Day 137 of 365
Today was our third day of experience with the Common Ground Fair with just one day to go. It has been fascinating and exhausting. Our sales were much worse today than yesterday, but the day was so much better overall. And we made many good connections for the journal, so that was wonderful.
Yesterday, I had a really tough experience at the fair. It was windy and cold, and I was so tired. Ronan and I were scheduled to read poetry in the children’s area. It was printed in the schedule that went out to everyone, but when we showed up, they had double booked someone else for the same time and sent us on our way. The worst was the lady was really, really rude to me, acting as if I was making it up that we were on the schedule. This bothered me because it happened in front of my son, and he seemed a little upset. He didn’t say much but acted kind of weird about it.
When we got home last night, I was crying to Ron and telling him that it was so hard to be humiliated in front of my kid. Our son has a lot of pride (too much sometimes, but we try to help him work on this), and it worried me for him to see me treated like that.
By some miracle, the universe gave me the perfect gift today. I was scheduled to give a talk on chickens and sustainable living. I was very nervous about actually getting to present after what happened yesterday, and I was so tired, I didn’t get to prepare much. Still, I know this stuff in my bones and decided to just wing it. When my son asked to come, I was worried though. What if this went badly?
I am so happy to report it did not go badly. It was, perhaps, the best presentation I have given in my life–and I used to present a lot. The audience was full and loved it, and laughed at my jokes and asked the best questions and listened to my chicken stories. One lady called me “a chicken whisperer,” and she meant it in an admiring way, not a making fun of me way, which I sometimes get.
My son sat in the audience and made a perfectly-timed joke or two, and it was the best. When we were walking back to our booth, Ronan said, when a man got up to leave at the end, he leaned over and said to my son, “Your mom is fantastic.”
I am crying writing this. What a kindness. What a perfectly-timed kindness. I needed my kid to see me do well. I needed it badly.
It was a slow day sales but a great day otherwise. I’m still trying to process it all, and I am so overwhelmed by the people I realize I can NEVER do this again. It’s just not possible.
Plus, our son (he’s 13 and 6′ 3″) has been eating so much at the fair that I think he’s eaten all of our profits from sales of the annual. I told Ron I wanted to go get a handmade wooden spoon before we left the fair (this has always been my tradition at the fair), but Ron said “After all of our kid’s eating, if you buy a wooden spoon, we’re going in the hole.”
He’s not wrong. Sales were weirdly slow today. Oh, and at the end of the day, our came back to our booth and said he spent the last of his food money buying a round of lemonade for his friends (he has made friends with the other vendor kids). Lemonade at the fair costs $7 per cup!!!! I love that kid, but also, I was like, I’m never getting that wooden spoon.