Sunday, May 6, 2007

You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover

I learned pretty early in life that quite often, people aren't what they seem. And I don't mean that in a negative way; I don't mean to say that most people try to deceive each other or pretend to be what they aren't. But people are complex beings. I think we all look at those around us and make certain assumptions about them based on their appearance, what they say, or what little we may know about them. Case in point:

Not too long ago, I was sitting at a table with a group of about 20 women at my local quilt shop. We had met for our monthly Jo's Little Women Club, a program based on the 1800s reproduction fabrics and patterns of Jo Morton. As is our custom, we had reached that point in the meeting where we show our latest "creation" and say a few words about it. Sometimes questions are asked of the quiltmaker. It was "C's" turn.

"C," a tall, thin woman with short gray hair, whose age is probably somewhere around 60, stood up and displayed her quilt. Amid all the "oooohs" and "aaaahs," it was a little hard to hear her, but I thought she said she had named this quilt--the dominent color of which was a pinkish red--Raspberry Beret after the Prince song. Hummm. Could I have heard that right? Prince? I looked from the quilt to "C's" face and back again. Naw, she couldn't have said Prince, could she? When most of the questions died down, I asked, "So, do you like Prince?" "C" admitted somewhat hesitantly that yes, she did like some of his music. By now the room had quieted, and the quilt shop owner looked at me--kind of like I was nuts--and asked, "Why did you ask her that?" So I explained that "C" had named her quilt after a Prince song and I was just curious. Although I didn't say so, I sure wouldn't have pegged "C" as a Prince fan!

I wonder what Prince would think about a group of 50- to 60ish quilters sitting around talking about him? Heck, even naming quilts after his songs! I think I'll always look at "C" a little differently now. I'll probably wonder from time to time whether she's hiding a wilder side underneath the grandmotherly appearance she presents to the world. And I'll probably think about naming one of my quilts "Darling Nikki" just to see if I get any reaction. But maybe I'll wait until I'm 70 years old--I kind of like the idea of being thought of as a shockingly racy old lady!


Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Cool, gives you hope that you will be slightly mystifying and not just annoying people in a stretchy pants suit!

Knot Garden said...

What a great story and a cool lady:)

Darlene said...

Thanks for sharing this story - she's pretty awesome. By the way, I happen to like Raspberry Beret, also - teehee!

Finn said...

Hi Kim, wanted to stop by and see where you hang out. Thanks for reading my blog and commenting, I appreciate that. You make some very good points.
I was delighted with your book and it's cover story. And that is exactly what is in my head. From my point of view, if they "ooo'd & aw'ed" at the technical aspects of her quilt(color, piecing, quilting), they should have stood on the tables and cheered for her creativity in what inspired her. That tiny 'free' part of us, the one not controlled by the dictates of others, is what is soooo hard to find and keep alive.
She was very courageous(for her age and place in life) to risk calling her quilt what she did. I think it's absolutely delightful and gives the viewer something to think about and take away, still wondering if that is what she meant...*VBS* Good for you for having the courage to ask The things inside us, that make us different, are alot harder to show openly than our 'same-ness'. I applaude both her and YOU. Sending big hugs, Finn

Greenmare said...

Great song! I love finding out things like that about people too!

atet said...

What a great story -- although, when you think about it, Prince first became popular about 1982-1983. Just before Purple Rain -- there was 1999. If she is 60ish now, 25 years ago she was 30ish. Not that old when you put in to those terms.