now with inexorable consequences!

Today I amused myself by spending all my holiday gift cards and gift certificates. It almost ended in astonishing tragedy! because I couldn’t find one of the best ones: a gift certificate to my favorite yarn shop, Adventures in Knitting!

C’mon. Yarn shops have to have totally silly names. It’s the law. Just like haircutting shops (Sheer Magic!). You know this is true.

Of course it was one of those totally quaint gift certificates, all written out in beautiful cursive by the charming Irish grandmother of dozens who runs the place. I seriously think her name is, like, Maeve, or something.

God bless her, she has little patience for me ever since I dissed her favorite method for knitting socks, the infamous “Magic Loop” method. She thinks I’m nuts because I prefer the old fashioned, five-needle method. It may someday come to blows.

So of course when I go to grab the gift certificate (for fifty bucks!) and run over to the yarn shop to spend my lucre, I cannot find it. I turn the house upside-down. No dice.

So I call, and somebody who is NOT Maeve answers, and is distinctly less than helpful. (She asks me if I have the receipt. For a GIFT. Awesome.)

So I go hightailing it over there (see that? how I am now talking like my mother? hightailing it, indeed…) and just pray that Maeve is there. She is.

She gives me many disapproving glances over the tops of her reading glasses, but finally digs up the evidence of my mother’s purchase of the gift certificate lo these many weeks ago. In beautiful, looping cursive, she writes me out a new certificate.

I spend it. On this:

Knitter's Purse

The Knitter’s Purse. It is wonderful beyond imagining. Also, it is black, not red. In it, I can fit all the complicated socks I am currently knitting. PLUS all my needles. PLUS all my little folded up patterns. *sigh*

NEXT I had a little gift card from Barnes and Noble to spend.

I went online for this, because Barnes and Noble is in Hyannis and we don’t go to Hyannis on Saturdays. Our people.  It simply isn’t done.

I knew I wanted the new biography of Edith Wharton. I was then inspired by this post to buy a little paperback of Middlemarch, because it’s been too long. That got me thinking about all the classic literature I gave away at Christmas (everybody got classic literature this year – all expertly matched to your personality! well-traveled grandfather? Kipling’s Kim! Social climbing aunt? House of Mirth! Slutty sister-in-law? Moll Flanders!).

I had given my mystery-novel-loving mother-in-law Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, and it had been painful to part with it, since I had given away my copy years ago. So that went in my shopping cart as well.

Then I thought how about how much I love Wilkie Collins, all that fabulously concocted gothic wonderfulness: fainting women, shrieking men, innocent heiresses, mysterious foreigners, nefarious baronets…

So I went looking for some more Collins fun. When I found this review of Blind Love, I knew:

Unjustly neglected tale of Victorian master storyteller’s later period. Blind love of Iris Henley for notorious Lord Harry Norland has inexorable consequences leading to fiendish crime. Based on a real-life case, enlivened by Collins’ intricate plotting and colorful characters. 16 full-page illustrations by A. Forestier. Preface by Walter Besant.

Inexorable consequences? I love inexorable consequences!

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