First things first: thanks ever so much for your sympathies about The-Mitten-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Turns out that I'm not the world's greatest dumbass after all, but that there was an inconsistency between the written and charted instructions for the right-that-would-be-left mitten.
The written instructions for the first mitten (the left one) place the thumb at the beginning of the palm section, whereas they ought to have been at the end. The chart was fine, but as I wasn't too clear on the technique, I referred to the written instructions for the first mitten. I just... didn't pay attention to where the thumb was going. Months later, when I knit the second mitten, I referred to the chart and placed my thumb opening where it said to - at the beginning of the palm section - thus leaving me with 2 right mittens.
The way I figure it, I have 2 options:
Option 1: Kill the mittens. Dream up inventive new ways to torture and destroy the mittens so completely that any future mitten I make will tremble, submit and give me the respect I deserve.
Advantages of Option 1: Deeply satisfying in a primal, "cuts-the-umbilical-cord-with-her-teeth" kind of way. Plus, it'd make for a funny blog-post.
Disadvantages of Option 1: Doesn't give me a pair of mittens, nor will it give me the closure I feel I need to be able to move on with my life as a Knitter. While the notion of knitting another pair of mittens actually gives me hives right now, I have not sworn them off forever. I own some pretty nifty mitten patterns, and I'd like to knit them. You know... someday.
Option 2: Attempt to fix the mitten.
Advantages of Option 2: Peace of mind, sweet, sweet victory and warm (if slightly effeminate) hands for my Dad.
Disadvantages of Option 2: I have run out of the MC. Really. I have - maybe - 2 yards left? I can't just rip out the thumb, kitchener the hole shut, perform some kind of "afterthought-thumbhole" wizardry that involves cutting a hole into my knitting (I think I might faint), then knit a new thumb. Can't do it. Now, according to Véronik (who, let's face it, should know a thing or two about knitting), I can either recycle the yarn I already used, or I can perform "more complex thumb surgery" and - basically - transplant the thumb I've knit to the proper side of the palm.
To say I'm not confident about my ability to come out of this mitten thing with my pride or my sanity intact - to say nothing of a pair of mittens that a human being equipped with normal opposable thumbs can wear - would be like saying that making out with your new boyfriend during your grandma's funeral might be inappropriate: a colossal understatement. I am nervous, weary and all too aware that this mitten has kicked my arse at every turn.
Meantime, I'm knitting my yet-to-be-photographed-on-the-blog cardigan and trying to ignore the mittens. I'm sure they're giving me the evil eye while I'm not looking.
Happy Knitting Everyone!