First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in my little trip down Elderly Lane. I thought one answer would stand out, be the obvious winner, but I'm saddened and gleeful to say that many, many of us are far more mature than I had suspected.
I do, however, hold a special warm place in my heart for "I have to go home and take my pill."
Now, on to new business. It's silent-auction season. You either just looked puzzled and murmured "Auctions have a season...?" or just sighed and thought Like you need to tell me that, Quinn. As if I haven't stood around in someone's living room twice in the last month holding a glass of oaky white wine trying to find something cheap to bid on.
If it's not your kid's school, trying to cobble together a working budget one bath-salt basket at a time, it's your favorite charity, hoping to cover their fund-shortage by getting a bidding war going on the Dr. Who
DVD collection. I don't go to the short of silent auctions where men in hand-tooled shoes nearly come to blows over the lifetime supply of Cuban cigars. I go to the sort of silent auctions where people try to avoid eye-contact with the woman staffing the basket-room as they ask themselves What can I bid on which is cheap but not so cheap that I look as if I resent how oaky the Chardonnay is?
Or, in my case, you bid on the thing which is ill-concieved. Yes readers, I pick my auctions items the way I pick my pets; pity. Which is where one would have found me a few weeks ago, stopped in dismay in front of a basket with a large card declaring it the "KNITTING BASKET!!!" The exclamation points just made the unbid-upon items just that much more wistful. I examined the contents. Yes, there was yarn, a Matterhorn of yarn. It was soft, yes, and thick but in colors best described as Ish; bluish, greenish, pinkish. One color was so adament to not commit to a place on the spectrum it would best have been described as being ish-ish. There was a set of size 14 needles and a knitting book which had seen several owners, at least one of whom had been of the "Eating while reading" variety. I have participated in enough silent auctions, on both sides of the basket, often enough to be able to read the semiotics of this item. Back in the 80's, someone had decided to make her male loved one a sweater of the sort Bill Cosby wore on his show. She bought herself a book; she bought herself needles; she bought yarn. And then she bought some more yarn. And then, because buying yarn is possibly the most fun you have with yarn, she bought some more yarn. On cold winter nights, she'd eat some soup or some chili and, flipping through the knitting book, dream of putting all the men in her life in matching sweaters of great comfort and no particular color.
Thirty years passed.
Then, one day, her neighbor mentioned she was the coordinator for a silent auction and wouldn't this woman like to donate something to help the children/dogs/the sinking palazzos in Venice and she thought I can finally get that closet space back!
Next thing you know, it's an unloved pile of yarn and I'm writing my name next to the minimal opening bid.
"Is this Quinn?"
"I'm calling from the silent auction. You won the yarn basket!"
Of course I did.
Details to follow.