Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fly, Fly, Fly, Fly

When I woke up at 5:45 a.m. on Saturday morning, I felt strange.  Not really nervous, not really apprehensive, just strange.  It was weird for me to know that I was going back to my old school.  Last year when I went back to Grand Valley State University to look around, a feeling of misery came back to me.  Two cold miserable years made tolerable by a handful of really nice friends.  When I visit Michigan State, I feel generally happy as the memories come flooding back.  But high school....  High school was a strange time.  It was better than middle school, that's for sure.  But, nevertheless, strange.  I was an average student, with average looks, with below average date-ability and popularity.  I was known for being kind of goofy (in an endearing way - I did have lots of friends), I wasn't really part of a clique or group, I fell down and ran into poles often, my first day of freshman year was so embarrassing I still cringe when thinking about it.  But even though I had fun and had a friends, upon graduation I never really looked back.  So why the hell was I getting up early on a Saturday morning to head back to my old school????
Chippewa Valley High School
Not mine, but similar.  Mine was a hand-me-down from my grandmother.  
I pulled up to my old high school in my overly stuffed, sub compact car and thought, this does not feel right.  I should be pulling up in my baby blue Buick Regal listing to a tape playing R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" or the Cure singing, "Friday I'm in Love."  The craft show was HUGE!!!!  There were close to 200 crafters setting up their wares in the gym, the cafeteria (oh, the dreaded cafeteria), and in hallways.  HUGE!!!  I set up my pillows and took a little walk.  I found the picture of my track team in the showcase.  That was kind of cool.  I also ran into some fellow crafters from the Troy craft show.  I thought, "Hey, I am making friends and bonding with crafters.  Coooool!!!!"  Eventually, I made my way back to my table to wait for the throngs of shoppers who were going to bust into the school and buy up every single one of my pillows.  

At about 10:45 a.m. the woman behind me says, "It is going to be a really long day.  Hope you brought your book!"  I was still optimistic.  Then my back started to hurt.  Then, my feeling started to get hurt because one person after another would walk past my booth, look at me, and not even crack a smile when I said, "Good morning!"  I was started to wonder if maybe I was just a ghost.  The day went on fairly fast.  I had visits from Kevin and the girls, the Troy crafters, and I spent a lot of time guessing in my head which instruments the band kids played.  Okay, you want to know if I sold anything?  Do you want to know if the CVHS craft show was in fact my swan song?  Yes, I am fly, fly, fly, flying away from craft shows.  I did this one because I had already committed to it but I will not do another.   It is so much work for so little return, even if I did sell and I did not.  Clearly I was not alone because everyone I spoke to was unsuccessful.  I even got an e-mail today from the organizer reassuring that promotion of the event was properly done and that vendor placement was done so that we would not be in direct competition with one another.  It was a well run show.  But I make more money on Etsy and I don't have to load, unload, and give up a Saturday to sell pillows.  It is okay!

I guess what I don't understand is why people actually do these sorts of craft shows.  Art fairs, yes, I get it.  I love art fairs.  But, as a matter of even general accounting, why?  I am not even good at math and as I walk around I just don't understand how anyone really makes money.  For example, there was a woman selling little bags that hold crayons for kids.  Very cute.  The bags included crayons and were sold for $5.  No one can put that craft together for $5.  Even if she sold bunches she would need to look at her material costs and time to make the craft, then add in the time preparing for the shows, sitting at the show, and packing up after the show.  She would be lucky to break even and the point is not to break even, it is to make a living or at least some spending money.  

So...I did not lose my religion while I was at CVHS, I did not fall down while I was at CVHS, I did however have some pretty horrible flashbacks to my days in Mr. Horton's gym class since I spent the day in the gym.  But, the craft show was a swan song.  But, I am okay!  Towards the end of the day one of the band boosters walked up to my table and said, "Do you need anything?"  Kevin was standing next to me, Violet was on my lap, and Mimi was sitting next to me and I said, "Nope, I am good, thanks."  And the woman smiles and says, "Yes, it looks to me like you have everyone you need with you right now."  And you know what?  She was right!      
Everyone I need!


  1. You were great in high school and still are! Sorry the show was a bust. Rene

    1. Thanks, Rene! Really, we are all pretty great in high school but we are just to young to realize it.