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Sunday, February 21, 2010

On avoiding pink

Christa isn't like everyone else, and she never has been. I knew that even the day I met her, a hot summer day in 1999 when she rolled into the bureau at my old newspaper in Connecticut. With a pixie haircut and string of earrings up her lobe, she came in and announced that her car had no AC, so she was sorry if she was sweaty. I liked her instantly, and by that night, she was sleeping over at my apartment while she looked for a place of her own.


When I think of our time as friends in New Haven, I think of Hemingway's description of his early days in Paris -- "we were very poor and very happy." Our salaries were so measly that we lived quite literally paycheck to paycheck, surviving on what seemed like a diet of tofu and baby carrots but somehow managing to have so many adventures. We stayed up all night baking inappropriate Valentine cookies, like angels wearing bikinis, while listening to the "Magnolia" soundtrack. We put "Anyway You Want It" on repeat on the jukebox at the bar down the street. We headed to the independent theater to watch "The Blair Witch Project" then got scared while driving home through the woods.

Christa and I dreamed big, trying to cook brie en croute and vegetable ragout for a holiday party, when all anyone wanted was pretzels. Or hosting a baby shower where we were so distracted by creating a butterfly out of cupcakes that we accidentally added meat to the vegetarian baked ziti and found ourselves trying to pick it all out.

We were goofballs, imitating ogres whenever we were stressed or tired, losing our minds with excitement when a "Forever 21" opened up nearby, and doing the "knee-straddle-knee" routine from step aerobics in the middle of the office. Nothing ever simply worked out -- hilarity always seemed to ensue.

And I guess we were probably totally co-dependent -- she once told me that she had me programmed as "911" on her cell.

I might never really grasp Christa's impact on my life. She was my museum-going, interpretive-dance loving friend. Having lived in New York City, she made the city seem manageable to me -- she even once brought me to a party in the neighborhood that I now call home. She was the friend who saw qualities in me that I never saw -- being brave or strong or talented. But she was also a straight-shooter, seeing through my nonsense and calling me out when I needed calling out. Even now that she's seemingly a million miles away in Denver, I still phone her for a reality check.

So when Christa told me that she was pregnant with a little girl, I didn't even need her to tell me that she was avoiding tons of pink, pink, pink. I knew she'd wanted something different and, indeed, the nursery is orange, purple and green.

This is a new stitch for me -- larksfoot -- in rather loud shades of Knit Picks Telemark. But, see, I knew Christa wouldn't mind something a little wild and kooky and different.

7 Comments:

Blogger Mainland Streel said...

I'm an occasional crocheter (mostly because of my frantic, varied schedule), and somehow found your blog on google while looking for fellow yarnophiles.

I just wanted to say that I really enjoy the way you weave life stories into your entries about craftiness. I guess it's true that a lot of projects have stories, and I'm glad that you tell them. :)

8:59 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Oh my gosh that was the sweetest story I wish I was best friends with you guys, lol.

2:59 PM  
Blogger KnittyLynn said...

What a wonderful testament to your friendship. :)

9:43 PM  
Anonymous christa said...

i love the story as much as the blanket! aw, hell, i love the story more . . . because the blanket will remind me of all those crazy times. love you.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

what an amazing and incredible friendship! a keeper, for sure. that's a gorgeous blanket for her little girl on the way. great job!

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

What would we be without friends like that?

5:46 AM  
Blogger Karen Olson said...

This is fantastic, and please send my congratulations to Christa! How exciting for her!

1:44 PM  

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