Opinions on the fine crafts involving needles with eyes.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Only the Lonely
This month, Lee asks us:
Sometimes I wonder if we choose stitching because we are more comfortable with pursuits that we do alone, or does our stitching cause us to be loners? So what do you think?
Since we’re stitching alone most of the time, it seems to me that we get great joy from coming together with other stitchers. It can be such a good feeling when we find a group of people who speak our language and understand our stitching excitement and passion. But since not all stitchers are perfect, not all groups can be perfect either. So…if you could create your own perfect stitching group, what characteristics would make it perfect? For instance, would you all be near the same age, or would you like your group to span a generation or two? Would you enjoy political or religious discussions while you stitch or would that make you shy away? Would you like a big group or a small group?
This question reminds me of one we used to ask in graduate school: does the PhD process make you an asshole, or is it that only the assholes can survive the process? (If you think your favorite prof wasn't an asshole, you either 1) went to a liberal arts college or 2) didn't really know your professor.) I was talking about this with a faculty/staff therapist once and he preferred the term "narcissist" but the upshot was the same. There's just so much self-promotion involved with being a professor, it's not funny. Most people came down on the side of both. In fact, the whole process is such a mind f*ck, the Germans have a word for "damaged goods due to obtaining the PhD," promotionsbedchaedigt.
Nor sure if they have one for "being alone because I stitch." I actually think I'm not a loner, much as I pretend to be a misanthrope. Stitching is one of those things I happen to do when I'm alone like read or talk to the dog. But sometimes I read or talk to the dog or stitch in public. And I'd happily stitch in groups all of the time if I could find more of them. I mean, let's face it, the ancient ladies of my working class neighborhood who eat all the cake aren't my ideal group of women.
I'm not sure what my ideal group of stitchers is. Women who think. Who are interested in thinking about stitching beyond "this is what I stitched today," but who are also interested in the world beyond stitching. They should agree with Madeleine Albright that "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." They don't have to share all my beliefs, but they shouldn't watch Fox News.