Changing Expectations…

Yesterday was definitely a “beer-day” at work. A beer-day is often caused by computer problems, but that was not the trigger this time. There were just a couple of weird, frustrating work issues that caused the desire for a beer to kick in well before quitting time.

I should probably explain what I mean by “beer-day”. I’m not talking about a day where I drink beer all day. I don’t drink when I’m working. But when a beer-day is triggered, I start thinking about the beer I’m going to have when I get off work.

It’s important to realize that sometimes my beer-day starts as early as 10am (it can easily start this early when computers are the source of the frustration). Yesterday my beer-day started around 1pm. Once it starts, it usually doesn’t go away. I begin thinking about the beer I’m going to have after work and I think about it the rest of the day.

I often start by thinking about a porter and then progress to IPAs, wheat beers, or stronger beers if the porter direction doesn’t take hold. Yesterday I started thinking about porter and decided that wasn’t quite what I needed. After mentally moving through several other styles of beer, I finally settled on Spaten Oktoberfest (after about three hours of contemplation). That was the beer that would set things right.

While walking to the bar after work to meet my hubby, I was knitting my scarf. [Knitting while walking is normal for me. I’ll probably discuss this in a post at some point.] While walking and knitting I had a strange thought come into my mind. This thought told me I should put my knitting away before walking into the bar, because the bar patrons would think it strange for someone to knit in the bar.

As soon as this thought passed through my feeble brain I had to mentally slap myself silly. (I couldn’t do it for real, because my hands were busy knitting.) What was I thinking?! I’m working on a book called “A Knitter’s Guide to Beer” and I’m thinking people would consider it strange for me to be knitting in a bar! I definitely was not going to put my knitting away now.

In my brain’s defense, the bar we were heading towards was not knitter-friendly; meaning that the light level is very low (making it hard to see my knitting), they only have bar stools or booths (which make it less comfortable to knit than with tables and chairs), and they don’t serve food (it’s just a beer bar).

When I arrived at the bar, I kept on knitting as I walked through looking for Chuck. I knew perfectly well what I was doing there and where I was going, but everyone looked at me as if I must be lost. In fact, one person asked if he could help me with anything.

Chuck wasn’t there yet, so I called him and we decided to meet at the restaurant next door where the beer was better and we could get food. I wasn’t able to complete my silent rebellion by knitting where it wasn’t expected, but I’ll just have to save that for another day. The food at the restaurant was great and I got my Spaten Oktoberfest… and yes, my mental beer-day conclusion was correct. Spaten Oktoberfest was the perfect beer to set things right again!

It’s apparent that if I want to change expectations about knitting and beer drinking, I have to start by addressing my own preconceptions. I can knit and drink beer quite happily at home. Now it’s time to start doing more of it in public.

Want to meet downtown for a beer? I’ll be sure to bring my knitting!

-Jenne Hiigel


4 thoughts on “Changing Expectations…

  1. Okay, so now I’m feeling inspired to start a knitting group in a bar. The problem is, which one? It’s sad that the bar that serves the best beer around here AND has couches is also the cigar bar, the one bar in town that still has smoking. If it wasn’t going to make my knitting smell funny, it’d be perfect. I’ll keep thinking about it though…

  2. Hi Jenne! Yes, I’ll meet you to drink beer and knit. Lets confound and amaze the regular patrons – I have cafe knitting projects already but have to come up with pub projects. No lace!


  3. I went to a get-together of the Jamaica Plain (neighborhood of Boston) knitters at Doyle’s, one of the better-known neighborhood bars in that part of the city. That was back in the spring of 2007, so must have been independent of your posts.

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