So, the Big Market, otherwise known as my excuse for not doing anything even remotely approaching productive for the past month at work or at home, is over.
If you could see me right now (which I’m glad you can’t because I’ve got a wicked case of bedhead and am wearing Adam’s pajama pants) I would be smiling ear to ear and doing a little jig.
It’s OVER! And here’s how it went:
On Friday morning I woke up at 7:30 and the panicking commenced. It wouldn’t stop for about 26 hours. I loaded all my shit into the car: two huge rubbermaid bins filled to the brim with baby toques, scarves, neck cowls etc., a few of my vintage suitcases for display, a stool and finally, just to be difficult, an orchid. Because hey, why not?
I hightailed it down to the ferry terminal to pick up my big-haired ladyfriend who I somehow conned into helping me out this weekend (See? THAT is how optimistic I was, I just knew I was going to be so busy that I’d need an extra pair of hands to pick up the flurry of money being thrown at me over the course of the next few days.
(FORESHADOWING: *single tear*. Slowly shaking head.)
I arrived uncharacteristically early and sat in the parking lot reading celebrity gossip on my phone, fingers twitching and stomach churning itself into knots.
I estimate that my anxiety decreased approximately 53% when I saw Celene emerge from the ferry terminal. It seemed to bring a different purpose to the weekend,”Hey!” I found myself thinking, “Even if I don’t sell a goddamn thing, I’ll have an amazing girls weekend with Celene!”
The drive to Whistler flew past in a blur of gossip and laughter. I wish I could share with you, the stories Celene shared with me. I am lobbying her hard to create a blog – you think sex attics and glamour photos are weird? The shit she does leaves me in the dust, looking like a beige-cardigan wearing grandma.
After a few hours we finally arrived in Whistler, grabbed a quick lunch then set up my booth. As we were putting the finishing touches on my displays, the five-minute warning announcement blared over the loudspeakers. Celene and I traded excited glances and then BOOM! the moment I’d been preparing myself for for months was here! The doors were opened! People started streaming in, stamping the snow off their boots, cheeks still ruddy from the cold.
What happened in the next six hours was…nothing. NOTHING. I think I sold around $100 worth of stuff, a fraction of what I did the same day last year.
People weren’t interested, they barely stopped when passing by. The last straw was when I heard a woman pause to look at my pile of neck cowls (usually my biggest seller) and say, snarkily “Oh god, everyone’s doing neck cowls this year.”
I spoke with the other vendors and they were experiencing the same thing, we were baffled. And disappointed t say the least.
As the hours passed, my panic subsided into a strange sense of stillness and despair. This was my entirely rational and fact-based thought process:
Holy Shit. It’s happening. My worst nightmare is actually happening. No one likes my stuff. No one’s buying my stuff. I bought FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of wool and it’s just sitting here like a bag of shit that no one wants to touch. Oh my god I’m going to be stuck with all of this! What am I going to do? I haven’t even paid for my table yet! I’m going to end up homeless and alone, with nothing but SEVEN HUNDRED GODDAMNED NECK COWLS!
So. Suffice it to say, Friday was NOT GOOD. My fragile emotional state was NOT GOOD.
NOTHING WAS GOOD.
At the end of the day we trudged back to the hotel and my despair gave way to a kind of sleep-deprived hilarity. I just didn’t care anymore. Until, that is, the next morning when we went to check out of the hotel and were informed that we owed $48 for parking, because “Free parking doesn’t exist in Whistler”.
Oh. Oh REALLY? Even when you PAY FOR A FUCKING HOTEL ROOM and stay in an underground parking garage designed, presumably, for the exclusive use of your guests, DICKBAG? (Is what I would have said were I not consumed with trying not to cry. Me. A grown ass woman standing in the lobby of a swanky Whistler hotel crying over paid parking? Can. Not.)
Nonetheless, I was so tired and so fed up that my eyes may have welled up a bit as I handed over my visa. When I rejoined the girls I wailed “I’ve already spent more than I’ve made! This weekend is ruined!”
Anyone who has ever called me melodramatic needs to find a more extreme version of the word because that just isn’t cutting it anymore.
As we walked through the brisk cold air back to the market venue, I decided that my attitude sucked. This was bullshit was damned if I wasn’t going to go down without a fight! It was like Custer’s last stand (if Custer sold woolen baby hats instead of fighting a war, or whatever Custer did. I’m Canadian guys, I have no idea. Wait. Was Custer Canadian? Shit. Just ignore the whole Custer reference, okay?).
I sucked back the tears, got my head out of my ass and, Internets, I put on some lipstick.
Putting on lipstick is the ladies version of suiting up. Putting on lipstick was like a little signal to the universe: BRING IT ON, bitches!
That day I went on to sell over 3/4 of my stuff. And despite spending an obscene amount of cash on artisanal goat cheese, I managed to do a few hundred dollars better than I did last year.
I don’t know if it was the lipstick, or the weather, or me finally deciding to put on my big girl pants, but the experience was completely different, people loved my stuff- they couldn’t get enough!
One woman bought three, (THREE!) neck cowls because she couldn’t pick what colour she liked best. Another bought her eight year old daughter $90 worth of brightly coloured woolen things, simply because she asked.
It was fantastic, the day flew by, Celene was such an amazing, incredible help, I was so SO happy that I wasn’t going to end up homeless, peeing in alleys and using toques as toilet paper.
And now, its over! I have one more tiny market that I’m going to use to clear out all of my remaining stock and I’m done!
At this point I’d like to thank you. A while ago I got an email from a reader responding to my apologies for not posting enough, he said, in the kindest way possible, that I shouldn’t worry about it, that the Internets would continue to exist without my daily rambling monologues.
Guys, believe me when I say that I know this, I am fully aware that this blog occupies the smallest of tiny corners of the Internets, with readers numbering in the hundreds instead of hundred of thousands, but I also just appreciate so much every single one of you that comes here every day to read these nonsensical diatribes.
It fulfills me in the most cheesy, sappy ways imaginable. I guess you could say, you complete me.
So as promised, a thank you.
I’m offering a small giveaway, a first for Sweet Madeleine! One lucky reader will win their choice of the following knitted items.
1. Caramel Neck cowl, wool-acrylic blend with Birch button
2. Turquoise Neck Cowl, 100% peruvian highland wool, Birch button.
3. Hot Pink & Tweed fitted toque (I think y’all call them beanies in the states?), 100% wool
4. Oatmeal slouchy toque, wool-acrylic blend.
5. Forester Baby Toque, fits up to 6 months, wool/wool-acryclic blend with Birch button
6. Pinky Baby Toque, fits up to 6 months, 100% wool
To enter, just leave a comment OR a tumblr note, stating which one you would like and on Friday December 2 I’ll use a random number generator to select a winner and mail that little package to you right in time for Christmas.