Thursday, June 26, 2008

Didn't Your Mother Ever Tell You....

The other day while I was at work, I was checking out this woman's books when she commented, "You don't look any older than 15."

I said nothing, just continued checking out the books. She looked at me for a moment, then said, "Are you older than that? Not by much, surely. Sixteen?"

The woman was clearly in her retired years, so perhaps anyone younger than 40 looked infantile to her, but we'll ignore that for now. And we'll ignore the fact that no teenager would ever be working behind the reference desk at a library (at least not at mine). We'll also ignore the fact that, regardless of how someone wants to look when they are 40, it's quite rude to tell a 20-something that they look like they're in high school (Think about everything a 15-year-old can't do that a 20-something can. And honestly? Who are you more likely to respect?).

But we'll ignore those facts, because there's something else that was bothering me more. When I was a child, I was taught that there are three questions that you never (NEVER EVER) ask an adult for two reasons: A) It's none of your business and B) It would be rude.

How old are you?
How much do you weigh?
How much money do you make?

There is exactly one reason (and one reason only) that you should be asking a stranger any of those questions: if it's an integral part of your job (The sales clerk at the liquor store has the right to know). Otherwise, regardless of how old you are, or how old the person you're asking is, you NEVER EVER ask these questions of anyone. I don't know the ages of most of the people I work with -- and I'm on first name basis with all of them.

So, since when did growing older excuse people from basic politeness? So this woman was old enough to be a grandmother. So what? Does that mean that she can just ignore basic rules of etiquette? In fact, if she was indeed a grandmother, then it stands to reason that she was responsible for installing manners into at least one other person, which means she should be familiar with the fundamental laws of decorum. And if she feels that she can go around asking complete strangers their age, I shudder to think how her child was raised.

So if you happen to see someone who you think doesn't look their age? Unless it is your responsibility to make sure they are old enough to do the activity they're trying to do, keep your mouth shut. Whether they look their age or not, IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS how old they are.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Only Three More Months

Until school starts again. In the meantime, I'm knitting myself a poncho, which will at least help me deal with the blasted ice box the HVAC system thinks I need to be in at work.

Three months. I can do it. I know I can.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Catching Up

I've finished my butterfly socks.

Knit from something akin to Lion Brand Glitter Spun. The pattern is made up. The color is a bit off, due in part to the lack of natural light when I took this picture. At the time, I had all the lights off and the curtains drawn in my apartment in an effort to escape from the (insert filthy explicative of your choice here) heat wave that we were going through earlier in the week.

I've also completed my forest green socks, knit from one of the skeins I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool. The pattern is my own standard sock pattern.

I took the remnants and knit a pair of toesies,

which, contrary to the photo are actually done now. They're a little short, but I'll manage.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


We humans are a weird bunch. I realize this is not news to any of you, but it has really come to my attention in recent days -- so much so that I feel forced to comment on it. Of course, I am including myself in this bunch. I would never dare to accuse other people of being strange without making the statement about myself in the process. I'm sure I lead the pack in some areas.

Food is where we are definitely the weirdest. I pity the poor alien anthropologist whose job it will be to observe us someday. Think about it. I will gripe about $4 gas, then go and spend the exact same amount of money on some fancy drink from Starbucks. I will eat beef, and I will eat goose, but absolutely refuse to eat veal or fois grois. I will also not eat tomatoes or peanuts, but throw the tomatoes into a pot and cook until mush, or grind the peanuts until they're the consistency of soft butter, and I'll eat them both with gusto.

But I'm not the only weird one. The whole human race is like this. We believe that eating Rocky Mountain oysters will miraculously correct some ailment we have with our own corresponding body part (don't laugh -- that's how the whole custom started), and will eat fish eggs, monkey brain, and asparagus for the exact same reasons. We will eat chicken, and we will eat eggs, but we will not eat fertilized chicken eggs, even though they're basically the same things. My friend S from college thought rice pudding was gross, because she believes that rice and milk are two foods that don't go together, but she didn't bat an eye at a bowl of Rice Krispies. My brother will not eat cherries, but he will eat the cake part of cherry pudding that has juice in it. My coworker M will eat turnip greens by the bucket load -- but refuses to eat the turnips themselves. She'll also eat liver, but not kidneys or chitlins. And my friend T from church will gladly consume most any form of animal flesh set before her, but was sufficiently grossed out the other day when I told her where Jello comes from.

Yep. There's no denying it. We are one odd species.