if you have not invited them to your wedding -- it makes you look like a greedy, gift-grabbing hussy. It says exactly what you were thinking, namely, "I want to include her but I don't want to invite her to my wedding." The non-invitee's feelings will be hurt, and she will think you're an inconsiderate, greedy, gift-grabbing hussy.

Which you are.

Which Emily Post is too polite to tell you.

Anyway, here's some knitting:

Summit in Lisa Souza Raw Silk.

06 July 2010

Baby Surprise Jacket -- FINISHED!

The Baby Surprise Jacket (knit wiki link) that I started back in May of 2008 is finally finished. The knitting had been completed for a long time but it lacked buttons. I found some wonderful 1940's-era buttons at Accessories of Old. At time of writing, there are 11,927 Baby Surprise Jackets documented on Ravelry. If that's just the number that have been started and recorded in the past 2-3 years, imagine how many there must be actually out there in the world since the pattern was first published in 1968.

yarn info:
Salsa by Dancing Leaf Farm
Worsted / 10 ply
55% Mohair, 45% Wool