At the knitters’ party last Saturday I told about the stranger I met that day who didn’t want my compliment on her handknit.
It was a young woman at the station, passing me by. She wore a fun hat that looked handknitted. It was clearly a statement accessoire. I loved her for wearing it! So I wanted to compliment her. It’s so nice when you’ve made an effort on your outfit and somebody else notices it.
As she walked by I said very loudly: “Hey! Cool hat!”
But she didn’t say a word and just kept walking, purposefully ignoring me.
Leaving me confused.
This story I told my knitting friends and at one time I shouted my compliment over the table filled with pies and knitting.
“Hey! Mooie muts!”
My friends roared.
They laughed harder than the story merited and they were not so much laughing with me, they were laughing at me.
It took a moment and then it clicked. I had actually insulted the stranger…
The Dutch word for “knitted hat” is “muts”. But “muts” is also a very condescending and well known slang word meaning “dumb lady”… (it has to do with unshaved regions of the body)… and I had bellowed it at the young woman on the platform.
I feel so bad. I so hope she gave me the benefit of the doubt, eventually. I so wish it didn’t harm her self esteem. I’m so dumb at times.
Yes, I may be something of a muts myself.
But at least I make knitters laugh.
Incidentally, this is the hat I want to knit soon:
Neon Ski Bonnet by Lacey Volk, a free pattern based on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s work. Double layer over the ears for warmth.
You can compliment me on it in any way you like.