August 27, 2008
An Actual Conversation
Yesterday afternoon I was knitting on the subway, headed toward Rachel H's house so that we could go up to the Aurora Guild and drink beer and eat butter tarts speak to the guild. (Good times.) I sat there, going round and round on a sock with four DPNs, and a woman and her son, maybe 7 or eight years old, got on and sat opposite me. The boy watched me for a little bit, and then turned to his mum and said
"What's she doing?" The mum looks and me, then turns to him and says, quite confidently
"She's crocheting". I smile at the pair of them, and then I say to the little boy
"Actually, it's knitting!"
...and the mum looks at me, quirks her eyebrow up, and says, in a haughty and reproachful voice:
"Excuse me... I think I know the difference."
I was stunned. Stunned stupid. Stunned speechless (which actually happens more often to me than you would expect, considering how many speeches I give.) Who argues with the person actually doing a craft? Who does that?
I stared at her, trying really hard to figure out what to say... and I came up empty. I had nothing. Not a single word. (That's a lie. I had a few things, but they were rude, or bordering on rude, or not particularly clever, like "Are you sure about that?" or "Nuh -uh" and I'm not the sort to be rude, or at least I'm the sort who tries to avoid it.) I sat there opening and closing my mouth like a goldfish.
Usually, when this sort of thing happens, I have a brilliant retort. Not then of course, I never have one then....but way later, maybe 3am, when I sit straight up in bed and think of a brilliant, but now entirely useless comeback. This time though, I've come up with nothing.
Any suggestions then, for a civil, clever comeback? What would you have said?
(Not that it's ever going to come up again, I mean... Who says that?)
I am not the only one dealing with this particular breed of human I see.