A Dear John Letter to Lambswool Cashmere
Other Dear John Letters
This is one letter in a collection of short stories written as love letters. The collection is designed to depict the ups and downs of being passionately, sinfully in love with the craft of crochet. This letter is written to a type of yarn I was working with.
Dear Lambswool Cashmere,
Sometimes you really want things to work out but they just don’t quite click. There isn’t a good reason. There isn’t a specific cause. The magic just isn’t there. It seems to be that way with us, doesn’t it?
Everything about you is sweet. You’re the first date with the guy from the online dating site who actually looks better than his online picture. The good dinner, the easy conversation, the simple getting along … and yet for some reason at the end of the night I don’t particularly want to kiss you. I don’t recoil when you kiss me, because I like you. And it feels okay. But there’s just no magic.
Everything about you seems like it should be right. You’re 87.5% Shetland Lambswool. It even sounds a little luscious, doesn’t it? You’re wool but you’re more than just plain old wool. And yet stable – not something so exotic that you’re a mystery of any kind. You’re still wool. You are natural. You can be counted on. You’re what I should want. You make a straightforward wool scarf that I think could easily get me through a comfortable winter.
When you call for a second date, I can’t think of any good reason to say no. You’re a nice guy. You didn’t wait too long to call so you seem like you’re not going to play games with me. You didn’t call the same night as our date so there’s no warning sign that you’re obsessively overeager and will take over my life. You’re a nice guy.
And the truth is that on that second date, you do surprise me just a little bit. Your other 12.5% is made of cashmere. This makes you softer than other types of wool. Whereas other wool is itchy, you’ve just got a tiny little tickle. It’s more amusing than annoying against my throat as I wear that scarf. But I don’t wear it often. I don’t love it. The color is fine – a terrific flannel grey actually. And although it’s a mite annoying that you’re supposed to be hand washed, you can actually also be dry cleaned so I wouldn’t say that you’re too high maintenance.
When the third date rolls around you ask that difficult question … “what are we?” You aren’t pressuring me into anything. But you want to know if this is going to work. Are we going to keep seeing each other? Will I head towards your section of the wall when I enter my local yarn store or is this just a fling that will soon pass?
The truth is that I’m avidly dating others. In fact, I just toyed with seeing you and another at the same time. I held your thin fiber against the thick weight of worsted dollar store yarn and worked the two of you together. A combination of double crochet shells, crossed double crochets and regular double crochet rows worked rapidly into a thick scarf. It was nice. In fact, the bright full color of the other yarn against your more natural shade was rather pleasing. But there wasn’t ecstatic pleasure. There wasn’t intense joy. It was just nice. Sweet. Lovely. And sometimes a girl needs more passion than just “lovely”.
I want to like you more than I do. I want to fall in love with you. I want to race to run my hands over you in the store. I want to bookmark you on my computer to drool over on days when online yarn shopping is an urgent desire. I want to daydream of what I can make with you. But as I hold the mixed love scarf in my hands, I realize something – it was no more or less a joy to work with you than it was to work with the dollar store acrylic that I used at the same time. And that’s really what this boils down to – I’m just using you. There is no creative melding of the minds here. You don’t inspire me. You are nice. Objectively, you are a yarn of much higher caliber than the acrylic I shared you with. And yet, you inspire me no more or less.
We could keep seeing each other and we would probably have a decent time for quite awhile. We would share some smiles. There would be some pleasant tactile exploration. We might even produce a few great pieces of art together. But in the end we would just be holding each other back. There is someone out there who will adore you, cherish you, fantasize about you. And there are other skeins in the sea for me. I hate to say it, but I’m just going to have to let you go. Really, it’s not you, it’s me.
Let’s be friends,