Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hippie Feet

Sometimes knitting turns out to be more than just knitting.

The lime green socks I started on the Los Angeles trip are complete. So complete, in fact, that I'm wearing them as I type this. Right up to the bit of weaving, I doubted whether I'd truly have the gumption to wear them.

Turns out I do.

Lime Socks

These are dear to me, even though they're knit with simple wool (Wildfoote) in a pattern I've already done once before. Buying the yarn was an act of rebellion, an alliance with everything I thought I didn't like and wouldn't wear.

I will turn 36 on January 24th. Often I feel a bit sad to think how I spent my twenties–the years in which one is supposed to be wild and adventurous–strapped into roles and clothes I thought I wanted because almost everyone around me was insisting I should want them.

I was such a buttoned-down little thing. On the outside, polo shirts, topsiders and, I blush to remember, a collection of waistcoats* and bow ties. Inside, a dedicated assimilationist who believed quite firmly that the gay community would be granted its civil rights if we could only act "straight" enough.

I lived in a state of chronic discomfort and couldn't figure out why. Now I know it was because I was being suffocated and strangled by my own choices.

Like it or not, I've turned out to be the very thing I despised at the time: a damn hippie. An eccentric, spinning-wheel-owning, tree-hugging, meditating, earth-loving, war-hating, man-kissing, drum-beating hippie. Who wears loud socks. Or whatever else he wants to.

And bless my soul, it sure feels good.

Peace.

*Upon reflection, I still like the waistcoats. Properly tailored, they look kind of snuggly on a small man. Peter Rabbit-ish.

111 comments:

Mary Peed said...

Good for you! Wear them in good health.

SueN said...

At least no pretend-a-friend will ever tell you your clothes are blah.

Great socks. Wear them in good health and be glad you figured this out at 36 and not later. Look at all the years you'll have to enjoy the real you. You can be a rebel at any age.

Anonymous said...

And just look at all the people who adore you now that you know who you are. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with us!

Anonymous said...

Oh look, a butterfly!

Anonymous said...

Hey, embrace that hippyness, its a good thing! The only thing I haven't done out of your list is the drum beating, (and I kind-of have 'cos I've attempted to play the bodhran at times), and green socks are fun to wear and they make you smile :-D

Anonymous said...

And may I ask why all of your verification words are in Welsh?

Nanc said...

Ah, but do you wear those socks with sandals?! (Ha ha ha) The socks are greatness. I've recently found that I need to push my color choices a bit more often than I currently do. I guess that means more sock yarn! Whee!

Sean said...

Congratulations, my friend. Job well done. And sexy calves to boot!

As for waistcoats, I'm a BIG fan! Knitting one as we speak...er...as I type.

I wonder why it takes us so long to become who we are. I like to believe the parts that lead up to it aren't wasted time. It's all a learning curve, I guess. And how nice that our birthdays are so close (I'm the 22nd and to be 42)

Nancy... said...

I just turned 36 as well, and had the same feelings as you concerning my 'wasted' 20s.

Then, of course, it hit me that those experiences made me the confident, self-sufficient woman I am today.

So look fondly at those years, because even if you're 180 degrees different from that guy, it still shaped you into the wonderful person you are today.

Congrats on the socks! They look fantastic!

Dr. Steph said...

Nice socks. And I'm jealous you've found your identity. I'm 36 and it's still in progress (I'm sure yours is too, but I'm still in the confining clothes part).

Nancy J said...

Amen.

Chris said...

Birkenstocks will sure show off those socks to fine advantage. :) I know that I've sure become more comfortable wearing whatever the hell pleases me as I've progressed through my 30s (and now 40!).

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the upcoming birthday and the realization that you are who you are - sexy calves and all. I adore wearing loud socks because for years I wouldn't. When I reached 50 (my gawd, am I really that old?) some years ago (yes, even older)I decided it was time to put childish conformity behind me. I have been so much happier. I'm glad you found the secret while still so young.

Pamela said...

You would look adorable in a waistcoat!

Julie said...

Welcome to the crowd, dude.

Peace and good yarn.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Franklin, they look marvelous and so do you. We should all embrace our inner and outer Hippie! Long live the Hippie!

Anonymous said...

I was glad to see your second thoughts on the waistcoats, since my first thought was "But he must look so dapper in them!" But I guess I'm kinda old-fashioned, 'cause I like "dapper." I think civilization went downhill when people stopped wearing real hats ;-) So all you really need is a waistcoat that goes with those fabulous socks!

Linda

Carol said...

Love the socks.

You are perfect exactly as you are, and I love every hippie bit of you.

Now git yer ass to the East Coast.

anneonymousone said...

My mother, whom I adore, is a Pushmepullyou from Doctor Doolittle, a two-headed llama-like creature with heads going in opposite directions. The heads are identical twins, though, so it’s hard to tell which head one is addressing until she speaks.

One day I was fussing myself out for being a late bloomer (driver’s license at 29, B.A. at 31, etc.), when her Positive Head said, “OK, that may be, but at least you bloom.”

I may have those words etched on my eyelids so I see them every time I blink.

I _do_ bloom.

And so do you, Franklin.

Cheryl :) said...

love your limey socks. (legs are nice too!)

Anonymous said...

LOL...I'm with you almost all the way there, Franklin, but did you have to crack on bow ties?

Bob
Gay Male Knitter in SC

Anonymous said...

Groovy socks! :)

Lynne aka witchypoo said...

You are such a rebel! Love the Lime Green Socks!

The Purloined Letter said...

I love how things combine in you: the Peter Rabbit waistcoats and the neon green socks, the purl two together and the pissing contest. Thanks for many laughs and many happy sighs.

laustin said...

The lime green socks are delightful and sure to give you a giggle every time you put them on.
I'm partial to bright colored foot wear, myself.

I'm very curious about the more somber-hued cabled socks you've been working on. The pattern is gorgeous and just what I've been looking for. What is the pattern, pray tell?

Anonymous said...

Yay! Those are fun, and I'll bet they will only lead to more socks in bright and beautiful colors.

Incidentally, you seem to have the same rug my parents do in the living room....

Ginger said...

Great socks!

I can't wait for Charlene's new book, just think, more sock love!

Carson said...

That's quite the breakthrough.
You can't be taupe your whole life or what's the point?
The green is fab

Anonymous said...

Great socks, good colour... wear them well.

My 30s have been great for realising that I'm increasingly uninhibited by what other people think/expect, and it's very liberating; I've only got 3 months left before I'm 40 and am hoping that I careen through another few decades in the same spirit...

Kerry said...

Well done....after green socks who knows what may follow. Enjoy being the colourful you.

MOG said...

Fox in sox! Ah, 36, relish the experience!

Anonymous said...

Hooray! Everything about this post makes me shout hooray. The green socks, the self-discovery, the what the hell attitude...

Please don't regret the past. You had to be that person to get where you are today. It's all good.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you used to confuse stuffiness with style. The green socks are a definite improvement. Wear them proudly.

And I'll second what Carol said, git yer ass East. Being a long-distance uncle is no fun.

Anonymous said...

You rock, Franklin, those are truly wonderful socks, wear them in good health and much joy!
Otter

Necia said...

bless your waistcoat buttons, Franklin. There are lots of us aging hippies out there-- and many of us who are still finding ourselves.

Eileen said...

It feels good just to look at those socks. Enjoy!

David said...

As long as you don't start stealing vegetables, I guess the waistcoats are fine.

Anonymous said...

waistcoats can come even in hippie-ish materials. it is never too late to find out what you really want to do. at 46 i am still wondering... and then i realised that elizabeth zimmerman must have been 60 years old when she started her knitting career... so good things happen at all ages. even life-changing things. even brand new careers. and there is a lot of hope in the colour of your socks. hippie.

Linda said...

Franklin, the lime green is fantastic. What could be more joyful on your feet? Certainly not sombre weebred grey.

Anonymous said...

waistcoats can come even in hippie-ish materials. it is never too late to find out what you really want to do. at 46 i am still wondering... and then i realised that elizabeth zimmerman must have been 60 years old when she started her knitting career... so good things happen at all ages. even life-changing things. even brand new careers. and there is a lot of hope in the colour of your socks. hippie.

badmommy said...

And of course, all those attributes are among the reasons we love you!

A nice alternative to Birkenstocks is Crocs, which I've been wearing pretty much constantly for the last year and a half. I turn 50 on the 27th and have decided that life is just way too short to have unhappy feet. And happy feet are a function of comfort PLUS style...

Jenn said...

Amen. Namaste. Peace, dude.

Molly said...

Lucky me - I have such a cool Birthday Twin! You revel in every single second of your birthday, Franklin, and if anyone dares ask your age, you tell them you are NOT thirty-six... you are TWENTY-SIXTEEN! Then stick out your tongue and show them your limey socks. ;-)

sogalitno said...

Keep wearing those waistcoats!

from the perspective of a few years further down the road - you have a great time ahead - in fact late thirties are a great time!

Rosi G. said...

Nice socks!! Nicer legs!!!

I'm a SUCKER for a man with shapely legs! :D

Anonymous said...

Peter Rabbit-ish perhaps, but also Peter Wimsey-ish.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! It's wonderful to know and be one's self in every way possible. life is short. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the socks and the feeling good. Feeling good rocks.

CeeCee said...

Franklin:

Reading this latest post was like looking into a mirror! I too have gone from hopeless conformity to hippie freedom and didn't fully arrive until I was 35. Thanks for sharing--"we read to know we are not alone"!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, keep the waistcoats. You could have some made in particularly vivid brocades, if it helps.

I love the green socks.

lunadog said...

The green socks are delicious! You've stumbled on one of the big secrets of life, my son - the older one gets, the less one cares what other people think. I thought I was liberated in my 20s, but now I realize I'm much more of a free spirit in my 50s.

Sarah said...

Love the socks! Lime green is such a happy, exuberant color -- you'll be spreading cheer wherever you walk.

Anonymous said...

I guess we all have to go through that period of trying to fit in before we figure out what makes us happy. Those socks are definitely made for happy feet!

Tanya said...

freedom socks, luv, that's what those are!

and isn't it frightening to look back at the you-you-were and think "who the HELL was that?!" I have recently had a mind-altering epiphany (at age 37): certain people have been trying to stick me in a box with whatever their preferred label for me on it (can't STAND that) but I have also been doing it TO MYSELF. What the hell? I'm still a little in shock.

Cheers to you being you and nothing less!

sweetfigs said...

you must be beaming! congrats!

needlefingers said...

(waving from downstate)

Happy Early Birthday! And may your life be filled with more 'lime green sock' moments. And maybe some purple ones, too.

Anonymous said...

Franklin, buttoned down and tied up is how I have felt for some time now in my corporate job, from which I was just laid off.

The relief is profound.

Warrior Knitter said...

Handknit loud socks rock!

Anonymous said...

Even before I started knitting, I loved a good garish sock. Turquoise with yellow smiley faces all over, toe socks, loud argyles. Now that I knit my own, I still want people to SEE them.

I'm not sure I make a good hippie, though. I was born in 72, to non-hippies, but I got plenty of hand-me-downs that made me look like one until I was 10. Also, the only way to keep my hair from going all Macy Gray is to use lots of mousse. I'm afraid the all-natural approach is out.

Anonymous said...

When I spend that much time making socks, I want people to SEE them!

Christy said...

I love those socks! I have recently found your blog through a good friend of mine and enjoying reading.

Anonymous said...

You forgot the fact that you live with a sheep! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oh! I love them!

Emily said...

You've brought tears to my eyes. I'm so wonderfully happy for you. I think you're wonderful just the way you are!

Ella said...

Happy early birthday.
Is it just me or are we Aquarians very pensive these days?
I turn 43 on the 31st and am wondering what the heck have I done in the last 20 years.
Time for a life change I think!
Maybe I need to start knitting bright green socks.

Josa Craft said...

Ahhhh, ducky, I would have pegged you as a little younger. LOVE the socks and congratualtions on being your authentic self. Feels good, doesn't it?

Whaledancer said...

I like your socks muchly. I also think that a life without a wee bit of whimsy is a life wasted. I'm glad you found your inner loud sock wearer and embraced it!
Who would ever WANT to knit dull socks?:oD

Casey said...

Lovely socks. Much lovelier soul inside the socks. Thank you for your post, Franklin.

Anonymous said...

Dude! My favorite color! :)

Joanne said...

"Free at last, free at last..."

:-)

CatBookMom said...

Thirty-six, hmm? That's pretty young to have learned that much about yourself. Good for you!

Last week I was just saying 'Thanks!' to the friend who 'introduced' me to your blog. Along with hundreds of others, I enjoy your comments, thoughts, cartoons and of course, Dolores. I haven't made up my mind about Victorine yet.

dragon knitter said...

vive la revolucion! franklin, the biggest thing is do these things make you happy? if so, to hell with the rest of them. maybe you could knit a waistcoat in lime green?

MonicaPDX said...

Mmm, lime... Why do I suddenly want a margarita? Lovely socks. And a great antidote to winter weather.

I third hippy-ish material/brocade waistcoats. Maybe crazy-quilt patchwork? As others have said, just wait 'til you hit your 50's. My, it's freeing! Glad you started early. Have fun and Happy Early Birthday!

(Apologies if this comes thru twice, Blogger said it was hiccuping the first try and I didn't listen. [g])

Anonymous said...

Franklin,

I was born in 1950 and went off to college in 1968 a virginal maiden who had never heard of marijuana (I'm from a small town in south Jersey and we were a bit behind the times).
All deficiencies were rectified within days of arriving at college. Bell bottoms, beads and floppy tops were donned. Tree-hugging and early environmental postures were assumed. Guerilla theater for political purposes was performed. However, with all this I must tell you, I have never been a hippie. Never met a hippie. Don't actually believe there ever were such things as hippies.
We were freaks.
I'm moving up to Maine this year and I want Dolly to come and stay with me.
Llinn

Marie said...

Love the socks.

Anonymous said...

You are too cute. And those socks are awesome! Peace.

Sister Sue said...

Good thing we waited til now to have the kid. You're finally ready to be the perfect uncle. I mean, who wouldn't love an uncle who knits and wears green socks?

emmy said...

Delurking to say Congratulations! Love the green socks. Thanks for sharing parts of your life. In many ways it helps me to better understand certain things in my life.

Robin said...

Love the socks - that is my favorite color! Kudos to you for figuring out who you really are - some people never do! As someone who's turning 35 next month, I don't feel like I knew who I was until my 30s either.

TrickyTricot said...

I quite like waistcoats too - they're the kind of thing that the highly-fashionable wear... if I should ever make any serious money, I'd buy a few and incorporate them into all sorts of outfits.

Anonymous said...

Waistcoats can be so cool, especially when accompanied with cool socks.

I send my kids to rather conservative schools with strict dress codes and then encourage them to do little acts of rebellion (i.e., no fingernail polish except nude . . . so they have multi-colored toe nails). I don't have a problem with the dress codes but think its okay to put your very own twist on it . . . besides the education they are getting is fabulous!

Terri said...

Hoorah for you! It took me much longer to figure all that out and quit being what was expected from me. The saddest thing I learned was that the people who expect the most 'acceptable' behaviour are either unhappy with themselves or don't really care all that much about you as a person. Know that the more you are true to yourself, the people in your life who value you are doing so for the right reasons.

Anonymous said...

Groovy, man. Far out!

AuntyNin said...

"This above all, to thine own self be true." (Shakespeare)

It might have been written 400 years ago, but it's still excellent advice.

Congratulations, and love those bright green feets!

doulicia said...

peace!

Kristin said...

It's okay, after years of fighting it I realized I'm a hippie too. And it does feel good.

Holly said...

Good on ya, mate.

And the socks are fantastic.

Eldronius said...

Oh Franklin, could you be any more charming?

I have always wanted to be a hippie, but I feel confined to the accounting establishment. I do hope I find a way to break through like you. At least I have a start with tree-hugging and knitting!

Cheers and bobblecogs to ya!

samw said...

There must be something magic about mid-30's. I was 35 when I figured out that what I was 'supposed to be' (happily married, content little wife, loving mother, content in my career, looking forward to my future) and what I really was (miserable, doormat, sole financial support of my family with an alcoholic, gambling husband, dreading every day... but I was and still am a pretty good mom) was radically different. So I got divorced, went through a major major changes, and now am happy with who I am. Finally.

So I wasted 15 or so years. It shaped me into who I am today. And I have another 40 or so years to be the whacky, happy, non-conformist that I have grown into being. Or, another wave of change may surge up and I'll ride that wave out onto the next chapeter in the journey.

I love your socks, and stop by almost daily to check in with your latest adventures. You... are awesome.

Susan said...

Bless your heart, Franklin -- and welcome to my world!

Anonymous said...

Those are the awesomest socks in Awesomeville. May they lighten your heart every time you put them on.

(Some socks are just nice cozy warm things for feet, which in no way diminishes their wonderfulness. But some socks... some socks are like toe-hugging woolen blessings. I suspect these are the latter type.)

brewerburns said...

You know, waistcoats definitely aren't to my own personal taste, but I think that we should all dress basically the way that we want to. Since I work in a profession where the dress code is pretty strict, and very button-down, I really think that we should all wear whatever we want when we're on our own time, and we should really wear whatever color or pattern of handknit socks that turn our fancy.

Anonymous said...

HMMM-

The nice thing about your 30s is that you actually learn to like yourself; you learn what your strenghts and weaknesses are. There is nothing inherently wrong with topsiders and polos if you like them. Topsiders hurt my feet.

You should knit yourself a vest. Preferably lime green.

Anna-Liza said...

You know what? You're the only other person I've ever seen/heard use "And what about Naomi?" besides me. I get these strange looks when I say it.

Thank you for sharing so much of your journey. I'm going to be 45 in July, and I keep feeling like I'm peeling away layers of who I used to think I was, but have never been.

Anonymous said...

Great socks, Hippie Spinner Dude! The color looks good on you!

marie in florida said...

happy birthday dude

Twilight said...

I'm a knitting hippie too! Awesome socks are like lingerie for your feet.

Violetsrose said...

It takes a while for some of us to discover who we really are - glad you've found yourself - and the socks are FAB!!

Lori said...

great socks! but lime green does not a hippie make. But birkies, that's another matter... :o) Lori

Stacy said...

Franklin, I'm glad you're you. Genuine people are few and far between.

And I'd wear the socks, too.

Tallguy said...

It's about time the "real" you came out! LOL

Wendy said...

It's good to see that the lime green yarn went to good use.

Trope said...

And bless your soul, it looks good on you. GREAT socks.

Trish said...

Happy Birthday! and I love the green socks.

I'm having a hard time picturing you in bow ties, but I guess that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I will turn 36 on January 24th. Often I feel a bit sad to think how I spent my twenties–the years in which one is supposed to be wild and adventurous–strapped into roles and clothes I thought I wanted because almost everyone around me was insisting I should want them.

Just remember, it is never too late to have a happy childhood. Or a "young adulthood", if that's what you want. Great socks.

Anonymous said...

A bumper sticker recently purchased in Asheville, NC: I don't mind straight people, as long as they act gay in public.

I bought it for my 17 year old daughter, who came out almost a year ago. She thought it was hilarious.

At 49, I'm considering making myself some bright green socks - I think of it as poison green, like those little poison dart frogs in the Amazon.

Happy Birthday - better late than never!

idyllicchick said...

Holey moley! I have that same rug! Between this, and the sofa I had that matches one belonging to my favorite, fabulous cousin, I think I might have an inkling of taste!

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Pat said...

Franklin...wearing the socks with the waistcoats is what makes a hippie and I bet you look great in both. Enjoy your freedom...Pat(Much Older then 36 Hippie)

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