I started a new blanket today. I am actually pretty excited about it, even though I have another that I’ve been working on for FOREVER and still have a long way to go before it’s finished. But this new one will be done in a year. It’s supposed to take a year to make. It’s a temperature afghan and you are supposed to add another row for every day, color of said row to be determined by that day’s high (or average) temperature. Actually, it will be done in under a year because I went back and pulled the high temperatures from January and February so it will be finished December 31.
My obsession with blankets is more than just an obsession with blankets. It could easily be treated as an intensive case study into things that make me, me.
On the one hand, I have, over the years, gone to stay with friends and had to take my own blankets because they didn’t have extras for me to use while I was there. This happens less now that we are older and more “adult” but in our early and mid 20s it was a rather common occurrence. Somewhere in all of that, I decided I didn’t want people to have that problem when they came to visit me. So I started collecting blankets. Store bought fleece throws as well as blankets I made myself. A side effect of that is I will always be warm, even if I have to put my apartment’s thermostat on 50 to save money.
I also have a weird thing about sleeping with blankets. I have had to cut back because I got a memory foam mattress and if you are unaware of the complications of that, they retain heat. So I find myself, even in winter, with one or two, maybe three, light throw blankets on my bed. Whereas when I still had an air mattress, I’d have six or seven. I like the weight of the blankets over me while I’m sleeping.
Aside – People probably think it’s weird that I notice so much while I’m asleep but I do. I have trouble sleeping without some kind of cover over me (even if it’s just a sheet, which makes life difficult when it’s still 80 degrees outside at 2 in the morning and all I have in my room is a ceiling fan…but I can’t do it…). I don’t like to sleep with the door open and if someone opens it while I’m sleeping, I will wake up. And ever since I was a little kid, I have had nightmares when I share a bed with another person (which is a blessing and a curse because I kind of rather enjoy my nightmares but they don’t allow for very restful sleep).
As usual, I have buried the lede here…
The idea behind all this blanket babble was that I have recently put together that I am a very nurturing person but not in any kind of way that should indicate that I would be suited to a career in medicine. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not nurturing in a parental sort of way. But I will go to the ends of the earth to make sure someone is warm, comfortable, fed, clean…whatever. Probably a lot of Maslow’s Hierarchy, when you really break it down, but the point is I actually do take care of people a lot more than I (or others) really realize.
It started when I found out that Crush was ill, for a couple weeks, and it was all I could do not to drop every responsibility I had in my life and take care of him. It was a very strange impulse for me; I don’t deal well with sick people. But it was overwhelming. And it was more than my usual reaction to someone I care about being sick. Normally, I would show up with soup, a couple books (magazines, comics, whatever was most appropriate), some DVDs from my own collection, and a box of TheraFlu, put one of the movies in the player, hand them the remote and tell them to call me when they’re ready for fresh air. But this guy… I wanted to curl up with him on the couch and watch the movie, make sure the cold compress stayed cold, make sure the soup stayed hot… It was all very strange for me.
But it made me think. I may not do things the way people expect me to do them but I do nurture people. In my own way. Maybe it’s projection, that I take care of them the way I want someone to take care of me but it’s still my way. Take my sick friend scenario, for example. I’m a horrible patient. Make me comfortable and go away. Check on me if it makes you feel better but let me sleep. So I tend to do that with other people. I will do everything I can think of to make you comfortable but then I’m going to go away and let you rest.
I have figured out, though, that I am definitely a “give you the shirt off my back” kind of nurturer.
Anyway, the point of all of that is that another factor in my obsession with blankets is I will eventually get to a point where I feel like my collection is substantial enough that I can start making them for other people. I have made a few for babies along the way, but I’d love to be able to give them to shelters and to DHS/CPS for foster kids.
I actually intended to talk about charities, today – and my impulse to help people – but I kind of got off track and since I already deleted one post that went off the rails, I’m not starting over for a third time. So maybe I’ll make this part one and finish with part two tomorrow.
To be continued…