When I was a kid in Fryburg, Pennsylvania, we hung out at Uncle Fran’s Soda Fountain, aka Schupp’s Drug Store, drinking cherry cokes and real ice cream sodas. We giggled, conspired, shared information, told jokes and paged through the movie magazines when Uncle Fran wasn’t looking. He really was my uncle, well, great uncle — my grandmother’s sister’s husband — but everyone in town (at least the kids) called him Uncle Fran.
In high school we hung out at Uhg’s in Leeper, PA. I never knew Ugh’s real name. He called himself Ugh and so did everyone else. He was the first native American I ever met. He had a juke box and we laughed, gossiped, shared what we thought we knew about sex, told dirty jokes and sometimes ate burgers and hotdogs. At least until the night we saw the cat walk across the grill!
In college we hung out in the coffee shop in the basement of our dorm. We smoked, practiced looking bored, told dirtier jokes, talked a lot about sex, our professors and the weekend.
Throughout my entire working career I never had a hangout! Way too busy — work, family, friends…. Lots of socializing, but not at a hangout. But now that I’m retired, I spend a minimum of 5 hours a week at my hangout — Apple Yarns in Bellingham, WA. My knit group meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in their Gathering Room. We drink coffee (Thanks, Andrea!), laugh a lot, talk about sex, tell really filthy jokes, express very liberal opinions, solve the problems of the world, talk a lot of politics, share lifetimes of wisdom (some not so wise), and of course, we knit. Well, everybody except Cleo, but that’s a story for another time.
Andrea’s 14 year-old daughter very aptly described us as “a really funny group, kinda weird, but funny!” One young woman who joined us for a short while between college and her first job said that her vocabulary increased tremendously while with us, but she couldn’t use any of the new words in front of her mother! The shop owners even warn people about us and often steer some knitters toward other knit groups on other days of the week, imagine that!
I love hanging out with my knit group. I love being with like-minded yarn-hoar-snobs. I love the wild and free conversations. I love the weird combination of personalities, the personal stories, the drama, the sharing, and of course — the knitting!