Sunday, August 18, 2013

A beautiful friendship

"Quicker than sand people change it's true."

A funny thing happened this week. A good funny thing. There is an online shop that carries reasonably priced nice quality gemstones. I've purchased from this shop in the past and added it to my favorites so I can find it again easily and see new listings.

The shop had a listing for a 1/10th oz. silver Standing Liberty coin. I'm not sure technically whether or not it really is a coin, as it it isn't struck by the U.S. Mint, bears no official stamp and can't be used as money. It's a dime-sized replica of an American Silver Eagle, which is an official U.S. silver bullion coin. The American Silver Eagle has a nominal face value of one dollar and contains one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver.

I noticed that the picture of the reverse of the coin in the shop was an American Silver Eagle with the "W" West Point mint mark and the designation "1 oz. Fine Silver."

I know all this because Neil is a numismatist and I'm a quick study.

So I dashed off this ineloquent note to the shop owner.
This is a photo of a 1 oz. coin. The 1/10 oz. rounds say "1/10 oz."
The shop owner promptly (and graciously) replied.
Thanks for letting me know!
The shop owner also changed the picture. And there was an end of it.

So I was astonished to get this a day later.
Hello Elizabeth, I was wondering if there was any way that we might work together to offer some of your beads in my shop? They are gorgeous.
I was, I am super-flattered. This shop gets about 500% more traffic than mine. But I couldn't quite picture how the logistics would work, as we'd be selling, essentially competing, in the same venue. After pondering it all day, I wrote back.
Thanks for the compliment on my beads! How would you visualize working together to offer my beads in your shop? I'm open to ideas. Cross-promotion can be a good thing. Thanks again, Liz
As it turns out, the shop owner had a totally reasonable plan for how this would work. The shop would buy some volume of my beads at a wholesale price and sell them for the same price points as I sell them.

Better yet, the shop made this proposal.
I would give you a full write up in the individual descriptions and aim them to your shop for beads. The advantage to me would be very rapid stock turnaround, elite bead designs, and one-of-a-kind creations that will give my customers new work to look at that can't be found exactly the same elsewhere.
True that. Each of my focal beads is one of a kind.

Now all I have to do is come up with a wholesale pricing scheme and I'm in. And then hope to hell that the shop is right about "very rapid stock turnaround."

If so, then "Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

In the spring of 2001, my relationship with Robin became what perhaps it was always meant to have been, a beautiful friendship.

I was feeling very lonely in real life though. Not as lonely as when I was still living in a failed marriage. But I was tired and listless all the time. I'd been on and off mood medication for three years, hadn't found the magic pill and I seemed to the queen of side effects.

Just one week before Marty and I first made contact, I wrote this.
I feel like I'm not able to do life right. My kids are always angry at me (rightly or wrongly), friends turn out to be shits, men give me the wrong kind of attention. I go through the right motions. I diet, exercise, shower, stay involved in humane causes and volunteerism, participate in kids and social activities, and I still feel so utterly alone.

It's like a growth inside me, a non-malignant but aggressive tumor, toxic waste.

I'm listening as hard as I can. What lesson does God want me to learn in this life for the betterment of my soul? What terrible thing did I do in a past life to merit this torturous path?

By day, I'm a competent professional writer with manicured nails and a nice wardrobe. By night I am a soul tormented by irrepressible demons.

My therapist said I choose people who will hurt me. But I never feel like it is a choice. I feel that my defective brain and body chemistry transmit my inner sadness no matter what expression is glued on my face. I feel like I am a magnet for people who ultimately fail me. I don't choose them - they seek me out.
Yes, it sounds like a boatload of first world problems. You have to remember that neurotransmitter deficiency disorder is a physiological health problem, no less authentic (or debilitating) than allergies or diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. It's just trickier to control.

I signed up for an online dating site the way I got my tattoo. Impulsively. I woke up one morning wanting a tattoo and by that evening I had a butterfly on my ankle. I saw an ad for Match, and an hour later I had a free profile.

It had a headline something like "Attractive Divorced Mom, Unclaimed" and the gist of it was along the lines that I had a job I loved (true at the time), was interested in the arts, enjoyed a range of experiences from mountain hiking to an evening at home with a good book. I was spiritual, but not religious, declined to state my income (why would anyone?) and didn't smoke, drink or do drugs. Oh and anyone without a heart big enough to love my two kids need not apply.

I joked to my mom that if I was honest, my profile would read more like this. "Tired, depressed single mom, with crazed hormonal teenagers who keep the house in a state of chaos, seeks knight in shining armor to carry her away into the sunset on his white horse (or at least provide some distraction and empathy)."

Five weeks after Marty told me to "have a nice life" I wrote this.
Obviously, I wasn't standing on firm ground when I met Marty.

So is it any wonder that when Marty discarded me like so much useless baggage, I went into free fall?

When I peel away the pain from Marty's betrayal, I am left with the hollow emptiness of the place I was before he parted the clouds for me.

It also has left gaping trust issues. How will I ever know when I am truly loved? And what will it take for me to ever feel such love again?
But that was all yet to come.

I posted my profile and almost immediately had several interesting responses. Marty's was the one that moved me most.

After that, things happened at warp speed.

"Things are never quite what they seem
I've changed my perception
I have a brand new dream
Quicker than sand
People change it's true
I don't know why
I don't know why
I don't know why
I am not in love with you

And I never knew why this city moved me so
You're the only proof I've ever found

There were times I'd swear
He was almost all there
So I mark that moment, I pierce my ear
He said I made the room's atmosphere renew
I don't know why
I don't know why
I don't know why
I am so in love with you."

(Vicky Pratt Keating, NY 10/11/91, from Blue Apples)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz