The inspiration for this post came from my trip to the bank on Friday. I had assumed it would only take a few minutes so I didn't take my knitting with me. Big mistake! It took forever, and without my knitting I thought I might crawl out of my skin while I was waiting. Not having anything better to do with my time I was reduced to people watching, which can be an interesting enough pursuit if you are at an airport, but not so much so at the local branch of your bank.
There was one other person waiting, and he happened to be Native American. I realized that anyone looking at the two of us sitting there would probably make an assumption. They would assume that only one of us most likely grew up on an Indian reservation, and that it wouldn't have been "white as Wonder Bread" me. I have no clue where the gentleman spent his childhood, but I spent mine on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation in northern Idaho. As I sat there, minus my knitting, I started thinking about how often assumptions end up being wrong, sometimes disastrously so.
When Alexandra was younger she made frequent visits to Children's Hospital in Vancouver. We lived many hours and three mountain passes away from Vancouver at that time, so when she had an appointment I would also schedule David in for an appointment with his prosthetist who also happened to be in Vancouver. I know when people saw Alexandra and David with me at the hospital they assumed David was the one who was there for medical treatment.
People continue to assume David, a multiple amputee, needs help. Last week he was at the bus stop here in Kamloops and a random guy walked up to him and handed him a $20 bill. He didn't say a word, just gave David the money and walked away. I'm not faulting the man for his kindness, but it did seem like he had looked at David, made an assumption that he was helpless, and acted on that wrong assumption. I am, however, faulting David for pocketing the $20. :-(
When I was in China three years ago with Karsten and Diana most people assumed Diana was our tour guide. Which actually was true, but not in the way the Chinese were thinking.
Sometimes assumptions can be dangerous. One winter when we were living in the Kootenays Jay's sister Maureen came for a visit. When she saw a huge chunk of something on the road she assumed it was a clump of snow and thought she could just drive over it. That turned out to be a costly assumption. It was actually a boulder, fallen off the rock cliff at the side of the road.
Sometimes assumptions can be funny. Jay's other sister Lynn was here for a visit last week. I had to go into town one of the mornings she was here, so Lynn decided to make her own cup of tea. Because she had seen me put the tea kettle on the stove top (that way the steam goes up the oven hood instead of damaging the wood cabinets) Lynn assumed it was the kind of kettle you turn the burner on to heat up. Let's just say this is a really bad assumption to make if it is actually an electric kettle.
A few years ago I decided my yearly self-improvement project would be to work hard at not making assumptions. The problem with this plan is I assumed at the end of the year I would be cured. I'm not. Here's my latest example. Remember the Longitudinal Socks I blogged about a few weeks ago? I really enjoyed knitting that first pair, so ordered some Zauberball Crazy to knit a second pair.
My first assumption was that all sock yarn knits up equally. This works with regular socks because I can always adjust the length. Not so with Longitudinals. You are committed to the completed length the minute you cast on. As I progressed on the first sock of pair #2 that little voice in my head started to whisper to me. The one that was trying to tell me it was looking a bit big. I managed to ignore that voice right up to the bitter, and I do mean bitter, end. Right before I Kitchener stitched it I placed it around my foot and saw that it would easily fit my son Kellen, who has size 13 1/2 feet.
My second assumption was that if I liked knitting this project the first time I would enjoy it the second time around. Even if there hadn't been the unfortunate incident involving ripping out an almost completed sock and starting over, the love for this just wasn't there on round two. Here they are. My second and final pair of Longitudinals.
So what are some assumptions you have made that turned out to be wrong? Assuming, of course, that you have read far enough to get to this question. :-)