My daughter and I did the Christmas bazaar on Saturday. Results: disappointing. I had hoped to make more money, but, as always, I keep forgetting the inherent cheapness of the people who come to these things. Actual conversation:
Shopper: Don't you think your prices are a little high?
Me: Those took a while to make, and I refuse to pay myself less than $2 an hour. (that is more or less what I was paying myself)
Shopper: It's still too high.
I keep forgetting I am in competition with all the child labouring sweatshops of some far off Crapistan. It is proof, in my mind, that the average Canadian couldn't care less about where their stuff came from, or that the people around them cannot earn an actual living, no matter what noise they make. Their attitude is along the lines of "Sure, I'd like to help, but I need to get my stuff cheap." So they shop at Walmart and buy stuff from China and India and other places, and cluck their tongues and say it's a pity when some local shop goes under, and some local factory goes under, and that unemployment grows, and that its a pity that other countries use slave labour bought and paid for by their dollars and complacency. They don't care until the knife is at their own throat, which it will be. Note to fellow Canadians: sooner or later, everyone is selling something to someone else. If you don't buy my stuff, I can't afford to buy yours. If I go out of business, you will follow.
For those of you who attend church bazaars, here is a helpful and handy list of things not to say to the vendors:
"Oh, I love your stuff, but I already spent all my money at the white elephant table. See? Don't you think these are great?" (Yes. The Hoss Cartwright commemorative gravy boat is just awesome.)
"I can get something just like that at Ikea/Walmart/somewhere else for less." (no, you can't. You can buy some cheap crap there for less.)
"Great stuff, but I didn't bring any money." (Why are you here?)
"I love your stuff, but it's not for me." (?)
I get a lot of compliments. They're nice, but I am there for the money. If you aren't buying, you are dead to me. Move on.
Speaking of dead to me: To the dumb woman who pulled her stupid kid away from the table and ran from me without saying a word after he smashed one of my items: you owe me. I hope your brat smashes all your fine china.
To those too few people who bought my stuff: None of these comments are directed at you, and I thank you for the bottom of my heart. My only request is that next year you bring a friend or two.
Younger started out like gangbusters for the first hour, then sold nothing for the next three and a half. Her overhead was considerably greater than mine, and it came out of my pocket. My earnings just about covered her stuff. She wants to try again next year. I am going to teach her woodworking. Since I get my wood for free, the overhead is considerably cheaper.
Last note about the bazaar: There was guy there selling his on book, self published. He did fairly well. I was wondering about revamping and printing up some copies of my brief history and trying to sell them. Then I remembered: I can't get people to read the thing for free.
In other news, I went to the funeral last week for the girlfriend of a cousin for whom I asked you to pray. I'll just assume you did, and were too busy to say so in the combox. It was a sad little affair, and her daughter is going to be a wreck for a while. On the lighter side, I maintained my record of never once successfully following a funeral cortege, and in this case, I even broke my old record for losing one: by the time I was leaving the parking lot, the cortege had already pulled out of sight. I believed they would be heading for the highways, and there were two ways onto the highway from where I was. I picked the wrong one, and ended up taking my mother to a Tim Hortons.
Aside from the sad occasion, we were in the very pretty small town of Thorold. I imagine the skyline of the town hasn't changed much in the last hundred years or so, and the tallest buildings are all church steeples. Mother asked if I knew which one was the Catholic church (I did) and so I took her to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. It was a very pretty church, (the photos on the website really don't do it justice) with a lively and active congregation judging from the bulletin. One of the members we met told us she felt the liveliness and activity of the church was due to the perpetual adoration chapel they had in the church. Mother and I visited there, where there were two other people, and prayed for the soul of our poor friend, and her daughter, and our cousin. I wish I had gone there under happier circumstances.