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Here's Dude!May 29, 2004

It makes me look like a lumpen grey marshmallow:


It practically hangs to my knees, and the armpits hang to my waist. I had despaired of it fitting him. But look! It does!


He came in to work fifteen minutes early (which at 0445 is a chore) just so we could do a photo shoot and get him in the trademarked Rachael pose.

Yippeeeeeee! Thanks, Don, for the house-painting, and the free couch, and the heavy lifting, and generally making my life easier.

Pattern: Raglan Generator for measurements, 3x1 rib everywhere but at cuffs and neck, where it’s 2x2.
Yarn: Plymouth Galway Highland Heather, color 704, approx. 10 skeins.
Needles: 5US
Gauge: 5st/inch

And now, to kill the teaser I posted earlier, I did end up cancelling the date I had lined up for this afternoon. I had recently put a personal ad up on PlanetOut, a gay/lesbian online magazine. I thought it would be fun. I had always assumed you had to pay for the service, but once I found out it was free, I thought, cool! What can it hurt?

Well, it don’t hurt none, and it stays pretty quiet, but recently for some reason I got three interested nibbles that were interesting in return. Nice, smart, pretty women that I thought I would like to meet.

I met one for coffee the other day. She knits, she contra-dances, she’s eclectic-looking, she’s a blast. But was I interested? Eh. I had another date scheduled for this afternoon with a fabulous-seeming gal who probably really is that fabulous. And I’ve been dreading it all week. (Lest you ask why the hell I set it up in the first place, I answer, because I thought I should. Shoulds. Always get you, don’t they?)

I thought of all SORTS of things I could beg off with. Migraine. Work. The dog ate my car keys. I woke up in the shape of a giant cockroach. Then I remembered: I hate lying like that. I used to be so good at it. In the last few years, I just can’t do it and still remain happy. A lie like that, small though it is, bugs the hell outta me. (And it’s karmic. If I plead migraine, I get one.) So I wrote:

I'm going to be a complete ass right now, okay? I'm going to pass on coffee tomorrow.... and if I can make anything clear to you, please let it be that it's not you. (I realize how lame it is to use that line before two people even meet.) I find your pictures to be both charming and lovely, and everything you've said in email makes me think that if I dated anyone, even just met them for coffee, you'd be the one with whom I'd want to have that coffee. But right now I'm stuck in an alone period. Not really sure how to get out, nor if I should even try. I thought I'd jump-start the process by meeting new people, but I'm beginning to think that's a poor idea, and ultimately not fair to anyone I meet right now. We'd probably have a lovely time at coffee, and then I'd have to send this email anyway. Better sooner than later, I think. I hope I do meet you someday. Please email me back to say you got this. Thanks, and I’m sorry.

Yep. And this morning I got a nice little email back saying “no worries, and best wishes.” I remain guilt-free and SO HAPPY that I’m spending the first afternoon of my weekend in my backyard, alone.

There’s something to this alone thing, I’m convinced of that now. It’s not shyness, it’s not apathy, it’s just where I need to be right now. Society’s pressure is insidious. I don’t care about what society thinks, but somehow it shapes my own thinking without my noticing. *I* sometimes feel I need a partner to be complete. Then I stop and think about that feeling, and I know it’s crap, but it was there for an ugly second.

I’ll meet whom I’m supposed to be with at the right place, at the right time. (GAs: Is that whom right? Still sleepy from working all night.) I’m not against the internet for hook-ups. Look where it’s taken all of us! But I’ll know when I’m in the right place, and right now, I ain’t. And I’m not worrying about it anymore. Hear, hear!

I didn’t know I was going to proselytize to myself. And you, in the process.

Last thing, there is apparently a war to get me to change coasts. Cari has a kitten. But look what Ann found that needs adoption.


Heh. I love it.


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Yes, but the kitten is free for those who move to the (ahem...forgive me for this but I do believe it in a way...) center of the friggin universe. Can Ann say that about the sporty little car?

That's one great-fitting sweater, my dear. On the guy, I mean.

And nice work on the date-cancelling. Honesty really does usually work best. I know it's what I would have appreciated if I were the one meeting you for a blind date you weren't into... Yay for you.

Now pack yer damn bags! Park Slope is chock full of women for you to not date!

a) Sweater looks great!
b) I've spent way too much time explaining why I needed alone time; after a while I just told people to mind their own beeswax, I'll date when I feel like it.
c) I'll be holding your cat for you. Don't make Pitiful Peony (aka Krusty Kitty) wait too long.

Did I read that right? Did Iris just say she was taking the kitten?

Ann, if I move out there, can *I* have the car?

The sweater is awesome, and your date-breaking email was PERFECT. Just perfect. I'd save the giant cockroach excuse for a more appropriate time.

Great Jumper - he looks very handsome in it too! Lovely friend you are for sure. Love your idea to combine some lace in the Cami - I just finished my second one - The pattern is great and fits so nicely......

The raglan sweater is awesome! It looks perfect on the dude! It's good to be alone because you want to be. I commend you on doing what is right for you and not just following what the world thinks is right. You go, girl!

Let me add my gushing: Fabulous !! job on the Dude sweater. It fits him perfectly and he looks very pleased with it. That is exactly the same sort of sweater my non-sweater-wearing husband wants me to make. [He has some residual childhood trauma from being subjected to his mother's hand-knits. Ahem. I'm a MUCH better knitter than she is.] Anyway, that's exactly what he wants.

Oh my God...I so get the alone thing... I am there too, but you put it so much more eloquently that I could have. Nice to know I'm not alone in feeling this way. Love the raglan, I just started a very plain, fitted raglan using the generator. It's a very soft, chocolately brown. I pick it up whenever I'm craving chocolate. I'm not kidding you, it does the trick.

the sweater for your friend is wonderful! great job. I also think you were wonderful in being so honest with your potential date - and she in turn was very graceful in her reply.

Cari, yes, it's true, I am not actually in possession of a convertible orange Mini. But doesn't she look great in it? And heck, I'll give a purely Photoshopped bribe a whirl ;)

I can really relate to the alone period. Right now meeting new knitters is the most social activity I feel inclined to. I'm sure it will change, but I tried to date like you did. It just made me miserable and confused. I finally let myself be and I'm much happier now.

The sweater turned out really great, too.

you're so good. The sweater is great...what a fit! Good on ya for understanding your own space and needs. yep. an inspiration.

Sweater looks great. And good for you for being honest. I, too, can't live with lies. For a long time, I tried to be "kind" rather than honest. I felt much better being honest.

Change coasts?! That's a Munich license plate! Which, when you think about it, would be a nice little whirl from Venice, especially in a car like that. Enable? Moi? ;)

Awesome sweater. As usual!

society puts so much pressure on people to be part of a couple...after a breakup a few years ago i spent alot of time alone...it was the best thing i did for myself! but people always have to ask "have you met someone?" or "oh i have the perfect person for you"...sheesh! good for you for not bowing to pressure and expectations :)

The Dude is so cute! Both the sweater and the guy, actually. The sweater looks great on him.

Enjoy your alone time. It's something I'm learning to cherish, even as I wish my sweetheart lived on this coast instead of the one you're being lured to.

No brave blogger has yet answered the siren song of the "whom" question. I'll volunteer to step to the plate.

"I’ll meet whom I’m supposed to be with at the right place, at the right time."

Whom, you wonder? I would venture to say that it should be "whomever," but I would also say that "supposed to be with" is wrong because you're ending with a preposition.

I would propose the following:

"I will meet the woman with whom I am supposed to be at the right place; at the right time."

On another note, if I didn't live in Manhattan, I think I'd have to have that car!

The dude sweater looks awesome on the dude - good job! Kudos for knowing when it's not the right time, and for writing the potential date a great email. Most of us would have just gone along, then tried to wiggle out later, which would have made everything much worse.

"One of the delights known to age, and beyond the grasp of youth, is that of Not Going."
J.B. Priestley

Good for you...and there will come a time when "Going" feels right...

I *so* understand the alone time thing too. Sadly, I get far too little alone time, since I live in very cramped, shared housing. Ah well.

The extreme longing for time alone that I've been having was beginning to worry me - now I feel like I'm in *great* company! In an alone kind of way, of course :)

Being married with two kids, I get precious little alone time any more. When my husband goes off camping with the kids, I find I don't even want to leave the house, I so enjoy the solitude. If it's what you need right now, savour it, enjoy, and hold on to it while you can!

you know i want that car. i can have two minis. sure i can.

The sweater looks perfect, and he looks so happy in it! Yay!
I think it's great that you know yourself well enough to be able to embrace this alone period and enjoy it! And I do believe the right people come along when you are NOT looking!
One final thing, you are moving to the east coast over my dead, dwarf leg body!!!

Gorgeous dude! Both of them! hee! Lordie that's a LOT of rib knitting. I think I'd have gone mad before I got to the armholes on that one.

I have three kittens looking for good homes right now...orphans, no less. They've been hand fed with little eyedropper bottles from day one by my sister after their mama died. Yeah it's a sob story but it's true!
I'd be HAPPY to drive one of them over to Oakland. You wouldn't even have to leave the house. No need to leave THIS coast for kittens! :)

The sweater is beautiful, you are wise and the new mini convertible is indeed ORANGE! I just found out about this development and am considering employment to get one!

Fabulous sweater. Fabulous you, re: alone time. WOOFs! Snaps!

Gather strength in your solitude. Somehow, my mind sifts through the problems at hand. At the end of my project, I have the finished item(s) and a workable answer to the problem! Not bad for multi-tasking.

Nice sweater-looks terrific on him!

i spent two years turning down non-alone offers. i made the mistake of going on a date or two, but those were QUICKLY revealed as mistakes, thankfully. but the two years has paid off, and i was ready when this incredibly kick-ass relationship snuck up on me and attacked. so do what you gotta do :)

oh, and i'm just a lowly lurker and reader... but i vote on the east-coast move, too!

I think you are a beautiful and fascinating woman. Taking your time and enjoying the pleasure of your own company helps you to learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. I always learn alot from reading your blogs, and in many different areas of life I might add. Cheers,

Time alone is good for the soul - take it! And the jummy looks splendid :)

LOVE the sweater...he is really happy about it also!!
Such great moves on the personal front...I bow to you!

That Dude sure seems to like his sweater, but how could he not since it was knit by the fabulous Rachael!!!

Also kudos on the classy e-mail. I have been in that position before, pushing myself to date because I "should" instead of because I want to. So do whatever it takes to make you happy and screw anyone who says you need another person to validate you. That is crap that society has snuck into out psyche. Too many damn fairy tales as kids.

Okay. Late to the party here, but:

1. Awesome sweater. And such a thoughtful thing to do for a friend. Most people just go for dinner or pizza and beer. Your way? Much classier. Viva you!

2. Alone-ness: I was alone for quite some time before I met the boy. And I reveled in it. I had all sorts of time to do all sorts of interesting things that, ultimately, made me a better person to be around. I wasn't looking to meet anyone when I met the boy, and I think that's made a world of difference. So, for sticking to your guns and writing a thoughtful and honest letter to let your date know it wouldn't happen earns you yet another Viva You!!

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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