Open Letter

27 April 2007

Dear obnoxious BART commuter:

There’s no way that you could know that I generally dislike making small talk with complete strangers. That said, making snide comments to your seatmate in the third person is precisely the wrong way to get me to turn my head from my knitting to acknowledge you. Bonus wrongness points for mentioning Madame Defarge.

I can ignore you for much, much longer than it will take for you to get bored with trying to get a rise out of me, so why don’t you try a different tack, like maybe asking me a direct question? You don’t even need to compliment the knitting; just ask me about it and I’ll answer you politely, and maybe even chat for a little bit if I’m feeling extraverted. Here, I’ll even save you having to come up with something:

  • How come you’re using so many needles?
  • Is that knitting or crochet?
  • What are you working on?
  • What’s the point of knitting socks when you can just buy them? (Some knitters will be annoyed by this one. I’ll answer it, but you may not get small talk afterward.)

And because I’m feeling generous, a tip for dealing with future female knitters you may encounter: If you see one working on something that looks like it might possibly be for a baby, do not assume she is pregnant, especially not out loud. I did not turn and poke you in the eye, but others may not be as restrained.

Thank you,
dulcian


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