Epilogue for a Shrug

Once upon a time, there lived a maiden who endured a harsh, cold exile in the land of corn known in atlases as “Ohio.” Her fair skin and frail constitution suffered mightily in the gales of the unending winter of this unforgiving land, but she survived gaily nonetheless, because her sentence was no punishment. No, she had taken herself and as many of her belongings as would fit in her silver chariot to live in a creaky house, in a room that used to be a bathroom and that was roughly twice the size of her bed… for love.

Yes, she undertook this exile to be close to her betrothed, who was completing his indentured servitude under a horrible master called a “bachelor’s degree.” (Appropriate in retrospect, as he acquired this certification of bachelorhood just before his marital bachelorhood came to an end. But I digress.) So while our heroine had many adventures (including learning how to keep from freezing in a house where “central heat” means that a three-square-foot spot in the “center” of the house is heated), much of her time was spent preparing for her wedding.

This girl loved knitting before she came to her open-skied prison, but there’s nothing like mobile solitude to increase one’s affection for a portable handicraft. She knit silk handkerchiefs, she knit a wool vest, she knit an alpaca skirt, she knit wrist warmers, she knit hats; she knit watching TV, she knit cuddling with her future spouse, she knit in job training, she knit while working, she knit in the park, she knit in the car (but not while driving. That’d be sweet to figure out).

After all her labours had come to an end, her wedding day was approaching. She was about to return to her parents’ castle in the forest by the sea, and she only had one thing left to knit. Something to wear on the eve of her wedding, to keep her shoulders warm, reminding her of the hardship she had suffered, the patience she had learned, the obstacles she’d overcome. She knit it up in about four days and enjoyed it mightily.

Then, about five days before her first anniversary, she put it in the washer.


I. Am. A. Moron. On what planet did I think for two minutes that this would be okay? Why not at least see what the stuff is made of before blithely letting it swish around with my underwear? What logic did I use that brought me to the conclusion that “as long as I don’t put it in the drier, it’ll be okay”? What utter turpitude could inspire such a mistake! Gah! Apparently I do not deserve my own stuff. The thing is now several sizes too big for me and has lost most of its flattering elasticity.

So uh… if any of you lovely folks are or know a lady who wears about an XL-XXL and would like a sky-blue shrug… send me your/her address.

Oh yeah. And we leave for Uganda tomorrow.

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