I just learned that a subscriber skims these posts for the # signs in order to avoid “all the socks and stuff.” She just wants “the news.” I thought that was very clever, actually. However, there are no more # signs in this post, and there will be socks.

I don’t think that I am unusually good at self-deception in most areas, just normally self-deceptive. My favorite example of self-deception is from the occasion when we had a fire at the store. We had a college girl working for us at the time, and she and I were coughing, nauseated from the smoke, and discussing in undertones what we were going to do if The Empress continued to deny the smoke.

“No,” The Empress was saying tightly, “I don’t smell smoke.”

When we could hardly see the back of the room, I suggested that maybe we could just call the fire department. “It might not be our building,” I said soothingly. “Maybe we should just have them come and see if they notice anything.” The Empress crossly gave in.

Soon we had two fire trucks and men in slickers and boots and helmets in the store, chopping through the wall with axes.

At that time, we shared a wall with a Chinese restaurant, which had a grease fire behind their range. The college girl and I stood in the doorway, gulping in fresh air.

People kept coming up and wanting to shop.

“We’re having a fire,” I kept saying, aware that it sounded like some kind of special event — an unusual theme party, perhaps — but unable to come up with any better phrasing. “Perhaps you could come back tomorrow.”

“I just need one thing,” they would say, stepping over the fire hoses, “and I know right where it is.”

We were adamant. I had been back there with the fire fighters snatching product off the walls before they started chopping, and the hooks were hot to the touch. There was a fire, for heaven’s sake. Sang froid is admirable, but there is a point at which it becomes unreasonable.

It is when it comes to knitting that my level of self-deception rises. For example, yesterday I went to buy a Christmas present (early shopper, taking advantage of a sale) at a store that turned out to have on hand some Wool-ease in the fisherman color — but in worsted, not sport weight.

I bought a skein of it. How crazy is that? You cannot just switch to worsted for the toe of a sock and think no one will notice. I stood there looking at it, thinking maybe it wasn’t that much thicker really.

It gets worse. Last night, I came home and knitted a few rounds with it. Even though I had the sock, made in sport weight, right there where I could clearly see how much thicker the worsted really is. I knitted tightly. I guess I was thinking I would just see how it looked. Either that or, having wasted money on this silly shenanigan, I also wanted to waste some time.

I am now thinking about who on my Christmas list might need a nice fisherman scarf or hat.