April 26, 2013

Maybe You Don't Want This Flight

It's 1:30 in the afternoon, and I'm sitting in the airport lounge, boggling at that fact that four hours from now I'll be headed to the dinner that marks the beginning of Yarnover,  and about five hours from now, I'll be up on a stage, talking about knitting the way that I do. A whole other country, a whole other place, a whole other job, four hours away. Fifteen minutes from now I'll have done my final edit on the speech (a different, whole new one) for Sunday night, and then I have the whole flight to cast on Afterlight, and enjoy a nice little knit. (By the way, I think this link for Sunday is better, if you're into it.)

Before I go off and do that though, I want to tell you about the conversation I had at the customs desk on the way into the airport.  There was a long line (customs here is run by the US government, and is effected by the furlough/ sequestration thing) so when I finally got up to the harried US Customs Officer, he looked like he'd really had enough of his day.  "Why are you going to Minneapolis?" he barked.
"I'm going to a knitting conference." I explain, smiling brightly. This is usually the point where they don't ask me any more questions.  They don't want to talk about knitting.  They don't want to hear about how interesting knitting is. I say I'm going to a knitting thing, then they shrug in this "it takes all kinds" sort of way, and wave me into the country.   Not today.
"A knitting conference?" he glares at me.
"Yup." I say. Smiling even more brightly. He's armed. I want him to be having a good day, and to like me.
"That's over." He says this to me like this is absolutely true, and cannot be argued with.  I wonder for a minute what he knows, or what he thinks he knows, and I take a stab.
"I don't think so, I think it's this weekend.  In Minneapolis.  I'm really sure it's not over.'
"No" he says, the hand holding the stamp over my passport just hovering there, like maybe he's not going to stamp it, and maybe I'm not going to go to the knitting conference he thinks doesn't exist.  "It was last week, or maybe the week before, and definitely not in Minneapolis. A lady went through here. She was going.  I think you missed it."
"Oh!" I say this fairly confidently.  "You're totally right. There was a knitting conference a few weeks ago. Stitches - in Atlanta. That's what you're thinking of."
"No." he replies, becoming quite terse. "It was NOT in ATLANTA, and it is absolutely over by now."
"Okay" I say, wondering if I'm going to be allowed to go to the US if I can't figure this out.  "There was another one.  Vogue Knitting, in Seattle? That was in early April?"  He looks at me like I am starting to make sense.  My hopes soar. 
"YES." He exclaims, and as punctuation, he stamps my passport. "It WAS SEATTLE!"  We are both relieved to have worked this out. I can tell.  He continues "Any way you slice it, I'm pretty sure you missed it." 
"It's okay" I say, trying to sound reassuring. "There's another one. In Minneapolis."

"Three in a month?" he says, making it clear that this is not possible,  and then he realizes that we're talking about knitting.
"Just go." He says,  and with that, he gave me a look that said that he hoped I had fun at the knitting conference that was over and I was totally not going to, and turned to the next person in line. 
I can't tell you how much I hope they're going to Unwind.

Posted by Stephanie at April 26, 2013 1:37 PM