It’s been a busy time for us, so my husband wanted to go out for drink this past Saturday night. There was a relatively new beer, wine and charcuterie place that we hadn’t tried, so he wanted to go there. I did not, but I’m a trooper, albeit a grumpy one.
I’m not a social butterfly, night owl, hep cat or any other creature that typically enjoys being out after dark in crowded bars with a bunch of strangers who are always drinking and usually yelling. I like to sit in bed with a heating pad across my shoulders and a good book in my hands, but I realize I’m in the minority here.
Because our destination is in a century-old building that wasn’t used as a bar in its glory days, it’s short on parking, outdoor lighting and indoor heat. But, it’s got like 3,000 beers on tap (or maybe 20), a few wines and a display case of meats and cheeses. It’s hip and young here and there’s no place to sit unless you like balancing your old ass on a “stool” that looks like a giant screw with a small piece of wood on top. Anything resembling a chair–and there are few of these–is taken by a skinny, young person holding a mostly empty wine glass. I find a small bench in front of a defunct piano in the midst of the action and perch there like washed-up Vegas act. Because it seems cold in here, I remain bundled up, while G makes a selection from the artfully printed beer menu (in a binder!) and orders “the cheapest red wine they have” (my words) for me. I eventually scare people off with my weird street-person vibe and we grab a couple of hastily vacated chairs.
“Chair” might be an overly ambitious description. It does look like a chair, but one that was set out for bulk waste because it threatens to deconstruct if its occupant dares to lean back, bend over or reach for one’s wine. Maintaining the appropriate distribution of mass requires a well-toned core, a straight back and a small ass. (Note to self: Step up the planking exercises!)
This is where the meltdown part comes: We saw an acquaintance from our local visual arts center, which is where I’m having a trunk show of crocheted StorylineCreations this week. Yep, four days from now. My husband, my cheerleader, calls out to her and her companion and begins promoting this event, encouraging them to come. She politely indicates she needs to buy some of my stuff and says they will try to make it. Thursday? she asks. Yes, I say. OK, she says. And then, the bombshell.
Husband: “I won’t be there on Thursday, but on Saturday we’re having a beer and cheese pairing for the end of the show.” The “I won’t be there on Thursday” part is all I heard. “What are you talking about?!,” I hissed as the couple made their way out the door. “Who am I going to talk to for two hours? You know how socially awkward I am!”
Surprised husband: “You know I play volleyball on Thursday!” Unfortunately, this is a valid point, because every Thursday for the last few years, he has played volleyball. I have no response. (I do, but it’s not worth repeating here.) For some reason I thought he would prefer to stand around a figurative trunk of crocheted items watching me periodically run to the restroom before anyone can ask me any questions. (I am horrible at self-promotion and/or being the center of attention. I say weird things and get diarrhea.) The next thing I know, my loyal, ever-patient husband is texting a team-player’s husband to see if he can fill in for him. I’m full of guilt for only thinking of myself, but relieved he will be there.
Next morning: me talking to me: “OK. Grow up! You can survive two hours of possible questions about your work. Your sisters will be there, friends will be there, strangers you don’t really care about may or may not be there. You can take it. If any hits come, you can handle them. It’s only two hours. Just do your Tara Brach meditations every morning this week and be like ice melting. Ice to water to vapor! Breathe! Channel the most confident person you know. You will survive.”
I tell G we can just play it by ear. If he needs to go to volleyball, I will be fine. I’ll just have a little wine at the opening and plan on a big shot of whiskey when it’s all said and done. (Don’t judge. My spiritual path occasionally includes a whiskey bar, but, hey, I’m still on the path and not face down in the briar patch.)
I tend to make things harder than they need to be. I’m terrible at self-promotion and don’t like to talk about my work. For the trunk show I was charged with pushing my creativity and taking my work in a new direction. I did this, and now I’m scared to death. I’ve posted pictures and gotten good feedback. I’ve priced my work fairly. I made these items with good materials and even better intentions. They are the best I can do. It’s now up to me to be comfortable with that. It’s a journey I chose, knowing it would be hard, but also hopeful that persistence would have its rewards. We shall see!
If you live in the Dayton, Ohio area, I’ll see you at Thursday’s opening. Perhaps I will be the smiling, confident and friendly artist comfortably talking about her work. Or, I’ll be that person in the corner who can’t seem to stop scrolling through texts on her cell phone (now I know why people do that). Or, best of all, I might just be my introverted and sensitive self and that will be OK. If I say something weird, just go with it!
Photo at top: My trunk show items ready to be to DVAC.