Thursday, November 5, 2015

Suspicious by nature

"Nothing's been long, nothing's been yes, nowhere's been home,
And I'm ready to be limbo no more."

It's been a bit slow for me selling beads on FB just lately. I may have mentioned that.

So, a couple of days ago I had someone buy 34 items from me. 30 or so were from my personal group.

I sent her all the descriptions and photos - and an invoice. That alone took more than an hour.

It would have been my largest single sale although over time I've had people buy that much and more from me.

And I'm so naturally suspicious, I kept wondering the whole time if she was just winding me up.

I've watched buyers on FB spend thousands of dollars in one day or one trunk show.

I've watched truly unremarkle beads sell for good money and amazing beads sell for stupid money.

So I know there are buyers for whom money is no object, or possibly who have maxxed out credit cards and addiction problems.

I just pretended that this was an everyday thing for me. I had to slap myself to stop from asking her, do you realize how much this is going to add up to, or, what are you planning to do with all these beads.

Then the waiting started. I was holding my breath until the invoice was paid. although I thought, maybe that's not such a good idea.

A day later, the customer paid me. Oh ye (me) of little faith.

A little back story on this particular customer. She did a buy-it-now on one of my bead sets a couple of weeks ago. Then she didn't pay for a few days. I asked, is everything OK? You haven't paid for your pretty beads.

That is my way of pretending to be all super nice and concerned while nudging the customer to make a payment.

She said, I spent the day in the hospital. I will pay but it might be a bit later tonight or in the morning - I don't need the migraine to be back.

I said, sorry you are ill. Tomorrow is fine. Hope you feel better!

Nothing that night or the next day.

I tried again. I said, if you can pay me today I can mail your beads before I leave for the weekend. With a little smiley face.

She said, I will check on that. What was the total so I can make sure you are paid correctly.

I guess it didn't occur to her to look at the invoice, so I told her.

The next day, I tried again. Again. I said, I still haven't received payment. ??

She said, Huh. I will get it figured out and done today, okay?

And then she said, I found it but need a regular computer so I will pay tomorrow when I can use my mom's computer. Talk to you tomorrow.

She did pay me the next day, but I was in Austin.

When I got home, I was ready to mail her beads. Only they were not there. In their place was a set of beads that another customer bought that I'd already mailed. Or so I thought.

So I messaged that customer and said, I'm so sorry. I sent you the wrong set of beads. I will send you the right set today. Would you mind forwarding the others to the person they should have gone to? I just discovered this because the other buyer was so late paying me. I'll refund any extra postage of course.

And she replied, No problem I would be happy to, just send me the address and when I get them I will send them on!

Long story short, she got the beads that day, said she'd forward them the next day and three days later she sent me a note saying that the beads had been forwarded. That was Oct. 22. The same day the original buyer went on her shopping spree.

I didn't tell the original customer about the snafu. I figured she'd been late paying, I'd told her I would be away, I'd explain if and only if she asked. But the timing was weird. She bought 34 more things from me before she'd received the first purchase.

So naturally I was skeptical. Dubious. Suspicious. But I played along and the game was definitely worth the candle.

I celebrated by ordering 12 jars of new frit blends. And two of the new Creation is Messy colors. And a bead. Because of course I did.

Neil and I made a short trip back to North Carolina. It was my idea. The North Carolina Renaissance Festival just happens to be held a few miles from one of the places we'd be most likely to move to, if we do. I thought it would be fun to go, and also to experience NC in a season other than summertime.

Plus, I wanted to exorcise the memory of our last visit, when I was so weepy and uncertain about moving somewhere that we knew no one, somewhere so much further away from my kids and grandchild.

Truthfully, I'm every bit as uncertain, but I was determined to be positive and cheerful. I mean, if we move there and it's not a good fit, we don't have to stay, although I can't imagine moving back to Texas.

And it is really nice there. The first day especially was sunny and mild. We visited two developments that we are considering. One is in Cornelius and is mostly built out. It has pretty walking trails and a little village with shops, eateries, a movie theater in walking distance. The other is in Huntersville, more rural, and still more or less 40 acres of partially graded clay soil. We tromped around and got lots of much in out treads.

I'm not sure either one will work with our timing. Whatever the hell our timing is. It depends on how much longer Neil is going to work. That could be decided for us by a severance package. It could be within the year. Or it might be as much as a couple more years without a package.

I don't like not knowing. I don't like being in limbo. I'd rather make a decision than have it hanging over me. Even making the wrong decision beats indecision.

How we make the final decision is anyone's guess. I told Neil he needs to make it, so if it doesn't work out it's all his fault. But seriously, deep down, I know I am going to be the one to drive the decision. I don't think Neil would decide that we will move to NC if he thinks that I will be unhappy and the only way I can convince him I'm happy to go is if I champion and encourage going.

I'd still rather move to the Austin, Texas area, but I don't want to regret not taking the chance, having the adventure. More than that, I don't want Neil to regret it, as he will every day for at least five months of every year when it is too freaking hot to enjoy the lovely outdoor living space that our new house is certain to include.

On Saturday, our second day in NC, we went to the RenFest. It was a gloomy gray day but it didn't rain so I'm claiming my weather luck record remains unbroken. The NC RenFest is quite a few years behind its Texas cousin, which has had flush toilets for years now, but nice enough, with a lampworker and a glassblower and lots of stages, similar refreshments, ample things to look at and buy, and even, incredibly, a Ded Bob show. Yes, Ded Bob is a franchise. Kills ya doesn't it? Yuck yuck.

On Sunday it rained. Of course it did. We went to Mint Hill to visit one more subdivision that we are considering. It's also more rural, in an area with less infrastructure - and less traffic too. I'm OK with that. We'd definitely get more land for our money and possible more house too.

When we built our house here in Sugar Land, we considered building several miles further west. We could have built the identical house that we live in now for 3/4 of the cost. But I balked. It was too far from town. I thought I wanted to be closer to things like shopping malls and moving theaters, to have easier access to downtown Houston with its cultural options, museums, the zoo.

But things change. Those things turned out to be less important to me. We rarely go downtown, or to the mall. I do most of my shopping online. We seldom go to the movies either, but a palatial multiplex opened out near where the other house would have been. Infrastructure materialized too. Grocery stores and shopping centers popped up.

If you come, they will build it. Or something like that.

Despite the rain, we had a nice day, looking at models and spec houses, ending with a pizza dinner.

Monday was a bit of a dud. It was still raining, our flight wasn't until 6 pm and most of the appealing activities were outdoor ones. We actually wound up going to the McGuire Nuclear Station and taking a self-guided simulated tour at the Energy Explorium. Because if you are considering moving to the immediate vicinity of a nuclear power plant, why not go see it up close and personally.

I'm sure it's quite safe and all that jazz, but if a big part of your (Neil's) moving criteria is to distance yourself from natural threats such as hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires, and floods, do you really want to invite a manmade threat practically into your new backyard?

No need to answer that one.

"My house, my role
My friends, my man
My devotion to god
All amorphous, indefinite

Nothing's been clear
Nothing's been in
Nothing's felt true
And I've never had both feet in

Nothing's been long
Nothing's been yes
Nowhere's been home
And I'm ready to be limbo no more

My taste, my peers
My identity, my affiliation
All amorphous, indefinite

I sit with filled frames
And my books and my dogs at my feet
My friends by my side
My past in a heap

Thrown out most of my things
Only kept what I need to carve
Something consistent and notably me

Tattoo on my skin
My teachers in heart
My house is a home
Something at last I can feel a part of

Sense of myself
My purpose is clear
My roots in the ground
Something at last I can feel a part of

Something aligned
To finally commit
Somewhere I belong
'Cause I'm ready to be limbo no more

My wisdom applied
A firm foundation
A vow to myself
'Cause I'm ready to be limbo no more."

(Alanis Morissette)

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