SWAPIII 005 There’s the back of Ivy. This sweater is the kind where you leave the final stitches on a holder till the end. I like that, because it makes a nicer joining of the pieces, but it means that you don’t block the separate pieces. So here Ivy is, top on the needles, bottom curling, sides rolling, a gray rectangle.

I think I mentioned the competitor who is opening a store like ours in the town we moved our store from. He had planned, according to our spies, to open in July for Back to School.

Teachers begin, depending on the school, anytime from Monday to August 20th, and Back to School is in full swing.

Our competitor is not open. He has not been able to find a manager. He lives in the next county from us. His new store is filled with boxes waiting to be unpacked and racks waiting to be filled, he has a want ad on his door and in the newspaper, and it doesn’t look as though he has any chance of opening in time to catch the shoppers. The Empress and I surmise that he, doubtless being as busy as we are at his main store in the next county, is having to drive up here and try to stock the store himself. We are hoping that he regrets his hostile action.

So last night, after a 12-hour work day, I dragged my exhausted self over to Partygirl’s house for a small neighborhood stroll. As we passed someone’s hedge of shrub roses, I told her about this situation with the competitor.

She was shocked. She told me not to gloat. She wouldn’t hear of my gloating, even when I pointed out that I wasn’t exactly ill-wishing him and that at one point I had been hoping that he would contract ringworm in addition to having his new store fail, but had given up that cruel thought. Even when I reminded her that I had done nothing to harm the guy and his problems were not my fault but his own. Even when I argued that I had never met the man, and was merely exulting in the abstract. She cut me off completely, and we spoke of something else.

Japanese beetles, I think, followed by the priesthood of the believer.

Is it never acceptable to gloat over someone else’s misfortune? Even if they deserve it? Even if their misfortune is your good fortune? Even if they never know that you are pleased about their suffering?

Maybe if you only say it in your xanga and not out loud?