I dropped by the store (I had forgotten #2 son’s poster board — junior high students often need poster board) and stayed awhile to talk with The Empress. She had been to a recital over the weekend, and there had seen a mutual friend of ours — or perhaps I should say former friend.

He asked her whether she thought that his relationship with me could be mended. Now, we went from being friends to enemies in about 30 seconds last year with no participation on my part (aside from bewildered apologies), so I suppose we could return to being friends. I had concluded that we hadn’t really been friends at all, since friendships can’t end in 30 seconds, but I could certainly manage the facsimile of friendship again. As Christians, The Empress pointed out, neither of us really has the option of holding a grudge.

The question apparently followed on the heels of a request that The Empress and That Man sing in the Rutter Requiem which our old friend is hoping to get up, and I know that he has — with much the same method that turned us into enemies — recently lost his last remaining serious alto. So I have to admit to a bit of distrust of his motives in proferring this olive branch.

But he claimed that now, with his medications fixed up, he is like an entirely different person.

I had spent the morning going first to the dentist and then to the library, neither of which I would have done last year, before I Overcame Agoraphobia. From the moment I woke up until I drove out of the scary road section where the new library lives, I had my usual physical symptoms — icy fingers, nausea, a general sense that I will burst into tears if I do not control myself. Last year at this time, my life was bounded by aversions which either prevented me from doing things at all, or caused me such extreme anxiety that I would go to great lengths to avoid them. Having worked through the Snap Out of It Method of treating mental aberrations, I am now capable of doing these things, albeit with physical symptoms over which I have no control.

Over my behavior, however, I have control. I am unfailingly courteous and cooperative with the dentist and his staff, I drive responsibly if not normally (I admit that I sometimes slow down excessively, when it seems especially likely that the car will fly off into space), and I am pleasant and friendly to the librarians. (I think I snap at my kids a little when they want me to do something to which I have an aversion, but not enough to induce a vendetta.)

Admittedly, there is a big difference between my little spot of agoraphobia and bipolar disorder requiring medication. Is there some point at which mental aberrations allow one to refuse all responsibility for one’s behavior? Some point, that is, short of institutionalization?

I always want — desperately — to pull over at the side of a scary road, get out of the car, and walk away. I have never yet done so. Would I be at fault if I did, though? The compulsion to do so is very great.

If the compulsion to throw temper tantrums at people is equally great, and you give in, can you later just say that your medicines were wrong and go back to where you were?

I’ve done a couple more rows of Erin. At this rate, it will be March before I reach the armscyes.

Accordingly, I put on a movie and cut out this pattern. It turned out that I did not really have enough fabric. I tried all the usual dodges to make it work, and I suppose I can adapt if need be, but I intend to go to the fabric store and see whether I can get another yard of the stuff. I had picked up five yards for $1 a yard at Hobby Lobby’s clearance — five yards was the amount called for, but I believe that it shrank a good bit in pre-washing, so all the bias-cut things and odd-shaped godets and whatnot ended up requiring a bit more.

I haven’t done much dressmaking recently — with four epic projects on hand I probably don’t need to take it up again, really, but I had priced new nightgowns at the after-Christmas sales, and this one for $5 is a far better option than the ones I saw. Or even for $6.

Later — I stopped by after the gym and picked up a remnant — the last three yards of the fabric. This will be enough to undo all the scrimping cuts and make the nightgown as it was supposed to be made.

I also checked online reviews of the pattern — since I am re-cutting, I might as well benefit from others’ experience, right? I was amused to discover that one reviewer found it hard to do dishes in this garment. She correctly concluded that Edwardian housewives didn’t do the dishes in their nighties.