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Makes Me Want to Get Married

on January 19, 2011 - 10:46am


Most of you know who Joshua Hoffine is, or at least you've seen his photography. If you haven't, check out his site. Don't worry. I'll wait.

I had the pleasure of meeting him and his fiancée Jen (who makes pendants) almost two years ago at Festival of Fear, and I reported back on what a nice guy he was in addition to being wonderfully creative.

I just found out he's actually offering his services for 15 weddings this year (yes, the bride and groom jumping through the fire loop on a motorcycle is his handiwork). Like the title of this post suggests, it's enough to make me want to have a wedding.

Needless to say, I'm a fan. Not totally fanatic, but he's high on my list of favourite artists.

Which brings me to my story that I promised you yesterday.

Really, this post should have been called I'm A Moron. Can I have a Do Over.

Going into last year's Festival of Fear, I was broke. Really, really broke. Moths in my pockets. At these shows, it's not uncommon for other vendors to suggest a trade of goods - item for item - instead of cash. Since I didn't have two cents to rub together, I gave myself a stern talking to and decided no matter what, I would say no to trades. Sales only. Period. This was my mantra. You know, because companies won't accept Halloween items in exchange for insurance bills and hydro.

Sometimes people wait until the end of the convention to propose such trades. Sometimes they strike early. On this occasion, it was early. Remember the mantra. No trades. No trades.. I had it down pat. No, no, no.

I looked up and Jen was in front of my table. I recognized her, she recognized stuff from my table, and we chatted. She expressed how much she liked my creations, saying she might want one to give to Joshua for Christmas, and would I be open to a trade situation.

Oh my god, you might say, Ghoul Friday, that would be so amazing to have your work given as a present to one of your favourite artists. I had the exact same thought.

But not until after I have an out of body experience and hear myself say "Oh, sorry, I don't think I'll be doing any trades this show. At least not at this point unless I am close to selling out".

Yup. That's right. That's what I said.

And of course Jen said that she'd try to come back again later that weekend.

It took about 3 whole minutes before my brain - which was so busy with the no trades mantra - realized what had just happened. And then it just played a Christmas gift for Joshua over and over and over on a loop, interrupted by I'm a f+@#ing moron every now and again.

I told Yetch what I had done. He blinked at me a few times, then tried to console me. Because now, I'm starting to sweat. I have NO idea where Jen is in the convention (of 70,000 people), or if she even has a table this year. She wasn't in the list of vendors under her name. There was just no way of finding her.

And it was ridiculously busy last year. I rarely left the table on Friday or Saturday, as little by little, I was selling out. Selling out of the items that could have been sitting in Joshua Hoffine's home. But ohhhhhh no. I have to be a good girl robot and listen to my mantra master.

You know how I spent those rare 10 minute breaks, don't you? Going up and down the aisles, looking at tables, trying to spot her. Because now, I'm fixated on making this right. It's not even about Hoffine anymore, it's just the principle of the matter. It's about preventing future episodes where I wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, clutching my chest, screaming "No trades!".

Eventually, I found her late on Saturday. I was so excited and relieved I think I almost shrieked in the middle of the crowd. Luckily, I was composed enough that I told her "I've been looking all over for you. Wanted to let you know I'm almost sold out and would love to do a trade."

Of course, what I wanted to say was "You have to come now because almost all my best work is gone, and you might not want to give Joshua what's left over, and if you don't come right now my head might explode."

This comedy plays out a bit longer. Because now I'm neurotic. Ecstatic that I found her and I can make it right, but neurotic. Because as she's looking over the items on the table, and picking up one of my eyeball plants, my brain yells that one isn't as good as the other one! Pick the other one!. I don't say this out loud of course. It's bad form to scream at customers. But I bet my left eye was twitching ever so subtly.

In the end, she picked a green eyeball plant for him, and I got a wonderful brooch/pendant in exchange (pictured above).

I don't know if he liked it. I don't know if he ever got it. But I do know I sleep better at night than I would have if I never found Jen again.

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