Monday, October 21, 2013

Rescue redemption and renegade beads

"I am older now, I have more than what I wanted, but I wish that I had started long before I did."

Do you remember Dolce?

She is my daugher's rescue foster boxer and on September 5 she looked like this.

This is Dolce today. And this is where you sleep when the cat steals your big fluffy bed.

She is a beauty. Once she has her vaccinations, is spayed and completes heartworm treatment, she will be available for adoption. She should be good to be before Christmas. In case you are looking for a dog. Or a Christmas present.

Remember my crazy customer story? Here are the beads I made for her, they are the pale yellow ones in the set.

I haven't heard anything further from the customer, for which I'm thankful. I hope she found the perfect beads to match her focal.

I used Straw Yellow for the pale yellow, but I'm guessing she would have said they were too pale or not really yellow. She wouldn't have returned them, more likely she'd just have complained and left me disgruntled feedback.

Who needs that?

In a story that is related only insofar as it involves a bead sale, a customer bought five of my silver glass beads on Friday. I could only find four of them.

Even though I keep my online inventory completely separate from my show inventory, this is the third or fourth time I couldn't find a bead. Maybe the fifth.

The first time, it was a fish bead and I told the customer it must have swum away. She was cheerful about it and chose another fish. I never found fish one. The second time, I told the customer and offered to remake the bead.

Rule 1. Never offer to remake the bead. She didn't like any of my SIX attempts. She choose another bead from my shop and I gave her a discount. That bead never showed up either.

I suspect Zamboni, the bead thief.

In the next case, a regular customer placed a large order and later said that one of the sets wasn't in the box. I remember the set because it was encased and different from my usual styles. I think I remember putting it in the box. But the customer is always right, so I offered to remake the set. See Rule 1 above. A lot of beads later I had a sufficiently similar set and sent it along. My customer was thrilled.

Not long ago, I couldn't find a focal bead purchased by another regular customer. I had a very similar one in my inventory, a prettier one really. I mailed it to her with a bonus bead and without comment. The customer left happy feedback. I never solved the mystery of what happened to that missing bead. Zamboni again?

And once again, on Friday, I couldn't find one bead of five, and again I had a very similar one. This time I did solve the mystery. I went back through my sold orders (as I had each time) and it turns out I sold the missing bead in April. I suspect I meant to copy the listing and forgot to change the photos, or accidentally renewed the listing instead of copying it. Oops. At least it wasn't Zamboni. This time.

I'm probably bound to burn for this, but I sent out the order with the similar bead and a really pretty bonus bead. I'm hoping the customer will be so wowed with the beauty of the beads, she will be totally happy and never scrutinize the replacement bead side-by-side with the photo. Even then, they are quite alike, some style and tonality. The differences are subtle. I just know what to look for.

Worst case scenario, my customer says I sent the wrong bead, I apologize profusely, offer a refund, and tell her to keep the similar bead. It's a calculated gamble. At stake is $25. I'm feeling lucky.

Of course I'm also gambling that she doesn't read my blog.

Before I continue with my love/loss/redemption story, I'd like to share the letter I wrote (but never sent) to Marty at the beginning of January in the year 2002.

The letter went through several iterations, including some that were much longer and more emotional, before I nailed what it was that I really wanted to say.

When all the crap broke lose between me and Marty, a good friend told me that the last one to speak loses the power. Up until this time, I felt as though I had always given away the power.

I needed to write the letter more than I needed him to read it.

A brief recap. In his note he'd said this.
Things with Mary are, to borrow your Chinese curse, interesting. We are in touch, we still love each other, and the distance is the issue.... Meanwhile, we do our best to hang on.
Here is my letter.
No Marty.

The distance was always the issue. With Mary. You’ve just forgotten. Or you think, it will be different now.

We have both been such fools – you for letting me go – and me for not letting you go.

Time we have wasted on the way.

It is as though your words are etched into my brain: "Thank you for finding my life and sharing yourself so deeply with me. I have fallen hopelessly and madly for you.... darling.... stay with me, please..... I want you. We are not finished either - thank God.... Thank you for life, darling Lizzy.... Thank you. I love you, my sweetheart.... forever yours.... Your lover.... your Marty."

A man walking into a movie theater in a Hawaiian print shirt to meet a woman he will take home and hold in his arms all night. A man standing in a kitchen, in running clothes, making a turkey sandwich with tomatoes and mayo. I have never loved anyone so much.

For once, for a brief moment in time, you had it right, Marty. It wasn't just good writing, any more than it was deliberate deceit. It was warm and real and vital and undeniable. I would have followed you to the ends of the earth. Whither thou went, I would go, and your people would be my people. I would have forsaken everyone I cherish for you, everyone who loves me and needs me.

And then this: "Okay... Liz. Stand up on your own two feet. You can do it. You can fucking FLY - if you want to. You don't need to be dependent on anyone. Not even me. Start there. The rest will be easy."

(Sure. It will be easy – when the heart forgets. When pigs have wings.)

I remember everything. Every inch of your skin, the way your hair feels when I touch it, the way you make Stetson smell like some fine cologne, the way your body changes shape in response to mine. And, finally, the incredible sweetness of learning how to make you tremble.

Love we have wasted on the way.

Because you couldn’t get Mary out of your heart, couldn’t bear to think of her with another man. I am a very needy woman, I was anesthesia at a time when you were hurting. You and Mary miss each other and you're still in love (you think). You still love each other and you do your best to hang on.

It pains you to think of the hurt you caused me.

You tell me this - this perfidious piffle - and you keep your personal ad and daily activity and, for God’s sake Marty, new pictures on

Just WHO are you looking for?

Oh, yes, I know. Venus with both arms - and a price above rubies. Mighty Aphrodite.

So sure, Happy New Year, and good riddance to the old year, filled with insanity and horror and inestimable sorrow - and a maelstrom of shit that makes our pathetic little romantic tragicomedy look like nothing more than a storm in a demitasse cup.

Let the water come and carry us away.

Elizabeth Bunn
January, 2002
Houston, Texas

"Look around me, I can see my life before me
Running rings around the way it used to be
I am older now, I have more than what I wanted
But I wish that I had started long before I did

And there's so much time to make up everywhere you turn
Time we have wasted on the way
So much water moving underneath the bridge
Let the water come and carry us away

Oh when you were young did you question all the answers
Did you envy all the dancers who had all the nerve
Look around you now, you must go for what you wanted
Look at all my friends who did and got what they deserved

So much love to make up everywhere you turn
Love we have wasted on the way
So much water moving underneath the bridge
Let the water come and carry us away

Let the water come and carry us away."

Graham Nash

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