Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Identity politics?

(Cross-posted at RocBike, because some days I just can't decide between the two!)

On the RocBike podcasts, Jason refers to me as the "knitting cyclist." Actually, I should write that as the "Knitting cyclist." Note the capital "K." There are knitters who knit more than me, knit better than me, have knit for longer than me. But that doesn't mean they are a Knitter. Knitting with a capital "K" means you have a Knitting Identity. Inevitably, you have gone through the painful stages of:

--questioning (will my family still accept me as a Knitter?);

--isolation and reaching out to community (where can I meet other Knitters like me?);

--acceptance (okay, I'm a Knitter, now what?);

--coming out and proud (I knit wherever and whenever I please, damn it, and you will just have to deal with it! This phase also often includes the procurement and display of various knitting-related tools, jewelry, and bumper stickers); and

--identity synthesis (yes, I'm a Knitter, but I'm also many other things...don't fence me in).

Today it occurred to me that I may be in the process of becoming a Commuting Cyclist. I needed to run some errands, which could have been done quite easily by bike. But it was a bit rainy, I was tired and pressed for time, and I thought, "Oh, what the heck. I do my part to save the planet. Today I want to drive!"

Wouldn't you know, while in Abundance Co-op, I ran into Jack, still with his helmet on. Oh, the shame!

But it was more than shame that sparked this realization of a newly-forming identity. On the drive home, I really did wish that I had biked. It would have been so easy, it wasn't raining that hard, and the fresh air would have helped me wake up.

I see some more bumper stickers in my future. Do you think they make any that say "Knitting Cyclist"?

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