The mitts Andy gave me for Valentines’ Day are quite large, falling off my hands. He suggested that we take them to one of his student’s wife, who was familiar with working with hide, and who could most likely alter them.
I met Andy at the shop, so we could drive to his student’s home together. Children were playing outside. A boy on a miniature skidoo, pulling younger siblings on a little sled, was careening up and down the snow piles around the house.
“Who are you?” A little girl, with rose tinged cheeks asked.
“I am here to see your Dad,” I told her. She looked skeptical.
“What’s his name?” She asked.
When I told her his name, she nodded and pointed towards her house. “That’s OK, then.”
Upon entering I was met by Meredith and her sister, Madelyn. Andy didn’t want to take his boots off, and so he stayed in the hallway.
“What do you do?” Meredith asked.
“Well, right now, nothing much. I left my job in Montreal to come here.”
“What did you do in Montreal?” she demanded. I am slightly taken aback, as I often am when confronted with direct question so quickly, as is custom here. I realize how I have been conditioned to social niceties, which seem so unnecessary here, where conversations and questions are direct and upfront. Question: Where are you from? Answer: A small town, called Pointe Claire Village, near Montreal. Next Question: Where do you COME from? Answer: My ancestors were the Viking tribe … well actually, my parents and I came from Germany. Knowing who belongs where and where they come from is of importance here.
“I worked as a documentation specialist and a proofreader before that.”
“Just administration stuff, nothing important,” I added.
Thankfully, Meredith’s son, the one driving the skidoo, arrived at the door, yelling “More Gas!”
I showed my mitts to the women and after careful examination and discussion, they agreed that it would be too much work to render them down to a smaller size. It would be as much work as making an entirely new set of mitts.
“Those are man’s mitts,” Meredith said, handing them back to me. Andy said he would keep the mittens for himself. Marilyn said she was in the process of making a woman’s pair and showed me some of her handiwork. I commission her to prepare the mitts for me so I would have some that fit.
We chatted for a while longer about children, pets, our mothers and sewing, until I notice that Andy was becoming impatient, standing in the hallway, his boots puddling on the floor. I thank both women for their time.
When back in the car, I realized, how much I missed talking to women.