In the bleachers at my son’s baseball game the other day, I heard a mother say to her daughter, “I can’t fix it.” I looked over and dangling from her hand was a silver chain—a knotted necklace.
She might just as well have said, “Chris Noth is coming for dinner and he doesn’t have a date.” That’s how excited I got, and you can take that however you want.
I held out my hand for it. “May I?”
“Oh, you don’t have to…”
“GIVE it to me!” (Pant, pant…)
It was in my greedy little hand before she could explain. “It’s really knotted up. I’ve been trying for the longest time and I can’t do it.”
“Well I’d love to take a crack at it. Please.” Don’t make me beg.
My fingernails were already digging into the pile of tangled, minuscule links (like anything short of a fly ball to the head could have stopped me). Yeah, that was one tight sucker. It was better than I could have imagined. Pinching my thumb and index finger together on each hand—little precision-tipped lobster claws—I worked the clump, massaging it, cajoling it…
Like Houdini with a new pair of handcuffs, I had the knot undone in under a minute and handed it over nonchalantly.
“Oh, Susie, look!” she called to her daughter. “She fixed your necklace. What do you say?”
“Thank you,” little Susie said dutifully.
“Oh no. Thank you,” I said, and couldn’t have meant it more.
Is that at all illuminating?