Saturday, November 11, 2017

"That's going to take a long time."

I was darning in the sun at the food coop this afternoon, with Julia. 
A woman came up and asked what I was doing, as people do when you sew in public. (I like that.)

When I showed her, and explained that darning this old handwoven blanket is like darning a sock, she said she'd never heard of darning. She thought it was a great idea, though, to repair a family heirloom.*

Another woman seemed unimpressed. 
She said in a flat voice, "That's going to take a long time."

That doesn't necessarily mean she disapproved. 
Maybe it's an international phenomenon, but I'd say hers was a classic old Nordic Minnesotan  response, to offer discouragement, to express some version of "That won't work".
I don't know--it's like it'll keep the trolls away or something.

Come to think of it, Sicilians can be like that too:
expressing too much joy at, say, the birth of a baby, could attract il malocchio (the evil eye) and invite  bad luck. So maybe being discouraging is a safety precaution in lots of cultures.  
At least in the past.
Modern Minnesotans are more likely to say things such as, "Failure is not an option."
(Talk about god-annoying hubris...)

But anyway, I'd just been saying to Julia that I hoped the blanket would have enough holes to keep me busy all winter, so I replied  happily
"Yes, it's my winter project! It keeps me warm."

*heirloom: 1472, ayre lome, from heir (q.v.) + loom in its original but now otherwise obsolete sense of "implement, tool." Technically, some piece of property that by will or custom passes down with the real estate.

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