The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Photos and Owner's Manuals

This is what compassion looks like:There are 16 squares there, plus I have one on the needles (a slipped garter pattern that is lovely and also as slow to knit as if I'd dipped my needles in honey before I started), so only 163.5 to go. And, if that number sounds too daunting, consider this: each blanket will have 3o one of them is more than halfway done. How much do you guys rock? (It's a lot, in case you weren't sure on that one.)

This, on the other hand, is what boredom must look like:

These are Mr. K's feet, propped up on the office chair. I have no idea whatsoever why he took not one, but two photos of his feet (they're pretty much alike--I figured that if you've seen one, you've seen 'em both), but it was on the media card when I went to download the photos. I've always wondered what men do when they're alone in their manly places (shop, home office). I figured it had to do with scratching or something...but it seems to have more to do with feet. Or photos. Or photos of feet. Am I the only one who thinks men should have come with some sort of owner's manual?

I know, men say that women should come with manuals, but I don't know why. It's not like they ever read the manuals anyway. In my experience, they sort of start with "Oh, I don't need that thing", progress through "What the hell...?" and finally snatch the thing up in an irritated fashion so that they can point out "look at the dumbass way they said to put this together." At this point, it's no good pointing out that, dumbass or no, the one pictured in the manual at least stands upright/has wheels on opposite corners of the downward facing side/has fewer than half the bolts and screws leftover/is not making any sort of strange and threatening noise/has not fallen on and crushed a cat/looks in some vague way like the thing it was supposed to be. If you do, the man will simply wave his hand and point out that "it's supposed to look like this and manuals are for sissies." (For the record, this is not a good time to point out that a sissy with uncrushed cats, a pile of leftover screws that could fit in one hand, and a wheeled device that can actually roll is probably a happy person and may not mind being a sissy. This observation is strangely unwelcome to most men.) Apparently, it is important not to be told how you're screwing something up until it's actually screwed up. A full experience, and all that.

I, for one, would dearly love a book that started thusly:

"Congratulations on your purchase of a model 1961A Man. With proper care and maintanence, your man should give you many years of enjoyment. Some things to consider:

Care and Feeding: Men require a steady diet of things you purchased for yourself and were looking forward to, things you don't have in the house, things that will give them gas, and things that will dirty the largest number of pots, pans and dishes. If none of these things are available, large slabs of red meat may be substituted, or startlingly unhealthy fare from establishments that sell food of the 'Call your Cardiologist Before Consuming' type (such as the new dipping pizza from Pizza Hut, that comes with marinara, garlic sauce, and ranch dressing--because four pounds of bread and cheese with greasy meat was WAY too healthy and really needed a good slug of salad dressing to dunk it in).

Your man will not require clean clothes most of the time and, if he does, he has a built-in clean-clothes detector, also known as the 'sniff the pits of the shirt and if you don't pass out it's okay to wear' feature. Additionally, he is quite likely to become attached to his clothing. Even if his underwear is a strange and disturbing shade of gray, is so thin you could read through it, has elastic so worn out that the leg and waist openings are all roughly the same tired size, or are just so damned old that they consist primarily of a waistband and an idea, DO NOT THROW THEM OUT. Doing so will overload the circuits of your man and it is not guaranteed that he can be repaired. Do not attempt to substitute new underwear, as the man can be severely traumatized by the sensation of clean, soft cloth against his body. Major systems failure is not out of the question.

Your new man will require only about 50% of the bed. Unfortunately, it will be the center 50%. You will need to find a way to sleep in the 25% on either side of him. If you can sleep with an elbow in your face, even better. Likewise, he will require the same center 50% of the blanket, but only in the winter. In the summer, he can be relied upon to pile it generously on top of you, causing you to wake up gasping in a puddle of sweat the size of Lake Erie.

Your man comes equipped with one or more remote controls. They do not operate him, but everything with which he comes into contact. Do not attempt to remove the remote control from his hand. Doing so will lead to a serious short that will cause him to stare blankly at the TV until the remote is replaced. This particular model will need to channel surf during every commercial break, but only long enough to cause you to miss an essential portion of the show you were watching when he forgets what channel it was on and can't get back to it. It is tempting to hide the remote at this time; if you do so, be prepared for your man to assume a fetal position and whimper quietly until it is returned.

The 1961A man comes with many skills and talents. He was not, however, programmed with the ability to bridge the gap between sink and dishwasher. For all intents and purposes, this gap is a black hole to your man, terrifying to him on a primal level. Do not attempt to force your man across that hole. It will not be pretty.

The man in general has very good eyesight, especially for things like tool stores, gnat-sized damage done by any of the cats to any piece of furniture, anything at all done to any vehicle that he drives, and the last cookie in the house. There are a number of gaps in his vision, however--specifically crumbs, toothpaste globs in the sink, whiskers on any bathroom surface, shoes in the middle of the floor, half-empty milk glasses in the living room, and the calendar where the birthdays of his relativese are posted. He is physically incapable of seeing any of these objects and there is no place in his field of vision where that improves. You will need to allow for this."

Hmmm...this could be promising. Any other suggestions? What needs to be in the "Man Owners Manual"? At least you know we'll read it.

Happy knitting, and look again at that picture of compassion. That's all you. You're making this possible.


  • At 9:41 PM, Blogger Tola said…

    Michelle finished hers. She was bored at work today and so took mine away from me. I heard mutterings along the line of "you're not going fast enough" and I handed it over forthwith. Liz called in sick today, and Ronda cast on too many and had to rip. But there will be four more squares, made by me and three co-workers from Logan Utah. To save postage we are sending them all in one package.

  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Julia said…

    Oh. My. Goodness. You mean they're ALL like that? I thought it was just my 1966J model man. Holy crap.

  • At 11:20 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Oh I have a 1961B model and funnily enough he requires that 50% of the bed too ....a lot of other similarites too. I am a 1955 D and find that my model looks at me puzzled about many memories such as the day J.F.K was shot but then he could hardly be expected to remember !

  • At 1:12 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Pretty squares, everyone, congratulations, waytago! I have finally finished my first one, and woohoo, looks like I'll get two squares per ball of the Cascade 220, even on #5 US needles. ::does a little happy-dance:: As soon as the SSD check gets deposited next month, I'm ordering another two balls! (It's great fun looking through my stitch dictionaries for patterns I won't screw up while on the computer. [g])

    ROFL on the Man Manual. (Or is it the MANual?) Mike appears to have been an exceptional one; he did all the dishes while I did all the cooking, 'cause I loathe dishes (but he was quite a decent cook himself); he washed the laundry, I sorted, stain-treated and folded; and when the agoraphobia thing got bad, he ended up doing all the shopping. And we actually shared the remote. (Well, I have to confess, actually I tended to grab it more often than he did. And I was as bad as he was about channel surfing... Yeah, I came with an extremely modified Woman Owner's Manual.) The 1945A Man model did have its own little quirks, though:
    1) Your model is allergic to caffeine. At home he will only drink Kool-Aid, orange. Do not try to substitute other colors of Kool-Aid, as this will cause your man to operate improperly, plus waste a lot of sugar.
    2) Beware of your man's driving, as he has operated vehicles far too long moonlighting as a delivery driver. Seatbelts are a necessity (even before legislation); jackrabbit starts from any stop sign or red light are imperative; the only speed he will operate at is 'over the limit'; and the use of Dramamine is a necessity for passengers prone to motion sickness from whipping around corners (that would be you).
    3) Sleeping: He will need more blankets than you do most times of the year, and accuse you of stealing them despite the fact that you desperately fling the excess on his side as often as possible.
    4) Sleeping, cont.: The snoring is a feature, not a defect.
    I could go on, but as you can see, they must go through massive revisions in the manual every year!

  • At 6:32 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    Go o Flo, write us a manual, this looks like a good start!

  • At 7:51 AM, Blogger All 9 Muses said…

    MANual entry 202: He will be helpless in the presence of ANY operating television. It does not matter that the show is a kids cartoon (in fact, this may be a bigger trap than a sports event). He will be unable to hear anything the first time you say it, up to and including such inticing offers as food or perhaps even "going to bed".

  • At 7:52 AM, Blogger ~Tonia~ said…

    Very nice squares.

    LOL about the MANual. My 1973K model has the multi-tasking error. In no way, shape or form can this model do more than 1 thin at a time. No matter how much training one can provide the brain can not make since of it. Don't even try to explain, help or teach it it futal.

    This model also has the problem of taking all the covers and acusing wife of taking them. While wife is hot and had thrown them his way.

    An alarm clock is to wake most up. Not this model. He can talk to you in his sleep and not remember it. So you will have to make sure that when his alarm goes off he is actually up out of the bed before you can go back to sleep. No matter how many types of alarms you try the result is always the same, don't waste your money.

    He believes driving means putting the vehicle in drive and stomping the gas. Be prepared to replace a vehicle within a few years because of how hard he drives them. Also while in traffic yelling and screaming at the others is a defence mechanism. Don't try and change it or tell him that the people can't hear him, it is pointless.

    This model is equipt with a button in his butt. Once said button is depressed he will go to sleep. No matter where he is or what is going on. The best time to do this for him is either at the mother-in-laws or when his child wants to play. Yet another defence mechanism.

    When it comes to something that he wants to do then it will be done. If it something that you are wanting be prepared to wait a LONG time or do it yourself. It is pointless to keep reminding him because that will only make the waiting that much longer. Think of it this way, you get to learn how to do things that you never would have thought of doing.

    You are expected to listen and be interested in how his day went. When it comes your turn don't waste your breath. He can't listen longer than a few seconds especially if the tv is on.

    Ok I could go on, but I will stop here. LOL

  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    My guess on the foot photo...maybe he was trying to see what the thrill is that we knitters get photographing our feet. Of course, without handknit socks, it just isn't the same...

  • At 3:23 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Oh mercy... first of all, the blankie squares are all beautiful! and such beautiful souls knitting them!
    ok..the MANual...(Monica, you and Ms.K both have me roaring with laughter!) it appears the 1950A is quite similar to the 1961A..although it is quite evident this 1950A came with its own mantra..."What I don't know isn't worth knowing"..and although he does bridge that black hole between the sink and dishwasher.. (perhaps they did away with that feature in the late 50s?) it's ditto on the bed, blankies, food, but I do have to say he will wear new boxers...after they've been laundered say 5 times..but that 'waistband and an idea' nearly did me in...hahahahahahaha!

    Are you sure he wasn't taking photos of his naked feet as a hint for some handknit socks? eh?

  • At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OMG - you crack me up!

  • At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I heart the MANual! But let us not forget "Milk Blindness." That's the condition which causes anything in the refrigerator to be invisible if it behind the milk.


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