Wednesday, April 22, 2009


This was a column I wrote, gleaned from my experiences at Arts and Crafts shows..

I assist my spouse Emmy Lou with selling her jewelry at Arts and Crafts shows. I enjoy the shows, her bead and leather creations provide supplemental income for us. There are drawbacks; we work many hours on show weekends, often missing other events. I skipped my high school reunion recently because I didn’t want to leave Emmy alone at a “too busy” Columbus weekend show in Letchworth State Park.
Working closely together brings out some interesting facets of a relationship. Emmy and I sometimes discuss issues in what we would call a friendly “spirited fashion.” Others might call it “bickering.” It works for us.
Like many small businesses, most of the venders at the Art shows are committed couples or families working toward a common goal. There are decisions to be made, lots of room for differences of opinion.
A while back, Emmy and I set our booth up next to a very nice woman in her sixties. ‘Marie’ (her name changed to protect me), was set up when we got there.
Marie sold among other things, chakra stones in soft cloth bags. Her business name was similar to, ‘Gentle Yoga Stones.’ I don’t remember the actual name.
As usual, Emmy and I were ‘spiritedly discussing’ while setting up. The walls of our booth (a 10x10 tent) stop no sound so we keep even our most severe disagreements relatively quiet. If our ‘discussion’ becomes too heated, we change the subject. I try to interject some levity and Emmy comes up with a fake chuckle or two. We come back to the disagreement later. We fear becoming “those people”. A shrink would have a field day with us, I’m sure.
Emmy was interested in the chakra stones as something she could incorporate into her jewelry. I swear she would bead around a live turtle if nothing else were at hand.
Over the weekend, many people stopped at the ‘Chakra’ booth. Emmy and I eavesdropped and learned about Chakra and its related stones.
Chakra means wheel of light in Sanskrit. The Chakras are seven power points in the human body that circulate energy.
I don’t think us veering away from a loud ‘discussion’ during setup fooled Marie. When few people where visiting our respective booths, she would come over and explain improvements a certain chakra could have on a person and their relationship with others.
In her soft and gentle manner, she explained how the proper use of the stones would lead to more balanced physical and mental health. They could also help with spiritual development. She was calm and centered, kind and gentle.
As the two-day show ended Sunday afternoon, Marie’s husband showed up to help her dismantle her booth and displays.
The two of them worked quietly together for a few moments inside their booth. All of a sudden they began arguing. Soon, the gentle yoga lady was screaming. She was unhappy with the way he packed merchandise. He was sick of her complaints about the way he packed.
Their argument escalated, she wanted him to stay with her at the booth more often. He wanted to relax after working all week. They could be heard all over the park.
Even after the protective cloak of the tent walls came down the fight raged on.
The last time I saw Marie and her husband, they were in the parking lot, a teetering load on their flimsy four-wheel cart. At that time, the fight was about keys to their van and who had handled them last.
We never did get any Chakra stones. I don’t think they help.

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