I spent yesterday afternoon converting wool from puffy white clouds of fiber into deep, dark shades of purple, green, blue and black. I tried to take a picture, but it’s just not working with the flash, so I’ll have to show you tomorrow.

But tonight, I wanted to talk about dyeing. No, not dying. Dyeing.

Anyone that speaks English knows that it’s a crazy language. There are probably even people that don’t speak English that know it’s a crazy language. There are few things that throw me as consistently as the word “dyeing.”

You simply cannot use that word in conversation and expect to avoid an awkward pause, followed by too-quick clarification, and then some nervous laughter. Even Branden, who is well aware of my fiberish tendencies often does a bit of a double-take when I casually announce at dinner that I’m thinking about dyeing tomorrow.

See? Hard, isn’t it? Even when you know enough to expect such things from me.

So, back to yesterday. I am standing in the dining room, lab coat and gloves on, table coated in plastic, making an unholy mess and trying to soak it up with wool (which works amazingly well, by the way…).

Of course, with infallible timing, my phone rings.

My phone never rings. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I probably only get one or two calls a month from people other than Branden (sometimes not even that much). I just don’t use my phone, and I never get calls. I like it this way.

But, we’d put an ad on Craigslist to sell the spinning wheel, and someone had left a message. I’d left a return message, and was waiting for her to call back. If my phone was ringing, then it must be the buyer. So, Branden dove for the phone and managed to get to it before the call went to voicemail. He said “hello,” looked quickly around at me, paused helplessly for a second, and then said, “hold on” and proceeded to hold the phone to my ear so that I could arrange for this person to come look at the wheel.

I’m standing in the kitchen, hands dripping with dye, trying to sound normal and casual while someone else holds the phone to my ear. “Oh yeah, just head down Phinney until it crosses 39th…no problem…45 minutes?”

After negotiating the scheduling and directions, he hung up for me, and I just had to ask why he couldn’t have done that himself.

Well, it was because she’d asked “is Erica there?”

He said yes, and then immediately ran into the problem that it is impossible to explain to a complete stranger that your wife can’t come to the phone because she’s dyeing.

Really, what can you say in that moment other than “ummm…hold on a second?”

I think we need another word for this hobby…