Everything I know about Gypsies I learned from reality TV shows and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Conversation between me and Laura:

me:  Have you seen the TV show “Girls?

Laura:  Yeah.  I like it…but I also kind of want to save those girls from themselves.  And I want to make them take a shower.

me:  YES.  THANK YOU.  I just want to cover up their nipples and tell them to stop getting so much tattoos because they’re using up all of their free skin now.  They’re going to want that skin later.

Laura:  Probably for more tattoos.

me:  I want to make them some warm soup.  And to sew condoms into all of their pockets.

Laura:  Um…you can’t sew through condoms.  That’s inherently problematic.

me: Maybe I could crotchet some condom pockets

Laura:  And then sew the pockets into their shirts.

me:  BUT THEY DON’T WEAR SHIRTS.  HonestlyI can’t watch the show without getting areola in my eye.

Laura: Don’t laugh, but I kind of want to learn how to knit.

me:  I totally do too.

Laura:  We want to knit and we’re telling people in their 20’s they need to put on a sweater.  I think we might have just aged out of the “Girls” demographic.

me:  Fuck.  I think you’re right.  I want to give them a Flintstone vitamin and make them take a nap.

Laura:  Let’s change the subject.  I feel old.

me:  Good point.  I want to know how to knit but I don’t want to learn it.  Like in The Matrix.  But with knitting instead of karate.

Laura:  You seem like one of those bohemian people knitting would come naturally to.  I think you were a gypsy in a past life, and they’re always…you know…

me:  Putting curses on people to make them thinner?

Laura:  Um…no?

me:  Playing the tambourine?

Laura:  No.  Gypsy life is not all about putting curses on people and playing the tambourine.  There’s downtime.

me:  And that’s when the gypsies would knit?

Laura: This is my guess.

me:  I think you know even less about gypsies than I do.

Laura:  It’s possible.

222 thoughts on “Everything I know about Gypsies I learned from reality TV shows and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Knitting is wonderful! It helps out a lot with my anxiety and makes me feel better when I’m trying to head off a panic attack.

  2. Everything I know about gypsies comes from old Irish folksongs, so it would actually be quite illuminating to balance that out with some reality tv. Hmm. See – you’re an educator, Jenny.

  3. I, too, get all of my cultural information from Disney movies. Let me tell you – Mulan was an eye opener. Great post! I like the show, and I’m in the age demographic that’s supposed to relate. But I don’t. I’m with you. I want them to put some clothes on, stop self-sabotaging, and watch TV. Like the rest of us.

    Shoshanna is the exception. She can smoke crack every episode. Because that was hysterical.

  4. Areola in the eye. Tht’s an image…I don’t watch reality tv. I prefer my reality than…um. Well, it’s a scary world out there in reality tv land.

  5. ….is it wrong that I now want to crochet condom pockets for all my youth group members?

    …..is it more wrong that I used the word “members” in a comment about prophylactic cozies?

  6. I keep wondering if it’s a problem that I rarely age out of demographics.

    On the other hand, I want to gather people up who are in their 30s and feed them pie. There is that.

    I totally want to learn how to knit. But at this point I’ve aged IN to the demographic for that.

  7. What I love about this is that I have had very similar conversations with my best friend SO many times. Also, I definitely don’t want to learn how to knit because it requires patience, of which I have none. But I’d love to just magically have something knitted and be able to show it off to people that I did it with my mind.

  8. You’re both missing the point of reality television: the more messed up and half-naked you are, the better!
    Its not the way it should be, but such is life in 2012…
    Two words: Honey Boo Boo…

  9. I watched season 1 and kind of got bored by the end. I agree though, too many boobs and too much self sabatoge.

  10. Knitting is the new/old Zen. Unless you like doing the gorgeous, difficult stuff. I like the repetitive motion so, I make easy stuff. Alert – I AM old, so don’t poach on my turf, you two are just older *girls*. Enjoy!!

  11. Seriously, you don’t want to learn to knit. It’s very frustrating keeping up with those two needles. What you want to learn is crochet. It’s much easier and only one needle is required. Half the chances of putting an eye out.

  12. Hands up if you’re already figuring out how to knit a condom pocket? ‘Cause that just sounds awesome. Especially when nosy people ask ‘Oh, how cute, you’re knitting! What’s it going to be?’ ‘Condom pocket for shirtless whores’.

  13. Y’know, if you could work out how to do that gypsy weight loss curse, you could make a buck or two. I mean, sure, it’s a curse but it can’t be much worse than diet and exercise.

  14. “Honestly, I can’t watch the show without getting areola in my eye.”
    And this is why I have no interest in ever owning a 3D TV.

  15. With you there on the aquiring skills. I don’t want to learn things. I want to do them. And if I learn something it usually is not because I want to do it, but I want to know how to do it….Yes, I’m weird. And I didn’t vote today. Spank me!

  16. I refuse to admit that I may have aged out of the “Girls” demographic. But she has a good point I can’t help but want to throw those girls into a cold shower and disinfect them and knit them sweater vests, that cover their areolas. And that’s just not cool to “Girls” these days.

  17. Didn’t Sylvester Stallone learn to knit while encapsulated in ice in prison in the movie Demolition Man? Yep that’s what we all need to learn.

  18. I knit, it saves lives. You know, the lives of people who annoy me when I’m stressed. It is definitely worth it, but it can be an expensive addiction.

    Also, I’m young, and I don’t think I fit the demographic of that show either 🙂

  19. Knitting is fantastic. And easy (if you go for the basics). And fantastic.
    It’s like meditation for fidgety people.
    Also circular needles are awesome.

  20. My nephew and I were talking about Girls. He LOVES the show. I told him it makes me uncomfortable and like I need to mother them all. It was the perfect generation gap moment.

  21. As an avid knitter, I have to say that this has become one of my most favorite posts ever. And if either of you wish to “learn” to knit, I am here for you.

  22. As a knitter, I applaud your ambition to learn about yarn and pointy sticks. It is inherently a calming activity, one that soothes the knitter’s soul and mind. And there is all that gorgeous YARN!

    Ahem. Sorry. I get really excited about knitting.

  23. Two things. One, I want to nurture the girls on Girls. Two, I used to own a pair of panties that had a built in condom pocket. I was a prude so I never needed it. But they exist. So you can worry a little less now.

  24. I love watching Girls on HBO!! It’s one of my favorite shows. You have to admit- Lena Dunham, for not being a Hollywood ittie bittie she’s puts herself out there like she is. I love that about her!

    Did you watch her on the Academy awards parady spoof at the beginning of the show?!

  25. THANK YOU for saying this. I’m in the “Girls” demographic and when I’m watching all I can think is, “My life is SO NOT LIKE THAT. Someone’s reality check may have bounced while they were eating cake naked.” I want to go bra shopping with them just so I can be sure they own bras.

  26. Go for it. Knitting is awesome. Granted, I crochet…but that’s awesome too. And was easier for me to learn.

    I was kinda curious about Girls, in a morbid sort of way, but I think this post has put the nail in that coffin. I’ll stick with my crocheting and yelling at the dude bros in our apartment complex’s pool to go home after 10 pm.

  27. Since you apparently were a gypsy in a previous life, can you please clear up something for me? My mom used to threaten to give me away to the gypsies whenever I was acting like a jerk as a child. Do gypsies actually take discarded children?

  28. I wish life were like The Matrix at least 4 days a week when I want to know how to do something but don’t want to take the time to learn it. I started learning to knit last year. My scarf is currently a very attractive pot holder. Need a potholder?

  29. Jenny, darling, I will TOTALLY teach you how to knit. Barring that, I can point you toward the perfect people who can. Seriously.

  30. When gypsies aren’t knitting, throwing curses and areolas they dance. I saw it on Interview with a vampire. So you know it’s true. but they don’t dress very well. I know that because of the scary movie where the old gypsy lady curses the young girl for not giving her a loan and then she makes a spider crawl in the girl’s eye. So I think ultimately being a gypsy is about cursing, areolas and dancing.

  31. Crocheting is pretty easy. I mean, I always do it wrong and my grandmother unwinds everything I make and starts it over again, but it is relaxing. And we’re not gypsies that I’m aware of.

  32. what i know about gypsies i learned from cher. y’know? gypsies, tramps, and thieves? yeah. it still confuses me.

  33. I’m pretty sure that I have an anti-knitting gene, should one exist (if not, I just suck at knitting). The girls in my college dorm tried to teach me for months, but I never learned anything past the first row. Fail.

    Hey, if you learn to knit, you could always send them sweaters with fake tattoos already on there.

  34. I think once you become a mother, especially of a little girl, all you want to do is help/take care of every other little girl you see. And tell them to use protection and put some damn clothes on.

    Fuck. I’m old now, too.

    Where’s my damn Geritol???? And my tequila? I need something to wash it down with…

  35. All I know about gypsies is that you can sell children to them. I often thought about this while baby sitting.

  36. learning to knit sounds painfully boring…I’d just like the ability too. Or ask my freakish friends to knit me a blanket which I’ll exchange for copious amounts of wine. Seems easier.

  37. I knew I had aged out of the Girls demographic in the first episode- I found myself agreeing with her parents about cutting off her living allowance. Tried one more episode and wanted to tell them all to grow up for God’s sake…………..oh well.
    Sister Kathryn taught our sixth grade class how to knit, and I learned to crochet in tenth grade- I don’t do either one now. Maybe it will come around again in my life.

  38. I taught myself to knit using books and youtube videos. It is incredibly relaxing, and now my family has more scarves and blankets than they know what to do with.

  39. I, too, want to *know* how to know without having to learn. I did knit a cardigan for a baby, once, but it took me almost as long as it took for the baby to show up, and it had one arm longer than the other. (the cardigan, that is. The baby seemed pretty symmetrical, as far as I could judge) I decided that if a teeny tiny woolie jumper was going to take 7 months and end up lopsided that knitting was perhaps Not For Me.

    Although I did end up a few weeks ago sitting next to someone who was busy knitting a Dalek, and somone else a week later who was crocheting Cthulhu, which made me want to try again.

    Plus having a legitimate reason to carry sharp pointy things has its own appeal…

  40. You know, those evil eyes Gypsies sell look an awful lot like areolas. I wonder if there’s a big market for knitted areolas to ward off curses?

  41. It’s like writing a novel or running a marathon. Having done it sounds great. Doing it, not so much.

  42. Okay, I am a knitter that does karate. Does that make me more Matrix- like, of just old? Or just messed in the head? But I also want to tell the Girls to put some damn clothes on. I guess that makes me old? Dammit!

    Fuck it, I am just going to take a nap.

  43. I taught myself to knit and crochet via YouTube videos. And wasn’t there a tv show with Eddie Izzard (swoon) and Minnie Driver about Gypsies?

  44. I’ve been watching a lot of Angel on netflix and I’m pretty sure you guys know enough about gypsies. Except there was that episode of House where the girl and her gypsy boyfriend were making out and the boyfriend swallowed a toothpick and it punctured his intestines and his parents thought that Dr House was doing experiments on their kid because they were gypsies and they’ve been persecuted a lot. I think the moral was not to make out with toothpicks. And I should probably stop watching so much TV. But it’s when I do my knitting. It’s hard to read and knit.

  45. Don’t gypsy’s work at carnivals? I’ve always thought I would be an amazing carny. Like, I just know I have some crazy mad carny skillz buried just below the surface of my SAHM veneer. All I need is a ferris wheel to unleash them on. Or a ring toss. Whatever. I’m not too picky.

  46. All I know is that gypsies will buy children and apparently at a good price because that was what my mom threatened to do to us (sell us to the gypsies) when we were misbehaving.

  47. So many topics to choose from in this post…

    Gypsy facts for your collection: They started the hoop earring trend and they live in a wagon.

    I think I’m too mature (old) to watch Girls. I tried, the writing is good, but it made me feel like I was watching my little sisters make all kinds of horrible mistakes. I hated that feeling when it was actually happening, why would I want to put myself through that again?

    Knitting, bleh. Not for me. My grandmother taught me to crochet and I sucked at it. I think I’m going to be more of a, watch soap operas with my cats kind of old lady.

  48. I knit all the time! It’s pretty awesome. I’ve been churning out scarves like crazy because it is cold where I am and I have lots of friends. It really isn’t very hard and once you get the pattern down (it doesn’t take long at all) you can sit and watch tv or hang out with Hailey or whatever, and just let your hands fidget, and in a little while you suddenly have a big long scarf! Also, since “it’s the thought that counts”, you can hand those suckers out for Christmas EVERY YEAR and nobody will have the guts to say “Actually, I wanted a new laptop…” because instead of just buying something, like a shallow person, you handmade it.

    I also took my scarf-in-progress with me when I went to vote today. So at least I had a distraction when I was waiting in line.

  49. Head on over to Boerne this weekend to Kid’n’Ewe. Lots of knitting going on there. And no gyspies – maybe. But there will be goats and sheep and llamas – probably. http://www.kidnewe.com/

  50. Damn. According to all of you my tears heal the sick or punish the wicked, I can knit a sweater, am a snazy dancer, and I am besties with Cher. I am either the second coming or Merlin the wizard. Wine at my house tonight. W00t!

    (Cher and I will be right over. ~ Jenny)

  51. Get a knitting loom. Seriously, those things have very small learning curves and you feel productive while using them. I keep making scarfs on accident. It’s very therapeutic, too, something about the repetitive action. I find it calming.

  52. I think you have gone past “Girls” to Golden Girls. That’s ok. I’m right there with ya!

  53. My mother-in-law knitted a blanket for my daughter. It took her like six months. It’s beautiful and everything… but who has that kind of time??? Become a gypsy, okay, but don’t knit. You’ll lose valuable time for cultivating blog-fodder. That, or the weirdest, most blog-worthy things EVER will happen to you… while you’re knitting. Surely the latter. Aw, just go ahead and learn to knit.

  54. Knitting/ crocheting is the best crutch for introverts EVER. You can sit in a room with a bunch of strangers, knitting in your lap and not have to make small talk. “Excuse me, but I’m purling”. Much more socially acceptable than reading a book. So long as you give them a scarf at Christmas.

    Also you’ll learn everything you need to know on TLC about Gypsies. I’m hooked on “My big fat Gypsy Wedding”. There’s a BBC version and now an American version and they’re fascinating. Especially if you LOVE humungous, bedazzled, poofy princess dresses that can’t fit through doorways.

  55. I tried learning how to knit and ended up with a really shitty camo-colored scarf (yes, I picked camo for my first yarn).

    Also, I think I’m supposed to be in the “Girls” demographic, and I’m probably a whole decade behind you in age, but I don’t even like the idea of *watching* the show. So … you know … I don’t know.

  56. You might be able to start a whole side business with the condom pocket thing. I don’t knit or sew (except when necessary), which is really too bad because I REALLY need a job right now.

    It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye (damn areola)!

  57. I have actually knit some condom pockets. I can send you one if you want. I made them out of really soft alpaca yarn and they have a button that keeps them closed. Let me know if you want neutral grey or rainbow pride.

  58. Remember back in the day–the early 1990s–when you could just walk down the street and people would fling condoms at you? All part of the ACT-UP, HIV-AIDS awareness movement, but it meant we never had to skulk into a CVS to actually *buy* them.

    If you don’t remember those days, then you are a young ‘un and I want to pinch your cheeks because you’re so cute!

  59. My sister is an avid knitter. She makes scarves, hats an sweaters. She also is a yarn pack rat. She actually has an entire room full of a variety of yarns she has acquired over the years. She has enough yarn for 200 sweaters, 500 scarves or 1500 knit hats.

  60. I just want to learn how to knit because I’m terrified of not having enough blankets during the zombie apocalypse. Just an overall handy skill to have.

  61. Don’t feel bad, I’m 28 and I totally taught myself how to Crochet a few years ago. Nothing says “you’re getting old” like a crochet hook.

  62. Crochet instead of knit. It goes much faster and you’ll have something finished before you know it. I know this as I believe I am part gypsy on my father’s side.

  63. I spit coffee through my nose when you said you can’t watch the show without getting areola in the eye. Best reason EVER to have to clean off my computer screen.
    Just realized how porno that sounds…. believe me… I’m not that interesting.

  64. Honestly… if I didn’t knit on airplanes the airlines would have barred me from flying based on the number of times I called the crew over to tell me I wasn’t going to die.

  65. “Maybe I could crotchet some condom pockets” Why did I read that as “CROTCH-et”? I think that may be applicable in reference to condoms and the unwashed 20 somethings on “Girls.”

    Everything I know about Gypsies is from bellydance, so it’s inherently just as incorrect.

  66. I watched all of the first season of Girls in one night. I have a love/hate relationship with it, especially the rampant bralessness. I learned to knit when I was 18, but all I make is hats and scarves, and one bag. I am super good at starting projects and buying pretty yarn, and then I never do anything with it…my mom is a knitting goddess though. Perhaps I should commission her to knit the girls some sweaters with condom pockets.

  67. I don’t watch the show because I’m afraid I won’t be able to tell the four brunettes apart. Can’t they throw in a curly red head or something? But now that I see that Chris O’Dowd is a recurring actor, I may change my mind.

    And everything I know about gypsys I learned from Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

  68. There is the reality show in which modern day Gypsy girls get married. They insist on these dress that poof out half a mile and nobody tells fortunes or places curses.

  69. Once you get good at it, knitting is really relaxing. Until you do, though, it’s incredibly frustrating. I guess like anything else in life, really.

  70. Everything I learned about gypsies, I learned from watching the gypsy family across the street. And obviously Laura knows nothing about gypsies. She’s more than welcome to come stay for a while. It’ll be like a student exchange program. It’s less cute gypsy caravans and long flowy skirts and more soon-to-be-repossessed monster trucks and 4 yr olds dressed like they’re working a corner.

    You can come too. I’ll teach both of you how to knit. I love it. As Lani said, the repetitiveness is very calming when I start to feel panicky. And the whole counting stitches thing is good at feeding my OCD.

  71. I knit and crochet, and embroider… in fact, in college, I was voted most likely to fit into a nursing home. >.<
    I don't watch reality tv, but I read enough blogs to get the gist of things… thank you for keeping me from the reality shows!!

  72. Knitting and crocheting are both very handy skills to have. In the event of another apocalyptic event, you can throw together a blanket to keep warn as well as a fishing net to catch dinner. In a pinch, I bet you could even start a fire by rubbing your knitting needles together. 😉

    I need to go learn how to knit….

  73. My pre-teen daughter and I took some basic knitting classes. I love to make hats, so repetitive and calming, and about as creative as I get. Youtube can teach you steps you don’t know. Ravelry.com has any pattern you can think of (HELLO – Tardis hats!)

    And most importantly, as others have mentioned – 2 pointy sticks to remind others to leave you alone when you’re stabby.

  74. I knit boobs, and found it’s really fun to take them out and have them fondled and loved before sending them to be bra stuffers. And airlines will let you take knitting needles on airplanes, so you have ready protection if needed. Knitting rocks.

  75. Wow so much ignorance and ugly stereotypes about an entire ethnic group here. NICE.

  76. I watched the entire first season of Girls trying to figure out why it had so many rave reviews. In the end, I felt the same way as I did after episode one…all of the characters are unlikable and uninteresting, and there is nothing even vaguely comedic about the show overall. I get more laughs from Dexter. Seriously.

    And now I’m thinking about boob scarves.

  77. If you really want to learn to knit, ping me the next time you’re in LA and we can hide out away from people and play with sticks and string. (Knitting is an excellent shield when you have to be out in public: you can stop listening and pretend it’s because you’re paying attention to your project; you can use the knitting as a screen to hide behind when you need just a minute on your own; and you are never without pointy weapons should the situation get really dire.)

  78. I have never seen this show, though I believe the nipple thing applies to even some who wear a shirt. I mean, what’s the point of putting on that tank top if I can still see the size and color of your nipple/areola area? Also, I’ve never had a bra my nipples were capable of poking through. Either some of these people have nipples of steal or mine are seriously under motivated…

  79. Not only have I never seen Girls, I have never heard of Girls. I am in some other demographic altogether. I would love to already know how to knit. So I’m in that demographic. (Lazy non-knitters?)

  80. Knitting and internetting don’t mix, unfortunately. I’m so gimpy wristed from being a former knitter, my hand sometimes goes numb mid web crawl

  81. I always wanted to learn how to knit, but I’m not allowed to have sharp objects.

  82. Ha! Not only am I gypsy, but I also know how to knit. Come to the UK and I’ll make you a scarf.

  83. I was really enjoying this post until everyone started making fun of gypsies. What’s next? black people?

    (It looks like this is your first comment here so I should let you know that the person made fun of the most – including in this post – is myself. And I totally deserve it almost all the time. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  84. Oooo, I agree with all the other knitters out there. There are lots of gorgeous yarns and patterns around now, not “your grandma’s knitting” anymore. You could make yourself something gorgeous to go with your red dress. 🙂
    It’s a good excuse to sit on the couch and watch tv. Also good to bring with you for long car rides (Victor can drive) and waiting rooms. If I lived closer I’d teach you both. If my 8 year old can do it, you can too. check out http://www.ravelry.com

  85. If you started to knit you would hit all the points of awesome in my world. You could knit your very own Dalek. Or TARDIS. Or knit faux taxidermy figures….I might have missed the entire point of this post, I’m going to go play with my sticks and string until I learn to focus better 🙂

  86. Knit them a sweater covered in areolas. Everybody wins.

    …Not real areolas. Just the crochet-style ones that come on hats for breastfeeding babies. Otherwise not everybody is winning in that, I think.

  87. Long time reader. First time commenter. I’m Gypsy (but we call ourselves Travelers) and I thought this was hysterical. But now I feel bad that I don’t know how to play the tamborine. I can teach you about cursing though.

  88. Learn to knit. Knit some penis cozies, some stuffed boobs. Then ask yourself-

    is this really my granny’s knitting?

    Nope. I”m still under 30 (barely) but I love knitting. Like others… it helps ease my anxiety, sooth my nerves and keeps me from fidgeting.

  89. I crochet all the time! I find it really calms my anxiety because I have to focus which doesn’t come easily to me. Hurray for Anxiety Disorders. Its really easy to learn. Check youtube they know everything.

  90. I knit and crochet and love them both, I find them soothing when I’m all stressed out. The best are dishcloths, it takes a hour to do one (while watching tv) so they’re simple and give a sense of accomplishment. I stick them in gift baskets, give them to the mailman at Christmas, and give them as housewarming gifts (I have a lot of stress, which leads to a lot of dishcloths). I used Stitch n’Bitch books to learn, plus youtube for when I get confused.

    PS I think I was born to be a grandma, but I don’t know how long I’ll have so I’m starting now. My next step will to be to always have Maple Candies in my purse and All-Sorts licorice in my candy dish, because Grandmas are awesome like that.
    PPS I’m not dying or anything, I just think you should live the way that makes you happiest, even if it means acting like a grandma in your 30s.

  91. I would teach you how to knit, Jenny, but w8ith your attention span you’d never finish a project. Not even a condom pocket.

  92. BEWARE!!! DO NOT KNIT. my husband has rheumatoid arthritis, and he taught me how to knit one cold evening and it was great, but totally made his RA flare up and he developed tendinosis in his knitting thumb. and literally had to wear a brace for 3 months and had to go to physical therapy for his thumb. i’m not making this shit up. and people would be all, what happened? and he would mumble something incoherent, but i would loudly interject that it was a knitting injury. an extreme knitting injury. he hates me.

  93. Er. Well, if you want to learn about “gypsies,” I can point you to some resources. But most of those resources are responses to stereotypes that would shatter the jokey mood of the post and comments.

    Romani are real people who’ve had it rough for centuries because of these stereotypes. So, I’m sorry to be a killjoy, but I’m not okay with laughs at their expense.

    (Hey Alice. I adore you and your opinion – killjoy or not – is ALWAYS welcome. So far I’ve only heard positive things from my readers who identify as Romani, but perhaps that’s just because they’re all long-term readers and all know that the tone of my posts and commenters are always joking – mostly at myself – and are not malicious. Personally I’ve watched all of the gypsy docs (UK and US) that I could see because I’m fascinated with the culture and because supposedly there are rumors that my dad’s ancestors (who are 100% Slavik) may have left Europe because they were perceived as/or were gypsies. Or possibly those are stories my grandmother told me to seem less boring. Regardless, on a less funny note, education is always a wonderful thing, and anyone wanting to know more about true Roma issues can check out this site: http://iamroma.qec-eran.org/ Laughing is awesome. So is learning. They don’t have to be separate things.
    On a separate note, I also didn’t mean to personally stereotype girls in their 20’s as all needing showers and nipple covers. Not that anyone complained on their behalf, but still. The whole post was written with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek and I’d like to hope it was read that way by anyone who is familiar with me in any way. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  94. I’ve never heard of that show before but I’m kinda curious now. By the way, I’ve googled gypsies and never saw anything about knitting… but I’m lazy and suck at looking things up so that doesn’t mean much.

  95. This is the fricking most hilarious conversation in the history of time. “I want to give them a Flintstone vitamin and make them take a nap.” Oh my word, I spit tea.

  96. I could totally teach you to knit, and you’d love it becasue you know what? Knitting often involves drinking. And chatting with friends. And sitting. It’s like you are doing something when really, you are doing nothing. It’s perfect!

  97. During my childhood, when my siblings and I misbehaved, my dad would threaten to sell us to the gypsies. I’m not really sure why this was an effective threat, but it was. Now I just feel like I’ve missed out on my chance to learn how to knit during “gypsy down time.”

  98. I just got my eyes checked, I can’t see without reading glasses, and they are annoying as hell . The Dr examined my eyes, patted me on the shoulder, told me to get a makeup mirror and that “I need to remember, I’m 50 years old”. He said “it doesn’t get any better from here”. Enjoy your youth ladies…..
    And by the way, aging out of a demographic sucks, and I’ve never even heard of “Girls”
    I need a glass of red wine, I’m told it is great for the elderly. Love your blog, love your book, love you!

  99. Oh man, just enjoying reading the posts here, chuckling along, and then began to read about all the folks with their panties in a bunch, do we all have to take every single comment ever made and immediately apply a level of indignation and offense to it? I am so tired of the whole world being soooo sensitive, do you people censor every word you say or write? Are you so astute to people’s feelings that you never say anything to offend anyone? Do you know what offends me? People like you. Lighten up, and try to find something to be happy about instead of picking apart every single comment you read or hear, I promise, the world will be a better place.

  100. I love to knit and I’m happy to teach you. There’s only two basic stitches and once you get the hang of those it’s very zen IMO. Next time you find yourself in Santa Barbara feel free to e-mail me and we’ll make it happen.

  101. I prefer crocheting over knitting (and I’m 31). If I were in TX, I would totally volunteer to teach you! 😀

  102. I’ve never seen Girls, and from your description, probably won’t. But I would love to learn Matrix style. Think of everything you could learn if you didn’t have to invest so much time to do it. I would learn how to fly a helicopter, throw pottery, or cook.

  103. Most of my gypsy knowledge comes from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Riches, which is not reality TV, but does include Eddie Izzard so is just a win.

    However, I have also read the book “Bury Me Standing” by Isabel Fonseca, and that told me about gypsies. Curses weren’t much mentioned, as you can imagine.

  104. Everything I know about gypsies was learned from politically incorrect children’s books, which is all we had to read when I was a child. I learned they like bright colors and poufy shirts, wear bandanas on their heads and hoops in their ears, and many times the men would wear sashes around their waists. Therefore, I always relate gypsies to pirates, only on the land. Cher only confirmed that impression. I always thought it would be more fun to be a gypsy than a pirate because you would dance around a fire. That would be hard to do on a ship. Especially with the pirate pegleg.

  105. I too feel like dressing them and giving them a pep talk about their self-worth! I am definitely out of the demographic but it was almost like watching a train wreck and being unable to look away even though you know you should!

  106. Yeah, you don’t want to sew condom pockets… keeping them that close to the body makes them break down from the heat.

    All I know about Gypsies* I learned from watching Sean Connery in From Russia With Love. So I’m instrument-rated on the whole “girl/girl fighting before the Bulgarian ambush culminating in hot off-camera threesome” thing. This movie is also useful in explaining the whole “man possessed as token of competitive status” thing.

    *The most important thing to know is that everything you know about them is wrong, including this. It’s sort of like Irish spelling, which is a hobby the Irish use to piss off the English.**

    **They can’t help it, the English did it with all the French words they stole, too. Misspelling French vocabulary is the English national sport.***

    ***It used to be Fox Hunting, but no, can’t have nice things.

  107. Dear Bloggess, I don’t get to see Girls cause my cable TV is messed up. But I do like the sound of gypsies! I am currently reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. And there’s a lot about gypsies in there! They’re vague and magical! 🙂

  108. If it helps any, I learned to knit when I was 25, to crochet at 26, and to tat (lace-making, not tattooing, though that would be really awesome) at 28. I’m just now learning to sew on a machine and I’m almost thirty. :3

    Crafting relieves tension and stress, and helps you put your anxiety in a cushy-cozy-knitted box where it can’t bother you.

  109. If only you were left-handed, I’d teach you to knit. It’s relaxing and the perfect thing to do while watching TV without watching TV because your husband has control of the remote.

  110. If you want to learn to knit and/or crochet, I could teach you. I live over in New Braunfels, but I don’t mind heading over to Austin at all 🙂 It’s a lot of fun, and you can make crazy things with it!

  111. Knitting and crochet (and spinning and weaving) are amazing! you take this string and sticks and make something. You should totally learn to knit. And join ravelry.com! It’s srsly one of the best sites EVER. And there are patterns for everything, penis cozies, sweaters, boob scarves!

  112. I sat down one night when I couldn’t sleep and started trying to knit a two-headed sweater for my friend and I to wear. He’s about a foot taller than me. It was going to be AMAZING!
    But then I remembered that I don’t know how to knit. Not even a little bit. I figured that if I concentrated hard enough, it would just come to me. Just like The Force did. It didn’t. Not even after twenty minutes of yelling at the yarn and needles.
    So I started crocheting instead. But then I remembered that it kind of takes forever to make anything big… I ended up with a potholder.

  113. Kid you not, I live in Spain and there are tons of gypsies. My mother-in-law likes to make them socks and she does this by knitting them. I’ll never understand the Spanish.

  114. You know, I was always pretty sure that’s what gypsies did too. Played tambourine and made rabbit stew and told fortunes and things like that. If you’re going with my definition of a gypsy, they’re really romantic and fantastic. I’m sorry to say that my imagined versions don’t really crochet, though.

  115. If I can learn how to knit, you can, it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I’m in the middle of knitting a periodic table / blanket for my best friend who is a geeky science nerd 🙂
    We had a reality TV show in UK called My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, you should watch that, it’s a real eye opener!

  116. I really wanted to like Girls, but I too, just felt the need to protect them and had to stop watching. Plus I really don’t want to see teen girls naked that often. Let me rephrase that… EVER.

  117. First, its about time that women stopped being ashamed of their areolii. Good for GIRLS.

    Second, I think you would want to knit more if you were made aware of all of the patterns that exist for knitted roadkill and zombies and such. There are a lot.

    Third, I teach knitting. Most of the knitters I know are between the ages of 20 and 55. The only demographic that knitters fall in to is the MADE OF AWESOME demographic.

  118. I learned to knit. If I could learn it, EVERYBODY can. I used Youtube knitting instruction vids. I can honestly say that it does nothing to help with much other than keeping my fingers flexible and my feet warm. Actually I’ve knitted sock to more or less the entire extended family. I’m doing a Yoda hat, next. Need variation, besides it’s winter, my ears are getting cold

  119. When I was about six years ould the nice old lady a few house down taught me how to knit. Only problem was shw was left handed. So I knit like a left handed person. That would be fine but when someone tries to show me how to do something, I can’t get it because they are right handed and it doesn’t look right to me and my brain and hands can’t figure it out.

    I’ll stick to drinking. Much easier and I’m quite ambidextrous when I drink. I’m good like that.

  120. I only learned how to knit so that I would have something to do with my hands while I watched TV. I can’t just sit. Wow, I’m sure that says a lot about me.

  121. I’m 26 and I know how to knit. I only attempt to knit. I get all of the shit out because I get a sparkle up my ass then I start watching a wad of cat hair roll by and get distracted. End of knitting career.

  122. I’ve never heard of that show before, but it sounds like the popular recent trend of spotlighting trainwreck-type lifestyles.
    I also didn’t think gypsies represented a specific nationality sensitive to being stereotyped. I always thought being a gypsy was a lifestyle choice, like being an immigrant, or a pirate. I will consider myself enlightened.
    I learned how to knit in 4H decades ago. But once everybody HAD their set of potholders I quit, and I did not retain my knitting skills. The same type of thing happened with macrame. And chess.

  123. Don’t forget about crocheting – it’s like a gateway to knitting, and it’s much easier to correct any mistakes you make.
    Just youtube all that stuff for lessons. That’s what I do when I’m knitting/crocheting.
    P.S. I’m a girl in her twenties and I want to do the exact same thing when I watch that show.

  124. The cats would love it if you learned to knit. So much yarn; so little time. Speaking of which, we need a HST update and picture please.

  125. This might be the most accurate description ever of how I feel when I watch Girls (and I’m 25).

  126. If you learn to knit, you can totally make this: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/tardis-kindle-case-dr-who
    which is what I am currently attempting. MIL is a great knitter, but even she gets frustrated with it. It can totally be relaxing, except when you’re trying to learn new stitches and such and then I throw things. So now that I type it, I’m totally with you on the wanting to Know It and not have to Learn It!

  127. Maybe I’m just a cynic, but knitting is one of those skills that has turned into knowing how to sew buttons on things. I never get to experience my own enjoyment of knowing how to sew buttons, or knowing how to knit, because like every thirty seconds someone is all “oh, can you knit me a scarf or a pot holder or a condom pocket and when you’re done I need you to sew a button on it.”

  128. Wait! You forgot to include that they kidnap bad little boys and girls who don’t listen to their parents. That was a favorite of my immigrant grandmother.

  129. I LOVE the blog posts where you just capture hilarious conversations…especially the ones with your husband. Can you make a book of just conversations? I’d read that in a heartbeat.

    p.s. I still love your other posts as well.

  130. You know, if you learn to knit, you could join Ravelry.com. And once you join Ravelry, you could join the “Completely Pointless And Arbitrary Group group”. And once you join CPAAGg, you will realize that you are home for the first time in your entire life.

  131. Like Monica, all I know about gypsies is that they hang around with Charlie Chaplin and .

  132. Gypsies, according to The Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney Edition, throw over the nice guy for the hot guy and are really tan. Hence my theory that Snooki is a secret gypsy.

  133. I’m pretty sure the Ravelry.com group Lazy, Stupid, and Godless has been founded upon your principals

    “Treat this group like a long weekend in Vegas, complete with hookers, craps, and whole bottles of tequila. In other words, what happens in lsg, stays in lsg.”

    And a few excerpts from our dictionary:

    hoar: /hôr/: One of many terms of affectionate obscenity used to refer to fellow LSGers. See also: twatweasel, sparklecunt, glitterpeen. Humorously misspelled in an only somewhat successful attempt to avoid tone confusion/wank. CAUTION: questions about why spell it that way/why call each other (w)ho(a)r(e)s, while not expressly forbidden, make most of LSG facepalm and most of the askers wish they hadn’t. (definition provided by northatlantic)

    Pearlclutchers: people, usually women, who are prudish about sex and therefore disapprove of LSG and its denizens

    Tiberius: it’s Tiberius, always has been, always will be

    Your mom: the answer to all of life’s questions

  134. I agree with RobinTX. Knitting is way more frustrating with the counting and the 2nd needle. Crocheting is easier.

  135. Even if you learned to knit, and even if you knitted a sweater, and even if you gave that sweater to a girl on Girls, she’d probably just cut holes in the boobie area.
    Save your yarn.

  136. I used to crochet a lot, but I could never count the stitches properly and would end up with a wonky mess. I then moved to knitting, but just couldn’t stay interested in it. PLUS, holding onto crochet hooks and knitting needles made my hand incredibly sore, and I know you suffer from arthritis, so you might want to take that into consideration.

    Now I quilt. It takes longer, it’s super expensive, but I find it a lot easier and less stressful in the long run.

  137. I love knitting! My aunt (who is hip and awesome) taught me to knit this summer. I can do dishcloths and scarfs. That’s about it. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas! 🙂 It relaxes me. 🙂 We could have a knitting circle, except for the teeny fact that you’re not in NW Florida. Grrrr.

  138. Our knowledge of Gypsy culture may have come from the same place… I once visited eastern Europe with my future in-laws. We were in an open-air market and my sister-in-law said, “Watch your purse. They’re Gypsies.”
    I looked around quickly, not really knowing what to expect, but hoping I would see women with long skirts and flowing hair, men playing violins or some sort of covered wagon. But no, all I saw was people going about their business. So, because I felt I needed to know, I asked, “Where?” She pointed to a group of people. I looked again, then looked back at her, now slightly doubting her expertise in Gypsy identification, and asked “How can you tell? They look just like everyone else?”
    She was shocked at my lack of concern…or my ability to differentiate her (and everyone else around me) from the Gypsy group she had pointed out…or that I had bothered to travel outside of North America…I still haven’t figured it out. But anyway, why I’m bothering to tell you is that there may be a flaw in your ‘Gypsies-knit-in-their-down-time’ theory because none of the people my sister-in-law pointed at had knitting needles or were wearing anything knitted. Unless the knitting materials were cleverly hidden, or the Gypsies were not on their down-time…never mind.
    Please note, in case my story has offended any readers with Gypsy heritage, I am now fully aware that my Disney level knowledge of Gypsy culture is inaccurate…and I’m a bit disappointed.

  139. I really wish I was there when these conversations take place. Not to participate but just to listen and bask in your awesomeness. Can we make that happen?

  140. I would love to teach you to knit! I’m pretty sure you’d pick it up instantly, you just seem like you would. I’m also pretty sure Gypsies knit – I believe they spin gold into wool to knit with, but I dont know how to do that. Because I’m not a Gypsy. I just wish I was one. For the gold-to-wool thing, duuuh…

  141. My mother tried to teach me to knit when I was in my late teens. It was a horrible experience filled with dropped stitches and knitting needles thrown across the room in frustration. The icing on the cake was when I felt an itch in my ear and used a knitting needle to reach it. I perforated my ear drum and became the poster child for stupidity at my doctor’s office the next day. He actually called people in from the waiting room to view my ear damage using that ear thingy. I’ve steered clear of sharp stick like things ever since.

  142. My friend Kat and I were talking about gypsies the other day. Kat is from the Czech Republic, and I am from Oklahoma. She knows more about them than I do. Anyhow, she explained that when the gypsies came into Europe some of them settled in the Bohemia part of Germany and then moved into France. (I think I’m getting this right.) The French started calling the gypsies bohemians because of that even though they didn’t originate in Germany. That’s why we think of bohemia as a word that describes free-spirited people with lots of necklaces and hair and such.

  143. Knitting is da BOMB – I learned how to knit 4 years ago from two ladies that I work with. If you are seriously interested in learning I can give you my Knitting Guru’s name and email (she lives in Austin) and she would LOVE to have someone else to teach. Plus one of knitting’s mecca’s is in Austin on South Congress, Hill Country Weavers (I miss it so much). I am a little high strung, for example I would wake up at 2 am to vacuum because I couldn’t sleep due to the dust bunnies (they stare at me in my sleep, I just know it). But this has totally replaced that urge to be obsessive about cleaning, well that and the occasional valium. But I was always so tense and during one of my first knitting lessons my shoulders were up around my ears and The Guru came over and laid hands on my shoulders and said “don’t strangle the bunny”, my shoulders immediately dropped and it was like a flood gate opened and all this pent up stuff left my body. I then knit non stop for over a year (knitting can’t cure OCD) and my family and friends are warmer and fully stocked with hats, gloves, scarves, socks, toys, baby blankets, sweaters and wash cloths. I even made a boobie wash cloth for my husbands aunt when she was getting radiation for breast cancer, which was all the rage when she went in and all the ladies were asking her to have me knit them all one (I don’t have that kind of time). But knitting is a wonderful gift not only for your sanity but you can also make beautiful gifts for people (beware of making stuff for folks who don’t appreciate time and effort of hand made gifts because it will just piss you off when they don’t appreciate it) but beyond the ability to give a gift that was made personally for someone the best part for me is picking the pattern and finding the perfect yarn and there is SO MUCH WONDERFUL yarn to be had. I am a self proclaimed yarn snob and I already had an obsession with goats, but now I can add sheep, llama, alpaca, dogs, rabbits, yak, camel, and muskoxen to my list of favorite animals to get fiber from. Oh and check out Raverly.com they have all the free patterns you could ever want and some you could purchase. But the best is to see how other people have done that project – ideas are endless. And you always knit teeny, tiny sweaters for your “animals” and I think Beyonce needs a scarf.

  144. Knitting has come back among the 20-somethings. Or at least it had a few years ago when I was a 20-something learning to knit. The Girls characters may be a little cooler than both me and the knitting set though…

  145. I looove the show Girls, and the thought of learning how to knit, and the thought of being a gypsy. You are hilarious btw.

  146. This is funny except for the part where it veers into stereotypes about an opressed minority group.

  147. Please, please make up a snarky, sweetly condescending descriptor for humor deprived political correctors who think we are unaware of our own insensitivity. Like when southerners say “Bless her heart”, but these people go to so much trouble to air their superiority that they really deserve their own term for all that effort. I would soo like to express my appreciation for their concern.

    Unless the pearl clutchers are actually being sarcastic and facetious, and do it so well it’s not even obvious, maybe not even to themselves, in which case they deserve their own honorific. And a margarita.

  148. OK, well if THAT isn’t weird as heck, I don’t know what is. 5 – 10 times a week, I get crappy marketing pitches that aren’t even addressed to me. I (of course) reply with a link to an awesome photo of Wil Wheaton collating paper.

    Just who are these crappy marketing pitches addressed to you ask? Laura and thequeso.com! I kid you not!

    Also – knitting is SO OVERRATED. It takes like 19 000 hours and all you end up with is this weird knobbly scarf that you’d be too embarrassed to even let a dead weasel wear…or maybe that’s just me. I don’t know.

  149. Knitting is rather incidental to Romani people, at least where I come from. Pick-pocketing, on the other hand…much more popular nowadays. I have the feeling, though, that pick-pocketing wouldn’t be as calming as knitting. However, neither can be learned via telepathy (or whatever goddamn magic technology they use in the Matrix to upload the knowledge into their brains). You need practice. Now that I think about it, both choices are much better to waste your fuckin’ time than Girls.

  150. Knitting helped my desire to stab people on a regular basis and actually helped a little with my arthritis…plus you can make embarrassing things like penis cozies 🙂 It probably doesn’t help that I work in an adult store so I send them viking midget adult films either…

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