Sunday, July 27, 2008

Knitting in public

Camy here, talking about being embarrassed or not caring what people think.

Most of the time, I’m ashamed to admit I really do care too much about what people think. Which is stupid, because who cares what strangers think of me?

As long as my husband and my friends and my youth group think I’m a wonderful person, that’s all that matters, right? Right? (At least, let’s hope they think I’m a wonderful person. LOL)

So, for a long time, I used to be embarrassed to knit in public. I felt like it was just too weird a thing to do, because, hellooooo who the heck is knitting in public? I certainly never see anyone knitting while waiting in line or in a doctor’s office. (Not here in Silicon Valley, anyway.)

But on the other hand, my personality is so anal retentive that I can’t stand having nothing to do! And there are some places where it’s just not feasible to read a book, mostly because I get so caught up in it that I won’t notice if someone calls my name.

So I took the plunge. I took my cute little pink bag with my sock knitting and went to the post office.

Yes, you read that right. The post office. Because of all the places I hate to wait, it’s there.

It’s always sooooo busy, and the line is out the door, and there are little kids running around because their mothers are in line, and other people are trying to cut in front of you, and it’s just noisy and crowded.

So I got my envelopes of books to mail, stuck them in a tote bag on my shoulder, hung my knitting bag off my wrist, and stood in line and knit.

The knitting motion made me not so anxious about the screaming kids or the people jostling me. Since I concentrated on my work, I didn’t see anyone giving me strange looks, and so I didn’t feel (too) anxious about it.

Then I took my knitting to the doctor’s office for my husband’s appointment. And it was great! I got a ton of knitting done while waiting for my husband. I only got one or two strange looks from a man in the corner, but then he just ignored me.

Now I take my knitting everywhere! And I no longer care if people are looking at me, because I’m satisfied that I’m being productive during times when otherwise I’d be doing nothing.

I don’t know how I went from being scared of what strangers would think of my knitting to not caring. Maybe it’s God trying to show me that it’s really not as big a deal as I think it is.

And, granted, there are lots of other things that I’m still embarrassed to do in public, like dancing--(shudder) I still am not comfortable with my body to want to jiggle the fat around to an audience, you know?

How about you? Anything you’re embarrassed to do in public, or used to be embarrassed about?

Camy Tang lives in San Jose, California. She previously worked in biology research, and she is a staff worker for her church youth group. She runs the Story Sensei critique service, and her latest Asian chick lit novel, Only Uni, released in February. Join her newsletter YahooGroup for monthly Christian fiction giveaways!


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Camy -

I popped over here from your blog. Great post.

In this area, it's not uncommon to see women knitting or crocheting in public. I'm fascinated and will often strike up a conversation with them.

When a friend and I were learning sign language, we would practice whenever we had the opportunity. Since the only time we were together was in class, at church, or shopping at the mall, we'd see a lot of people staring. At first it was embarrassing, but we discovered most of the time people didn't think we were weird. They were just curious.

Hey, this is a pretty cool blog. I'll have to visit again.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...


I think I'm over the age limit for this blog, but if you guys don't mind an older sister, I'll visit occasionally. :)


Deb said...

Well, when you're wheelchair bound at seventeen, you learn real fast that people are always gonna judge you. The question is: are you going to let it get to you?

I chose not too and ended up enjoying the time that I could leave the house because I wasn't focused on those who were staring at me. :)

I don't use a wheelchair currently, but it's always an option with my health. :)

Debbie :)

Camy Tang said...

Susan, I'm "sistering age" too, so don't feel out of place!

Good for you, Debbie! You learned it at seventeen, it took me a while longer to learn. LOL