Friday, December 21, 2007

The Gifts

Sometimes on a Wednesday night I go to the local yarn store (there is more than one in this city; I only ever go to this one) with knitting and food for an evening of, well, knitting and eating. The crowd is variable - a few weeks ago there were only three of us, but it's generally somewhere under a dozen.

Conversation is generally rather interesting. Last time someone mentioned the commercials for medications which address the male inability to perform, and after laughing about one woman who was WAITING for her husband to need them so that she could substitute Sucrets, the nurse on hand explained how hospital ERs treat The Boner That Won't Die. Not pretty. It involves a large-bore needle. We all congratulated ourselves on our internal genitalia.

Later I watched two of the women exchange gifts, such a vicarious pleasure for me. As Barb carefully unwrapped her first gift, unrolling the green tissue paper from a soft bundle, a pair of handknitted black socks (with little thread butterflies still attached to the toes; in case alteration was required), she started laughing and handed Kay a matching soft bundle: a pair of black-marled blue-green socks.

Kay and Barb spend time together. They knit together, but not these socks. Each had to casually ascertain the other's preferred cuff and foot length (Kay has smaller feet than Barb) while congratulating themselves on their subtlety and tact and fabulous ability to keep such a delicious secret. Each tried on a sock; each proclaimed it perfect, Kay grabbing the black socks back so that she could properly finish them.

I don't think either of them needed to sell anything in order to give, but the perfection of the symmetry put me in mind of The Gift of the Magi.

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