So many possible titles

By Mir
November 16, 2007

I have decided that I would like to have a title, as just plain Mir seems to boring and, well, SHORT for someone as verbose as myself. And Mir, Lady Who Looks All Over The Entire House For Your Damn Slippers Even After She Said She Wouldn’t Because It’s Your Own Careless Fault That They’re Lost And Then Delivers A Lecture On Taking Better Care Of Your Belongings And Maybe Throws In A Reference To Starving Children In Darfur Who Would Love To Have A Nice Pair Of Slippers seems just a mite overlong.

(It’s Pajama Day at school today. That’s a persuasive argument for procreation, right there: There is nothing quite like watching your kids walk out the door in pajamas, robes, and backpacks. It’s better than cable television.)

So I’m going to try out a few other things. Right now I’m trying to decide between Mir, First Place Loser and Mir, Backseat Knitter.

Okay, perhaps the first one would wear thin after not too long. (Remember the Bloggers Choice Awards? Those awards where the voting went on for, like, six years? Woulda Coulda Shoulda won second place for Best Parenting Blog. Thank you for your votes. And your patronage. And I am totally jumping up and down on a couch right this very second, telling Oprah that I LOVE THESE READERS! Honest.)

I’m kind of digging the whole backseat knitter thing, though. Because, as it turns out? I am EXCELLENT at that.

Last night I was trying to hustle the kids through dinner because people were coming over, but I made the tactical error of serving edamame with the meal. Now, the good news is that both kids adore edamame, and as foods go, you’d be hard pressed to find something healthier (I mean, if you’re willing to overlook the handful of kosher salt I threw in the bowl) that requires so little prep. It’s my kind of superfood—you throw it in some boiling water, drain, and serve; presto, instant protein. The bad news is that when small children eat edamame out of the pods, you end up with beans in hair, beans skidding across the table, beans falling unseen to the floor amidst anguished cries of “MY MAH-MAYS!”

It’s not the thing to serve when you’re sort of in a rush, is my point.

Nevertheless, eventually we finished dinner and I got the kids shuffled off to bed, and then it was time for my guests to arrive.

I checked my email. I dug around in my closet for something. I put dishes in the sink. I checked the clock.

I realized quite a lot of time had passed, and maybe no one was coming.

I tried not to entertain thoughts of everyone standing me up.

I had just about resolved myself to this unfortunate turn of events when Otto took some recycling out to the garage and found some knitters! Woohoo!

We all sat around the living room and consumed the four different kinds of chocolate assembled before us and had a little wine and some women learned to knit. I offered enthusiastic encouragement, which was VERY HELPFUL.

“Way to go! You’re doing great! You’re totally… doing… something… with that yarn!”

Actually, I really do turn out to be something of a backseat knitter, because the truth of the matter is that I did learn how to knit, once, a loooooong time ago. And I crocheted for years and years, too. So there’s some basic stuff I know about, and I found myself offering little tips to the new learners and wondering if the reason that no one smacked me upside the head was because they were in my house, or because everyone was in a state of chocolate-induced euphoria.

Inbetween knitting (or not knitting, as the case may be) and snacking we discussed many deep and philosophical topics, and I learned that my new friends are really going to enrich my knowledge base in important ways. For example, did you know that there’s a Penis Museum in Iceland? NEITHER DID I. And while I probably could’ve gone my entire life without reading this sentence:

Now, thanks to The Icelandic Phallological Museum, it is finally possible for individuals to undertake serious study into the field of phallology in an organized, scientific fashion.

… it would’ve been a shallow, empty existence indeed. Seriously, take a moment to bask in it. Don’t you feel changed forever? I mean, in a way that makes you want to go shower immediately? That’s right.

I also found out that they’re going to be opening an H&M in Atlanta in January. These women are CHOCK FULL of important information.

As for me, my contributions (aside from random encouragement and chocolate muffin bites) were not nearly so grand. I was able to report that while I tried my hardest to give the local Salvation Army thrift store a fair chance, the fact that someone had peed all over the floor in one of the fitting rooms really made it impossible for me to return. And also that the other night I sat in my car in the driveway (finishing up a phone call) when I saw one of the neighbor’s cats saunter into our open garage… except that it wasn’t a cat, it was THE WORLD’S MOST GIGANTIC POSSUM. And I’d sat there in my car, on the phone, telling my friend on the other end of the line that if the possum hadn’t exited by the time we were done talking that I would need to CALL OTTO INSIDE THE HOUSE and tell him to come rescue me, because THAT OVERGROWN RAT was currently hanging out under the Mustang and I was afraid to go in.

A good time was had by all. Or, you know, just by me, and I am too oblivious to have noticed that everyone else was miserable.

I plan to wear the badge of Backseat Knitter proudly, and attend the next knitting gathering ready to be just as useless, again. Play to your strengths, I always say.


  1. All Adither

    The shelled edamame is much less messy. Have you tried?

    And also, I would love my own knitting cheerleader. You’d mainly have to motivate me to get off my ass and away from the laptop and pick up some needles already. But I’d feed you Italian Cream Cake.

  2. tammy

    Somebody peed in the fitting room at the Goodwill, too. Apparently the local thrift shoppers are not all housebroken.

  3. Megan

    Back Seat Knitter should be a title of great majesty. I would totally back seat knit if anyone offered – mostly because my front seat knitting happened when I was six years old and consisted of many many horse blankets for my sister’s horses. Only all the blankets were a wee bit triangular because a. I think I probably dropped stitches (but I invented some too so it all works out) and b. I was a rather tense child and pretty much figured the blanket was finished when I couldn’t ram the needle between the yanked-tight bits of yarn anymore.

    Besides – no needles means two free hands for wine and chocolate. ‘Nuff said.

  4. StephLove

    I’m glad your knitting party was a success.

    Not to grandstand, but if you need another reason not to patronize (or donate to) the Salvation Army, they discriminate against gays and lesbians.

  5. joaaanna

    I’m with All Adither. Shelled edamame. Maybe not as fun, but less mess. Although my dog loves the shelled kind, because I too send the little beans skittering when I shell them. Yeah edamame!

  6. Z

    I’d love to have a backseat knitter of my own… Especially one who provided chocolate and wine!

  7. jennielynn

    Could you also be a backseat crocheter? I will make margaritas. And nachos. And chocolate cherry cake.

    Golly, now I’m hungry. Damn Weight Watchers.

  8. Cathy

    Careful with the backseat knitting. That’s how I started out, and a couple of years later I’m just as bad as they are. And so behind on my Christmas knitting…

  9. Leandra

    Perhaps your title could change daily, depending on your mood. Sort of like a mood ring. Then, all your friends, family, readers could tell what kind of mood you’re in based on your title, i.e. Mir, Blogger Par Excellence, or Mir, Just Put the Dirty clothes in the basket, already!

  10. Paula

    Nope, shelled edamame misses the point. The whole reason kids love them is the interactive part, the food-as-toyness of the whole process. Why bother eating edamame if you can’t find new and ever-better ways of getting them of the pods? Squeezing, poking, splitting, sucking…. Otherwise, what you have is nothing but a big bowl of shelled SOYBEANS, and who wants that, really?

  11. el-e-e

    I feel so lame, having never gotten onto the edamame bandwagon. I think I need you to be Mir, Edamame Tutor.

  12. Contrary

    We also have a garage possum. He eats cat food and doesn’t seem to mind getting his picture taken.

    I’m gonna check out this edamame stuff, but really, for messy food that’s more work than it’s worth, you can’t beat crawfish.

  13. Lori

    Edamame saved dinner last night. Youngest child would not touch the yummy salmon without sounding like a cat coughing up a hairball. But he did eat his weight in edamame. Protein & a green veggie in one go! I am a great mother, I am the queen of nutrition, I am…stepping on beans in my barefeet. Ick.

    You could backseat knit to all of us readers just by inserting random encouragement in your posts such as – KNIT 2! PURL 1! You go girl! Weave in those ends!

    I’ll stop now.

  14. ScottsdaleGirl

    Edamame is some damned food of the gods I tell you, but only BECAUSE of all that kosher salt.

  15. Crisanne

    Seriously, why didn’t I read this BEFORE I went to the store. Now I must go back and get some edamame. I’m quite certain the kids will have a great time sending them all over the house.

  16. Liza

    That H&M will be 5 minutes from my office. If you come H&M shopping on a weekday, I will totally meet you for lunch!

  17. Shalee

    Mir, I’m sorry, but I had the world’s largest possum in my garage. How do I know? I stepped on its tail in the dark and scared the living crap out of myself.

    Yes, I’m still in therapy over it, even though that sucker is gone.

    And I had to tell you that I misread “CHOCK” after the bit about the Phallological Museum. My bad.

  18. Denise

    Your knitters sound as awesome as mine. I’m going to share that penis museum thing with them on Sunday – they will love that and love that I learned it from you, a backseat knitter like me.

    Love love love that you have a knitting group while not knitting. Come to Gainesville and not knit with us some day, it’s great fun.


  19. Heather

    Where is the H&M going to be? My gut instinct is saying “Atlantic Station.”

  20. Heidi

    Whoa, I haven’t read the comments yet, but did any else look at the Penis Museum site? It would seem a Homo Sapiens is gonna donate his penis. Eventually. When he’s done with it. Huh.

  21. Sarah

    Heather – Yep the H&M is slated to be in Atlantic Station near the Dillards I think.

  22. Wendy

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, you provided the chocolate and the wine. And next time have them knit your kids some slippers, socks and blankets. I see potential for your own little sweat shop where you pay your workers in cheap wine and chocolates.

  23. Chuck

    My Godfather, a rather unique man, learned how to knit in college. He was an art major. But, he eventually became a Navy pilot and had to keep his hobby secret from most of his friends…in his word, he became a closet knitter. After he retired from the Navy he started a home decorating business with his wife. At 80, he still regularly knits prayer shawls for his church group to give out to shut-ins.

  24. Amy-Go

    I thought we agreed, back in July, that your new title should be The Boss of Coolness. At least, it is how I always think of you…;)

  25. ImpostorMom

    We had a rather bad experience with dropping off a donation at the Salvation Army a couple years ago and haven’t been back since, to shop or donate. Good to know that things have changed so much.

  26. MomCat

    Heidi, I was thinking the same thing. All these years I have been culturally deprived. And now I can tell my husband about a topic from the blog that he will find riveting.

  27. Kay T

    1 – I know this is a “parenting” blog, but I just don’t think of it as a parenting blog. I don’t have kids, I won’t be having kids, I just enjoy it being a “life” blog. Plus you can pick up such interesting tips as edamame and penis museums. Probably not that many parenting blogs about the penis museum. Or maybe there is.

    2- Maybe they did not hit you upside the head because they had knitting in their hands??

    3- Backseat knitting sounds fun!

    Oh yes, 4 – I love that you have this “image” of what people probably think of you (nerdy, etc.), and think they won’t like you because of it. I wonder what people think of me, but it is more like they think I am old, fat, loud, talking too much, when in fact I am just middle-age(ing), svelt, smart, sharing, etc.

  28. kate setzer kamphausen

    Amy-Go, why don’t we just shorten it to “Mir, Boss Cool”??

    Also Backseat Knitter. Like how royalty always have several names and ALSO titles and ALSO old titles they don’t use anymore and ALSO names of land they may or may not visit and sometimes, if they’re the Pope, ALSO family names they had to renounce when they became Really Important and ALSO, oh yes, official nicknames like the Rottweiler of the Vatican.

    Mirspawn and Boss Cool. I’d read that comic book – hell, I’d follow that whole series!!!

  29. Karly

    I’ve always wanted to try edamame, but I do not know how to pronounce it and would feel funny if someone were to ask what we had for dinner and I had to say “Um, that stuff? You know? The green things? The little pods? That is what we had.” I know that eed-a-maim is not how to say it, but thats how it comes out. God help me.

  30. nan

    Hmm. My son and I tried endamame when we last visited the developed world, and decided that they are highly overrated.

  31. Warrior Knitter

    Knitters do know the neatest stuff. And well, some non-knitters do, too. So glad you had a good time.

  32. Daisy

    I know a lot of trivia, but I can’t knit. I’d be the backseater, too. I must admit (confess?) I hate pajama days at school.

  33. Kelly Malloy

    I wish I knew how to knit!

  34. Brigitte

    Hmm, I’ll have to try that green stuff (eeda-mommy?) on my kid, too.

    Now if you Google “penis Museum” (not that I’d ever do such a thing), Woulda Shoulda comes up on page FIVE. Yes, there are four other pages worth of references first, eek!

  35. Brigitte

    Oh, yeah, and we had a garage-possum for a week or so, once. Since the cat kept wanting to go out there (to be its buddy?), it took us days to figure out it WASN’T the cat poking the garbage bags or pooping in the corner, because the possum was shy and hid from us. We finally pushed him out the door with a push-broom. But ours was just a little guy, and it was an awful winter, I actually felt kinda guilty for booting him out.

  36. tori

    I dream of having a backseat knitter. Someone to cheer me on, keep me company while I knit. If you ever move to Illinois, please be my backseat knitter!

  37. Chewie

    Loyal Superfluous is my name…being faithful and adding details that aren’t necessary is my game…

    There ya go. You can totally borrow it if ya want.


  38. mama speak

    you could always go with: Mir, Queen of Everything. I know it’s been overused, but it applies to whatever you want it to.

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