I almost forgot to tell you guys about my favorite story of the year! Any of you who know me well or have even met me for 10 minutes while I bellow out lightweight mormon expletives and lace you into a corset will KNOW that I am emotional about my corsets. I turn into a forlorn fritter of a woman when anyone says the slightest negative statement to me about my cherished corset children. Now, I HAVE been endeavoring to discipline myself and my unruly tongue when customers come into my booth at renaissance festivals. After all, these ARE the dames who make my financial existence palpable. Just because a small gaggle of patrons haven't been tutored in the art of tact DOES NOT mean that I can run them out of my booth with the rolling pin of indignity when they peer at my price tags and wrinkle up their faces like ignorant prunes while spewing forth the injustice of non-Wal-Mart prices.
I totally get it. There is a huge disconnect between buyers, sellers, and manufacturers that DIDN'T use to exist. I, too, reluctantly admit to blindly purchasing cheaply composed goods that support heinous business practices, weak mindsets, and loose morals. When I'm laying down $69+ for a pair of glitter encrusted, metal studded, pre-beaten jeans, I might deprecate the overall quality and lament the fact that no one manufactures "muffin" banishing trousers, BUT no one at Express is going to run into the back room sobbing when they hear these disgruntled denim damnations. The woman who put the jeans together is thousands of miles away living in a cardboard box, for all I know. I don't know who she is, what motivates her, what her passions are.....it's a rare thing to actually have a connection to the maker.
I think this is why women will come into my booth and utter things that they would NEVER DREAM of saying if they knew that the girl who put her heart and soul into the wares is standing right before them. However, this was the rampant behavior of an unseemly amount of women at one of the festivals I vended at this year. I undertook to suppress my violent inner monologues as little handfuls of women would recklessly fondle my corsets and then loudly whisper to each other that "the ones at the other booth were cheaper!". Now, just a side note, the "other" corsets are ones that are manufactured in China with the cheapest metal boning and satin possible and there is a website that sells these same corsets for about $46 to the public and $30 if you buy them in bulk. The booth that was selling them had purchased hundreds of them and then marked them up to $150. I know all of this because....well, there are loose tongues and bitter women in the renaissance festival circuit.
Friends, I DO want you to remember that I admire and applaud women with opinions, and if a lady chooses to buy a cheaper corset because she likes it and it's what she can afford, I actually DO NOT MIND! We live in a wonderful free country with numerous buying options and lots of different business minds, and just because I make my own wares doesn't make me better than this other company. (Well, actually it freaking does, but I'm trying to be fair and balanced. ) This GREAT fallacy here is that manners, politeness, and social graces are going the way of the blue-footed booby! (you know...the endangered species bird?) It's just plain tacky to blatantly demean handmade items when the maker is within earshot. Now, the second you are out of my view, you can call me all of the profanities you want, insult my womanhood, and vociferate violent vilifications against me!
Which brings me to the gourmet flax seed & parmesan breadstick incident. A lovely curvy lady had entered my booth and politely inquired as to whether she might be able to don one of my corsets. I graciously found her size, told her how much I liked her thick wavy hair, and started lacing her into the bodice. When she was squeezed tight, I showed her the full length mirror and saw her literally light up, because generally women with her shape are at the mercy of mindless block-shaped sheaths. I LOVE curvy women in my booth, and I YEARN to make them feel sensual and proud of their forms! As the woman stood admiring, in walked the demon...oh....uh...I mean, the uh......trying to think of a nicer word.....never mind. Demon!
This woman was her sister-in-law, and she took one look at that happy visage in the mirror and exclaimed, "I DON'T LIKE IT. It's like...weird. It doesn't look good on you. The other ones were cheaper. I just really don't like these ones." I was so startled at the unrefined and coarse words that I said, "Hey...um....I actually thought she looked sensational in this. I might be biased, because I'm the one who designed and sewed all of these and I've put my whole heart and soul into them, but I sort of thought they were awesome....." She looked quickly embarassed and disgruntled and started stumbling around words, gingerly fingering the nearest corset and saying "Oh...they're neat." in the most insipid tones possible.
It's good to remember that I had had a LONG day, and I was perhaps slightly lacking in compassion at the time. Either way, I replied, "No! Apparently they're NOT neat and they don't look good" at which point I took one of my gourmet parmesan flax seed breadsticks out of their little pretentious plastic ribbon-adorned bag AND CHUCKED IT AT HER HEAD! She started laughing, because I do admit that I sounded sarcastic when I growled this sentence, but when she saw my stern eyebrows, her smile vanished and she started trying to dislodge the breadstick from her unruly hair. She yelled, "Come on! We're going!" to her poor teenage daughter that had been lurking behind the racks, and they shuffled out in a cloud of digust.
Did I behave properly? Hell no! It was completely immature, overly emotional, and irrational, BUT I would imagine that the next time she attends a craft show, she might stop and reflect upon this unfortunate spectacle in which she wounded an artist's ego and mortified herself AND her sweet sister in law. I definitely regret overreacting, but I think that the true abomination was the unfortunate loss of a quality morsel of bread.