GLAM 2022 recap

GLAM 2022 recap

I started to write this last night, stared at the screen for about an hour and a half with one line on it, and went to bed at about 8:30. Slept for… what, ten hours? Eleven? I’m feeling almost human now. So! Let’s recap GLAM!

I’m almost too tired to write this! Shout out to what I realize now is my Team of J3; Jenn, Jeff, and Jordan. They rock like big rocking things that rock a lot. Especially Jordan, who got the surprise of my big wracking, full-body-shaking, sobbing-out-loud crying at the end of the day when he gave me a hug and I absolutely collapsed. Without them I would have… I don’t know, tried to set up, given up after an hour, and walked off into the sea.

Most of the day was a blur, so I’m going to just recount little stories that I remember, without regard for what order in which they happened. Hope that’s OK. Well, it’s my blog, so of course it’s OK with me, but if you need something linear this might not be the post for you, heh.

Me, every day for two months before GLAM: I don’t have enough. I don’t have enough. I don’t have anything new. I don’t have anything cool. I don’t have enough.

Me, day of setting up: I hope I brought enough.

Jenn, day of setting up: I love the new stuff! You brought so much! Uh, you really… brought a lot. Uh, we might need to… uh… not put everything out. Do you need all the crates for display? Can we just not unpack a couple?

Me: Oh, and I didn’t bring any yarn, it’s a long story, anyway, so I tried to pack up some extra ceramics to take the place of not having yarn, yeah, I need all the displays, shit, I didn’t bring enou— uhhhhhh I have way too much. I’m going to have to triage what’s going out first. Holy shit I brought a lot. Holy shit.

By the end of the day I was really starting to wonder if we’d sold… anything. There was SO MUCH to pack up at the end of the day! But Jenn pointed out that I’d brought a metric ton of ceramics, and we were only packing up HALF a ton, so… yes! Things did sell. Financially, I had a great day. Not my best GLAM ever (I don’t think anything will surpass last year’s numbers) but times are tight these days and I did have some things that were more expensive than what I usually bring. Overall I did totally fine. Probably one of my top four GLAMs, financially. Maybe top three, even. I’m very happy with the numbers.

I think only one person I talked to didn’t know that Tim had died. I had been afraid it would be super awkward all day, maybe fielding questions all day about where’s that helpful guy who usually hangs out and helps us set up, he’s just great – but fortunately, that didn’t happen. What a lot of people DID say is a variation of “I’m so glad to see you here, I’m so proud of you for being here and doing the thing, you’re amazing.” And… that’s what made me start crying. Not in a “ahhhh you’ve hurt me” way but in an “oh, oh my, I kind of thought at times that people saying ‘we see how hard it is’ was just talk, but these people really, really do see how hard it’s been for me and they’re rooting for me and shit here come the waterworks again.” I kept apologizing for crying, which is kind of stupid and I didn’t mean “I’m ashamed of crying”… I meant more “I’m sorry about the surprise crying, I didn’t mean to, I was feeling fine and I don’t know where these emotions are coming from. I LIKE TO PLAN MY CRYS THIS STEALTH CRYING IS VERY UNFORTUNATE AT THIS BUSY TIME WHEN PEOPLE ARE SMILING AND HUGGING ME.”

Two people in particular mentioned that they read my blog here, and wanted me to know they read it, because they don’t often know what to say so they don’t comment. One of them said how much my recent post on the TV thing really resonated with them. Another told me how much she appreciates my openness and honesty about what I’m going through. That – both – meant so much to me. I’m not really big on checking stats – I’m one person, it’s time consuming, if I check them I feel like I’m going to have to do something with the knowledge like fix something or start using tags or blah blah blah, anyway, so I never really know if anyone is reading this or if I’m just shouting out into the void.

But one thing I wanted to do, especially with the posts about Tim (and Barbara, and my dad, and Bill, and and) is shine a light on grief and death. So often we gloss it over. We either don’t talk about how we feel, or we don’t talk about how we don’t know what we’re supposed to feel, and I wanted to put that uncomfortable feeling of “I’m laughing but I should be crying” or “society tells me I’m supposed to be ok (or not ok) and I’m really kind of ok (or not ok)” or “my friends are the unsung heroes of my life.” …. I wanted to put all of that out in front where it can be seen, where it can be found by other people grieving in silence, and let them know that they’re not alone.

So to hear that I’m not alone? That people see me, that what I say resonates with them…. that means so much.

I always wanted to emulate my dad and Bill. They both had such a natural gift for listening to people. For hearing their stories. For drawing other people out. Most people, they taught me, just want to be heard. I never really realized before that… I’m people, too. And other people hearing me is such a gift.

Sometimes I am garbage at knowing what’s going to sell. Top sellers at GLAM this year were coasters, soap, waffle cone ice cream mugs, “you’ve been poisoned” trays, and button mugs. But the things that I thought people might come to blows over? The rainbow mugs? The rabbit mugs? The F-word mugs? Nope. Came home with tons (I’ll be adding most of what came home with me to the shop throughout the week). Next year I might not bring the F-word mugs, unless I change the shape or the color. The face planters and the hand vases were not as big a hit as I thought they’d be, unfortunately (I’d already decided they would be, so started to make more, to bring them into the shop year-round). I don’t know that anyone even touched the unicorn planters. See? Garbage at knowing what’s going to sell! And I’ve been doing this, what, twelve years now???

I didn’t bring yarn this year, for a couple of reasons, but not a single person asked me where it was. That’s fine, I didn’t want to have to talk about it all day. The truth is, I didn’t feel like I had anything new this year for yarn. The year has been such a struggle, energy-wise, that the only yarn I’ve dyed was for club. I haven’t restocked anything and I haven’t brought any new colors in. But I have plans, so, if you missed the yarn….? It will be back!

Emotionally, it probably would have been an easier day if my tech had fucking worked.

Me, first sale –
– card reader does not seem to be paired with phone
– card reader seems to want to download an update
– card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– card reader will let me enter card info manually
– this means it will go through as a sale, but not associated with a customer and will not email customer a receipt, just finalizes sale
– five minutes later, card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– five minutes later, card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– five minutes later, card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– continue to enter cards manually
– five minutes later, card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– five minutes later, card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– five minutes later, card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– five minutes later, card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– continue to enter cards manually
– five minutes later, card reader update download is stuck at 80%
– turn everything off, reboot phone
– still downloading update but will now let us scan cards
– half an hour later, download complete (or not? I don’t know, it’s no longer saying it’s downloading an update) and cards won’t scan any more, have to enter them manually
– cards continue to be entered manually for hours
– friends come by, we try to troubleshoot, and while testing their card to see if it works, it does; wind up selling them thing by accident
– cards can be scanned now
– no they can’t, it stopped after half an hour, never worked again
– at one point, another customer was like, “hey, someone down that way is having the same problem”

I had to step away at one point, I was getting too ready to throw my phone across the parking lot. And I couldn’t stop crying. So I went for a walk. Ran into some friends, also vendors, and they were the ones having the same issue! Apparently Shopify is phasing out being able to use your phone as a register, so they’re just… letting stuff remain borked when it bricks itself. I can do what my friend did and buy the $400 piece of equipment that they want you to buy… or I can not take credit cards any more… or I can but continue to manually enter them… or I can switch back to using Square… or, or, or. Honestly I haven’t had time to think/focus/research this issue, I was just so fucking glad to know that it wasn’t me, it wasn’t my tech, it was a Shopify issue. But boy howdy did I NOT need that on a day where I was already running with everything so close to the surface.

I must live in DenialVille because I didn’t know how hard GLAM was going to be until I got there. Like I said, a lot of people were surprised/glad to see me, and said how proud of me they were that I Did The Thing. That I showed up, even crying randomly, and stuck it out all day and still smiled and laughed and hugged when I could. I don’t know what to say to that except… thank you for seeing me. Thank you for holding space for me. Thank you for understanding that I was completely blindsided by how hard it was. Thank you to everyone who helped me set up, do the day, break down. And again, especially Jenn, Jeff, and Jordan. Y’all. I would divide my only kidney into three parts and give them to you, if you needed it.

Y’all. I was so tired at the end of the day. As already mentioned, Jordan gave me a hug and I absolutely cracked in half. I kept saying I didn’t know why it was so hard – it’s not like Tim helped me at my booth all day long. He usually set up my tent, disappeared for the rest of the day, and showed up to help me take my tent down. And I had people to do that AND they were also there all day checking on me! I had MORE help this year than ever before! So why was it hard?


A year ago, I was so unhappy. I knew that things were falling apart between Tim and I, but I didn’t think he saw it, and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t live with his aunt and uncle any more. I couldn’t live with being this unhappy, this uncomfortable, in my own home. But I didn’t want to make him choose, because I’m not the giving-an-ultimatum type. I was thinking of just packing up what would fit in my car and leaving, it was that bad. And then right after GLAM last year, Tim got sick. And I stuck around, because being desperately unhappy didn’t mean I didn’t love him. It didn’t mean I wanted him to die. I just wanted to be living more truthfully, with more emotional safety in my place of living. And now I’m out here on my land, not having worked anything through with him because he died, and his aunt and uncle left, because he died, and while I’ll never get to work things out with Tim, I get to …. to live out here and make my art and watch my tortoises and live in nature and pet my cats and dog? It doesn’t seem fair.

It doesn’t seem fair AT ALL.

That I get to go to an event where people love me, and see me, and hug me, and hold space for me, and I get to fill up a tent with good, fun art? That I get to see other Makers talking excitedly and joyfully about what they do? That I see so many smiles and people hugging each other and happy toddlers learning how to walk and people with beautiful dogs on leashes and… I just get to… see so much life around me? I get to see so much love? I get to see so many people being beautiful to each other? It doesn’t seem fair. It’s not fair that not everybody gets that. I have so much of it, my cup runneth over. I hope that the love I feel can somehow spill over into the lives of those who feel like it’s lacking in their own spaces.

I was so tired by the end of the day that if Sharon had not texted me to find out if we were all going to Mojo like usual after GLAM for dinner, and could she and Chris come, I probably would have stayed home. Jordan, so sweet and kind (his wife Kathy is amazing – the kind of person that the first time I saw her walk into a room I turned to Sharon and said “do you know who that is? Because I have to meet her. I need that person in my life.” But she just got her Shingles vaccine so was under the weather and couldn’t come with us). Jenn, everyone knows how much I love my Jennling. Chris, juggler of fire, giver of hugs, kitchen god extraordinaire. Valerie, an earth mother goddess if ever their was one. Laura, also a mother goddess and an absolute spitfire who takes no shit but does no harm. Sharon, you all know how much I love my heart’s sisters. Dov, absolute KING of the dad joke. So quiet at first, but when he opens his mouth? Holy shit, watch out, you’re going to cry laughing. Dacia, so vibrant and absolutely on fire with life. Jeff, my dear old friend who has a mountain of shit on his own shoulders and yet is ready to take up my burdens and help me carry them as well.

These are my friends. My family friends. My chosen family. I love them all so.

11 thoughts on “0

  1. This was a insightful piece. I am so glad that you went to Glam, because you needed to do yet another normal thing in a year of “not normal.” You have good people in your life and I am so glad for that. A few more months and the first year, the hardest year according to all those who have been through it, will be over. While you didn’t get to work things through with Tim, you were there for him and he knew you loved him, so you have to let that feeling of unfinished business go. It wasn’t unfinished, it just transformed into something much different and you handled it better than most people would have done. Well done, now take a deep breath, keep calm, and carry on. Preferably with a nice drink in one hand. You are loved.

    1. I love this part of what you said so much: It wasn’t unfinished, it just transformed into something much different.

  2. wish i’D BEEN THERE TO BUY ONE OF THE F— MUGS AND HUG YOU TOO. And I just noticed the all caps, so consider this an old deaf lady speaking loud and forgive me.

  3. I said something to my sister about how you e shared over the past year and how amazing it is. It makes me less afraid of things that might happen in the future.

  4. This, my friend, is the life you deserve. Joy, freedom, regret, love, ninja cats, and a little potato. This. ❤️

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