I have been to my lace knitting classes--my first ever group knitting classes--and I have taken many notes and knit a number of samples and learned a great deal, including that I don't like everybody. I want to like people, and I have visions of myself in some dream-like future where I have heaps of friends and can hardly go anywhere without stopping to have fascinating conversations with one of them. The truth, though, is that there are whole categories of people that I have no patience for and whole days when I have very little to say and that can make me a pretty crummy seat mate in a class.
Today was one of my quieter days and, to top it off, I was the last person to walk into the class room. The only seat left was next to a woman who, as far as I can tell, falls into the category of persons who love to hear themselves talk so they ask esoteric and poorly phrased questions directed at some minor and irrelevant point and then proceed to repeat the question louder and louder when the teacher can't seem to answer clearly. She had gotten on my nerves while flaunting her membership in this category yesterday. When I sat down next to her today, she launched into an explanation of how glad she was that someone was willing to sit next to her and how she didn't understand why everyone else was leaving the seat vacant since she had washed and changed her underwear (no lie--this really is how I started my day) and the only garment she hadn't changed was her jeans. At that point I cringed and scootched a little further away and resolved to focus on my knitting instead of making new friends. At the end of the class-- after I had spent nearly three hours listening to her natter away to her friends at the next table about her creative process and some amazingly labor intensive stitch marker system she had developed--she turned to me and said that she was sorry we didn't get to talk to each other more during the class. Really? What does one say to such a remark? Even in my socially inept state, I know I can't reply "no problem; I really don't feel like I missed out on much" or "when would you have found the time?". So I muttered something feeble about how I was concentrating on my class knitting project (shockingly, she hadn't managed to make much progress while she was talking) and I went back home where I knew I would like the people.
Next week I have another class and I will try again to like the people and broaden my social connections. I've stacked the odds in my favor, though: I signed up with a bunch of friends.