Dearest Friends,

I know that you have enjoyed a Wendy story or 2 in the past. I’m afraid that this particular┬ástory is not of the enjoyment kind, but should serve as a warning of what can happen if you aren’t terribly careful when shopping.

This is what happened to me just before the New Year rang in. A friend invited me to a formal party. Formal? Me? So I went to my other friend Nan immediately for guidance. Nan helped me out by telling me what people have worn to this party in the past. I wrote back that I couldn’t possibly justify purchasing a new party dress. Nan thoughtfully explained that the way a woman can and MUST justify such an expense is by buying something sleek and silky in black that can easily be added to something I already own and worn again and again. She further advised that she had seen items of this specific nature in the Calvin Klein section of Marshall Fields.

Prepare yourself. What happened to me was a tragedy. If I can but help one person from suffering the same tragic experience it shall have been for a good cause…below is the letter I wrote back to Nan about what happened.

Dear Nan,

Armed with my credit card and your fantastic advice on the justification of party dress purchasing I stomped on into Marshall Fields. Turning my nose up at all the frilly temptations I immediately headed for the Calvin Klein section to check out anything and everything in black that could be easily used again and again. Will power? Check. Inventory of closet items that could match something new? Check. Blinders to other sections and bright colors? Check. OH I was so proud of myself! Such discipline!

And then it happened…. *sob* It wasn’t my fault Nan! I was so well behaved! I entered the dressing room with basic black! Truly, can I help it that some shoddy salesperson hadn’t emptied out the dressing room? Could it NOT be argued that there was a reason, no, in fact that it was FATE ITSELF that caused that bright emerald dress with the silver stitching and plunging neck line to be hanging there so beautifully IN MY SIZE? Who am I to argue with fate? I mean really, what was the harm in at least trying it on? Can I help it that it fit so well?

Okay, so it was a ridiculous amount over what I had told myself I could spend. But for God’s sake Nan, it was ON SALE! I stepped out to the 3 way mirror just so that I could remember what it felt like to have on a dress like that. I was not at all prepared for the saleswoman to gasp and say “Oh it’s lovely. You MUST have that dress.” Well now she’s the professional, right? I mean she works right there as a representative of Marshall Fields itself. Me? I am no professional. I think it would be wrong of me to imply that I know any better than her.

So I bought it. *cringe* I know I know. It is a ridiculously obvious color that I will not be able to wear amidst the same company ever again. Therefore the amortization justification can not be applied. I am a weak woman. You should not judge me, but feel pity. It’s quite sad really.

So there you have it. I did not follow your advice. I’d talk further, but the saleslady recommended a fabulous place to find shoes to match the dress. Oh now stop it! Wipe that look off your face! Of course I must find shoes to match perfectly after the ridiculous amount of money I spent on the dress! Why, the whole thing could be ruined otherwise! Then it would all be for naught! (Yes, naught…not naughty. Amazing how one little letter can change the whole context of a thing.)

Okay. See you tonight then? We’ll keep this little chat between us?

So knitting doesn’t seem to fit my persona. Ok I’ll give ya that. People have asked how this came to be so I shall post a story that I wrote about it back when I first began in October 05…

A stitch in time…saves nine. What a stupid cliche. I’d like to know who comes up with these types of sayings. In fact I was so annoyed that I decided to look it up. The result? There was no origin listed. Just a simple explanation:

1. If you address problems when they first happen, you will save time and prevent trouble in the future.

Well now there’s a concept. Why not just SAY that? Cliche’s drive me insane. Especially when they are WRONG. A stitch in time (ok, let’s just start right there. Who the hell actually stitches “time”?) saves nine. OH really. Nine you say? It will save nine stitches? Where’s the data on this? Who compiled the facts? Why not 8 stitches?

So you might be wondering what I’m rambling about. It all started last week and was entirely someone else’s fault. After all, I am much too hip to wake up and decide “Well now. What a beautiful day to learn how to knit.” It’s a feat that I can even lace my own shoes after all the years that velcro was the trendy way to go. Trust me, this was not my idea. No. It was brought to my attention that perhaps I should find a new way to relax. That perchance I am wearing too many hats (explanation: to perform many different tasks), that I’m wound tighter than a spring (explanation: to be very tense or often angry) and need a source of relief.

A source of relief? This lovely woman (ok so I’m seeing a therapist) has taken HOW MUCH of my money to tell me I need to relax? What brilliance! You mean I didn’t begin therapy because I was overwhelmingly happy, calm and at peace? She then suggested that knitting could be quite therapeutic. I told her I couldn’t wait to refer people to her, scheduled my next session and hit the road. Knitting. Puhleeze. Oh that’ll happen.

I drove home only to find myself locked out. Peering through the front window I saw my keys hanging exactly where they were supposed to be…had I been on the other side of the door. This was easy to see because every single light in my house was on. Just then my house started to shake. Windows rattled. The chair on the porch slowly bounced it’s way back and fell off the edge. Score! The teenager was home! Unfortunately the hideous music my house was dancing to was so loud that she couldn’t hear me knocking or calling her cell phone.

HA! The back door. The child never locks the back door after letting the dog out. I have lectured her about this til I am blue in the face (explanation: talking so fast that one loses oxygen to the point where one’s face turns blue). With my heels sinking into the mud I unlatched the gate and walked through to the back. So intent was I on getting myself inside that I didn’t watch where I was going. Clearly the teenager had not gotten around to doggie poop patrol. #@*&!^ Locked. She chose TODAY to listen to me? I would have gone through the roof (explanation: to get very upset or angry) but that would have required that I be inside.

30 minutes later I was scraping my shoe on the curb in front of the craft store while some woman walked by with a hideous child pointing and laughing (I stuck my tongue out at her since the mom wasn’t looking). Oh yes. This relaxing thing is starting already. What a great suggestion.

Me at a craft store. No one would believe it. I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I can remember presenting people with my drawings as a child only to have them say “Oh it’s lovely. What is it?” I am not what one would call artistic.

Most of the stuff in the store made no sense. Did you know they have an entire aisle of twigs? Twigs! People pay money for this? I have a fortune back home that I didn’t even know about. Making a note to myself that I should pay for my next therapy session in twigs I headed to the back corner where the yarn was kept.

Wow. Look at it all. This is not your grandma’s yarn basket (explanation: derived from the original saying “this is not your daddy’s oldsmobile” it is taken to mean things have changed over time for the better). Hundreds of types….colored, multicolored, flecked, fleeced, veloured, feathered, nubby, prewashed, glazed…on and on. Oh and look at all the different kinds of needles! Did I mention patterns? Samples?! I found a whole rack of lovely things that I could knit. Christmas is solved! I’ll simply knit for people this year! No more stressing over not being able to afford nice gifts! I’ll be so relaxed that I’ll sleep right through the holiday. In fact I’m feeling relaxed already. This will be great. I don’t know why I never thought of this before.

I dumped my armful of tranquility onto the cashier’s counter. I beamed at the cashier. She beamed back. Such good buds we’ll become. I will remember this day fondly.

“SO, knit anything lately?” I asked her.

“Why yes. In fact that very sweater on the front of the book you’re buying. I knit that for my cousin’s daughter. Cute as a button she is (explanation: said as a compliment, this phrase describes someone as very cute). I just hope it will fit. She’s been growing like a weed (explanation: to grow quickly or out of control). That one’s pretty easy to put together. It only took me a month.”

A month? It takes a whole month to knit one lousy sweater? It takes, what, 5 minutes to buy at the store? Deep breath. Just think of the joy a handcrafted sweater will bring. The praise that will be lavished upon me for my devotion and skill. I am calm. I am relaxed.

“Now then dear. That will be $147.53. Do you already have the spacers, cable stitch holder, gauge and yarn needles at home? Oh you’ll need 5 yarn bobs too. Sweetie? Are you ok? Why you look as if you’ve just seen a ghost (explanation: to pale in fear).

So 20 minutes later I left with 3 types of yarn, 2 sets of needles and a “You can learn to knit” book as well as a registration for 2 knitting classes and a receipt that was much prettier than the original price quoted. By now the child had called 3 times to see why I wasn’t home yet and to inform me that for some reason unbeknownst to her a fuse had blown and we were all out of the type we need. (Yes, I need to update my electrical system but that’s another email entirely.)

Have you ever looked at an instruction book for knitting? “Ezy knitting” is what the company that makes the book is called. Beautiful. I’m trusting my mental health to people who can’t even spell. Touting the easiest instructions ever it promises I’ll be knitting in no time. After a brief explanation of the knit stitch and the purl stitch it tells me it’s now or never (explanation: the time has come to make a decision or take action) and that baptism by fire (explanation: to gain experience by being in a stressful situation) is the best way to go. Excuse me? A stressful situation?! Isn’t that what I’m trying to avoid by knitting to begin with?

Knit two…purl one…knit two..purl one….

“MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Where are my gold heels?”

“You have gold heels? What are you wearing that’s going to match gold heels? Wait a’s 9:15, where are you going at 9:15 in something that matches gold heels?”

“Do you have them or not?” mutter mutter mutter when I ask a question mutter mutter mutter.

“Seeing as how I didn’t know you even had any gold heels I would guess not.”

Oh great. What row am I on? Purl or stitch? How is one supposed to tell when what one is knitting doesn’t remotely resemble anything pictured in the EZY book? Ok. Purl 2. Knit 1. Purl 2. Knit…

“Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Tara’s here and we’re going up to Caribou to study and then to pick up my gold purse and can I borrow your Linkin Park CD and oh I’m taking your keys because I can’t find mine. Ok bye.” The door slams and I hear what are presumably gold heels clicking down the sidewalk.

She has a gold purse? I commiserate for a moment with Kali (the dog) about how out of it I am and then look back at my knitting which by now resembles something that should be relegated to rag status and thrown into the bucket in the laundry room. Merry Christmas dear family members. I have knit you rags. At this point Klepto (one of the cats) pulled hard enough on the yarn that it broke. Amendment: I have knit you half a rag. Ho ho ho.

Cut to an hour later. The child is now 15 minutes late. The dog is at the bottom of the yard barking at something on the other side of the fence. Rembrandt (one of the cats) is merrily chewing up the roses my date gave to me (yes, that’s a different email too). But am I screaming? Why no. Am I stressing? Why no. I have managed to knit an ENTIRE inch of what will hopefully become a scarf and it actually looks like it has a shot of becoming one. Ah peace. Bask in it.

Sudden honking from the front. Krista stomps on up to the porch while shouting goodbyes to someone in a car that I don’t even recognize. She has the gold purse. She does not have my keys or my cd. Shall I vent? I take the high road (exlanation: to take the morally or socially acceptable route) and decide to show my child how genius her mother has become at knitting. We get into my room just in time to see the final stitch unravel as Chaucer (one of the cats) walks away with the yarn in his mouth.

I tell you what, I was “madder than a wet hen” because now I was “back to square one” after having spent “an arm and a leg” to attempt something the “boils down to” me having “bit off more than I can chew.” But let’s not “beat around the bush” about this because if after I have “burnt the candle from both ends” trying to make something lovely for people they should be kind and remember that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and even a rag is “better than a kick in the teeth” and if you think you could do better then you are “barking up the wrong tree.” So the “ball is in your court” but don’t expect me to teach you how to knit “at the drop of a hat” because that would be like “the blind leading the blind” and it would leave me with an “axe to grind” and possibly make me believe you have “bats in the belfry.”

And don’t you dare tell me to “look on the bright side” because that would be SUCH a cliche and not even funny enough to “leave me in stitches” because now that the cat has done his work I’m mostly just left with a “yarn to tell.” Sigh.


I am truly blessed to have not one, but TWO friends who travel to New York for work. When they do I never fail to hint at how lovely it would be to have an official fake purse. Prada…Coach…Gucci…Kate Spade…I’m not picky. My last hinting mission was successful and Shannon deserves to be thanked publicly. She presented me with her fabulous find during a particularly difficult week at work. The moral of the story is to administer fake purses immediately if I look unmotivated. Read on dear friends:

My dearest Shannanna,

It’s cloudy and rainy and I do protest
This work stuff is taking up time from my rest.
The covers look comfy, my cats want me back
To call on a client or just hit the sack?

I beam at the thought that my Shannon would say
Oh crawl right back under, just skip work today.
And that’s when it hit me and made me feel sad
I’m down on my quota and cannot be bad!

So now I feel guilty and sad and depressed
The month end is looming and now I’m all stressed.
Rather than hiding and dreaming I’m wealthy
I’m to get up and take actions all healthy.

I have to get ready and face a whole day
Of calling on clients with nothing to say.
To make matters worse I feel fat and poochy
Then I looked up and I saw my new Gucci!

So now I’m all happy and charged to head off
The girl with the gucci! Oh don’t you dare scoff!
So classy! Successful! A woman of means!
To hell with the suit I can sell them in jeans!

My bag at my side I shall charge through their door
While shouting out slogans and pricing and more!
Today is MY day and with just this last verse
I’m off to attack it while wielding my purse!


Yes that’s right, you heard correctly. Single, NEVER married.

When did “single” become such a bad word? Somewhere between 25 and 30 the word took on new meaning. The proudly proclaimed “Yep! Still single!” became a whispered “yes. why yes I am.”

I’ve been busy. I’ve been raising a daughter for the last 18 years. I haven’t had time. Single mama with a mortgage and all that. She had the nerve to grow into the independent woman I raised her to be. Now what? Suddenly I have all this time.

Now I’ve become a project. Older women from church want me to meet their newly divorced sons. Friends want to invite me to dinner parties where lo and behold, there happens to be a man who is also single. Of course he just happens to be sitting by me.

Apparently it’s not hopeless. Taking matters into my own hands and signing up for personals has introduced me to an entire world of men who can’t WAIT to marry me…if I could just please send the proper airfare to Nigeria.

Lest you think me completely impossible I should mention that I have met a few nice men from personals. Unfortunately the first was older than he said he was (hey what’s 10 years?), the second was NOT over his ex and the third was very sweet..but just got out of a long term relationship and who wants to be rebound girl?

I realize you meet people when you stop trying and least expect it. But they just never seem to knock on my door while I’m reading on the couch. I have to put myself out there in some way, right?

Perhaps my calling in life is to be the “single, never married” woman. I could be the new hit series “Sexless in the city.” There has to be a market for that, right? What do you suppose they’d advertise? If it didn’t work out the network could always marry me off…maybe THAT’s how it’ll happen for me…