I don't know how much I've revealed about this woman who I've affectionately dubbed Psycho Hat Lady, or PHL, but she's driving me insane.
Many moons ago, I was pregnant and knitting a tiny rainbow cardigan for the baby that would become N. PHL was, at the time, just a nice lady in the cafeteria who complimented me on my work.
I started doing bigger projects, most significantly the Shipwreck Shawl from Knitty... and she (and others) kept on coming to watch my progress. They were all very sweet until one day she said, "I bet you could make me a hat." To which I replied, "I've never made a hat, but knitting is all very similar."
FOR THE RECORD: I never said I'd make her a hat. Never told her to buy yarn, never asked what style she'd like, never discussed colors. N.E.V.E.R.
She's gotten it in her head that I"m going to make her a hat. Some days she stops by with a quick, "You're ready to do my hat yet?"... some days she stops by for longer. I told her that I was backed up with projects for my family, and she said, "Oh, that's fine. Just let me know when you're not backed up."
I think she thinks that we have some sort of verbal contract, and I'm afraid she's going to take me on Judge Judy or something. One day I brushed her off, then later that same week she went all passive aggressive on me. Her friend stopped to chat, but PHL ignored me, and then later on she actually shoulder-checked me at the soda fountain. That was the day she earned her PHL title.
Today was really awful. She came up and was all buttery and sweet, saying how I was so talented and that kid of crap, and out of nowhere she started telling me about this headband with a flower on it that she'd seen somewhere in Philly, and how it was magenta, and so pretty, and not even a full hat. Of course, I was knitting on a hat for Hubby (my first hat EVER), and it's been going very fast. I thanked her for being so nice and appreciating my work, and she said, "you'll be done that hat and scarf by Christmas, so you can make my headband."
I tried a different tactic today, though; I told her, in a very tired and pitiful, overworked voice, that she was "at the top of my non-family list" after explaining I had Xmas gifts for family to make... she replied, in a very snarky voice, "I should be at the top of that list, I've been there over a damn year."
Sigh. I like where I eat lunch. My dear friend L., who I crochet with, works in that cafeteria. We only see each other at lunchtime, and I don't want to go anywhere else. I'm just sick of PHL making me feel guilty for something I never promised to do, because along with feeling guilty, I'm angry at myself for even feeling guilty. I knit things that I enjoy knitting. My family knows not to expect much, they might get something, they might not. Every once in a while my knitting enjoyment intersects with someone else's request, hence Hubby's hat and scarf, but if it doesn't, I don't stress. I don't knit for payment/on deadline, because when people pay you, they have expectations and I don't want the extra stress.
Maybe I should grow a pair and tell her I'm not making her a hat, that I don't knit for pay, and that she should do what the rest of the non-knitting world does and buy a damn hat at Walmart.