And, my goodness, do they really want to play softball. There are office leagues within the Agency-That-I-Work-For, but all the costs come out of the players pockets. Although the ATIWF does not support the players financially, it still provides the rules:
1. Slow Pitch softball
2. May not play during working hours
3. There must be at least three women on the team and at least two in the field during each inning.
And when you work in an office when the men outnumber the women by, um, about 12:1, you suddenly get very, very popular. (Guys I didn't even know existed were emailing me asking me to join their office league. You see, the project that I'm working on is an Agency project, but most of the people working on it are consultants. And there are about six different consultants, each with their own leagues. Dear god.)
Well, I ignored all the requests except from one of my colleagues in the ATIWF, because he's a nice guy and most importantly, he did not call me a girl. (You want a girl to play softball with you? Then recruit from an elementary school.)
So I signed up, but told him I am as flaky as a croissant and not to be surprised if I backed out. His response? "Hmmm, I'll put you down as tentative."
Well, true to (my) form, I decided I didn't want to spent several nights in Renton playing double-headers, so I informed my colleague that I was dropping out. His response? "No, you can't. I won't allow it. Please, don't." Apparently, just about every other women who had signed up had also backed out that day. I reminded him that it was tentative anyway.
But he was glum.
Apparently, my defection brought the team's estrogen level below critical levels.
I felt kinda bad (not too much) but later I spied an opportunity. I'd make him a deal. A devilish deal.
The next day, I told him that I'd play softball if he'd let me teach him to knit. On game days, he had to join me at lunchtime, out on the patio (i.e. IN PUBLIC!), and knit. He knits, I play. He doesn't knit, I don't play. He was a bit startled by my offer but it didn't take too long for him to realize that his love of softball was greater than his fear of knitting, and he agreed.
So yesterday, we went to So Much Yarn during lunch, accompanied by another (female) colleague who wants to learn, as well as a male colleague who already does knit (!), and one other male colleague who thought we were going to Pike Place Market.
In the shop, I told the story to the owner and she laughed. KnitBoy raised his arms in victory and all the women in the shop cheered.
Now, the funny thing was that when the guy who just tagged along found out we were going to a yarn shop, he started to complain (in a joking way). But when we got to the shop, he was transfixed. Yarn shops and yarn projects run the gamut from lowkey to elegant, and SMY is definitely on the elegant end of the scale. He was transfixed by all the sample scarves--"wow! you can make these?" and while he was standing around waiting for the others to make their purchases, I snuck up behind him* with a skein of baby alpaca/merino wool blend and rubbed it against his neck.
If you've ever touched alpaca, you know how silky soft it is. Baby alpaca is even more dreamy. My colleague turned around with a look of wonder on his face and asked "I can make something that soft?" "Yes." "I want to learn how to knit!"
And he bought the yarn and some needles, too. And he's full of enthusiasm to make a scarf out of that baby alpaca/wool yarn.
And while I am as pleased as punch that I am increasing the world's male knitting population by two, I am a bit bummed they both chose the same yarn and the same color--gray.
*This is the reason Oscar does not like to accompany me in yarn shops anymore. He keeps complaining that everything itches and I really have a hard time believing that, so I wait until his back his turned and then shove a soft (to me) skein of yarn down his neck, asking "Is that scratchy?" I have since come to the conclusion that he is allergic to everything except luxury fibers.