Sunday, December 13, 2015

Virtual fisticuffs

"So just let me try and I will be good to you
Just let me try and I will be there for you
I'll show you why you're so much more than good enough."

I'll start with a Facebook story. Yes, there's always at least one. This one bugged me for days.

The long and short of it is, an artist I know posted an auction for one of her beads, which usually sell for north of $200. I bid a couple of times and near the end I bid $76. Another artist I know bid $77. I decided not to fight her for it. And the auction ended. I thought.

The auction end time was 11:45 am PDT. A couple of bids were placed after the end time and outside the anti-snipe window. At 12:30 pm PDT the seller called the highest bidder the winner. Not the high bidder at the original end time, the actual high bidder, with a bid of $85.

So, to stand up for my friend, the true high bidder, I asked what time the auction ended. The seller said, her ISP was having issues so she "called it" when she got back online at 12:30 pm.

I said, I think Heather was the high bidder before time ran out at 11:44:59.

The seller then changed the end time, no doubt not realizing that edits to posts can be viewed. But who doesn't realize that changing an auction end time after it is over is reprehensible?

Then the seller sent me this zinger.
You don't need to police my auctions Elizabeth... as for Heather... I already have a horse off to the side her husband bought as a surprise Christmas present. If you'd like to protest something you yourself bid on, fine... but policing my auctions isn't up to you.
I was stunned. Abashed. This is someone I like, who I had considered a nice person and a friend.
I probably should have let it drop right there, but I did say one thing.
I did bid on it [seller's name] and I might have bid again except that I thought it had ended.
This was not technically true, since I'd made a conscious decision not to get into a bidding war. The seller did not respond. I've heard nothing from her about the matter since - although she did "like" a comment I made in an unrelated thread.

She also deleted the auction almost immediately. It was still up on my screen. I saved the screen shots. I won't post them here though. I'm not looking for drama. On the remote chance that anyone who knows anyone is reading.

I did hear from Heather, who had this to say.
Hey Elizabeth. Thanks for saying something in that auction. Kinda dissapointed in how it was run
I said this.
Heather I am so upset. [The seller] sent me a messaget telling me not to police her auctions. She changed the end time after it was over.
Heather said this.
So, just to defend [the seller] a bit. Apparently she has been working with my husband to make something for my birthday. So it was kinda awkward when I bid on this item. She did give me the option of buying the palomino at my bid price.
You know, I really don't care about the back story. So what if Heather's husband had already bought her a similar bead from this seller. I already have a similar bead and that doesn't mean I don't want another.

The last thing I said to Heather was this.
If you opted out then mine was the high bid.
Heather did not respond.

To misquote Paul Harvery, the rest of the story is that there is no more to the story.

I kept expecting the seller to come to her senses and acknowledge that I was right. I could have imagined that she'd offer me a similar bead for $77. Hell, I could imagine her sending me a free bead with a note of apology.

Because that's what I would have done, under the circumstances.

I stewed for a long time, but Neil advised me that, right or wrong, anything I said would only make a bad situation worse, that I was unlikely to get satifaction or acknowledgment or validation of any sort that I was right. And even if the seller offered me the bead at that point, I honestly no longer wanted it. Bad juju.

So, knowing that I was right is all the consolation I have. It's not enough, but that's life and I'm over it. Mostly over it.

I wish I could say that all else on Facebook is sweetness and light, but it's not. No further virtual fisticuffs, but my beads aren't selling and it's starting to feel personal again. Last night I posted 12 listings, and this morning I had a few likes, no comments, no bids. I actually whined about it. On each listing I asked for feedback. I tried to be funny, saying things like, please comment and cheer me up. It did generate a few comments and as a result, one bid, but I'm flailing.

Every bead I posted last night was new. All of them were good work. I have a trunk show coming up next week and I'm wondering if anyone will show up to bid. I may run it like my artist friend in Ukraine. She listed about 20 items at the outset, mostly auctions, a few with buy-it-now options, and that was it. Done and dusted. She came back to thank people for comments and bids, and let it run its course. I'll probably do it as two rounds, but I don't think I'll be overworking it, the way I usually do, changing out listings every 12 hours.

I have to take a step back. I have to stop evaluating myself and my work by whether or not my beads sell. I have to stop comparing myself to other artisans whose beautiful or ugly beads sell for good money. I have to either get back to the joy of simply creating - art for art's sake - or alteratively, give up beadmaking and find something else to do with my life. I won't say that's off the table.

Ironically, I got more glass in the mail yesterday and I have another box on the way.

Luckily, I don't have to decide right now. I could take a break. I could scale back and make fewer beads and find another creative outlet. I could look for a class to take, I could start volunteering again, I could certainly write more - and it wouldn't all be this endless whine about Facebook and beads and my navel.

So let's end on a bright note. I've been a little better about controlling my buying urges. Right this minute I'm resisting two extremely appealing bead purchases. I keep telling myself, owning this thing or that thing will not make you (me) happy or happier.

Yesterday we went to Ikea. I bought nothing except a present for Neil, a desk lamp. In past years I would have come away with some impulse purchase or other. I stuck with the thought, this will be one more thing to worry about packing when we move. OK, I admit I'm still thinking about going back for that colander. Neil even said it would be easy to pack. But I haven't dont that, so far.

I also went through some of the stockpile in my closet and segragated things that I plan to give to my kids this holiday season. I've gotten them some things from their wish lists. I don't think I will dress these up as presents. I'll just be honest and offer them the things. I don't want them trying to return something to TJ Maxx only to find out that it was bought (cough) some time ago.

So all in all, I'm making progress.

"Hey your glass is empty
It's a hell of a long way home
Why don't you let me take you
It's no good to go alone

I never would have opened up
But you seemed so real to me
After all the bullshit I've heard
It's refreshing not to see
I don't have to pretend
She doesn't expect it from me

Don't tell me I haven't been good to you
Don't tell me I have never been there for you
Don't tell me why
Nothing is good enough

Hey little girl would you like some candy
Your momma said that it's OK
The door is open come on outside
No I can't come out today

It's not the wind that cracked your shoulder
And threw you to the ground
Who's there that makes you so afraid
You're shaken to the bone
And I don't understand
You deserve so much more than this

So don't tell me why
He's never been good to you
Don't tell me why
He's never been there for you
Don't you know that why
Is simply not good enough

So just let me try
And I will be good to you
Just let me try
And I will be there for you
I'll show you why
You're so much more than good enough."

(Sarah McLachlan)

1 comment:

hef said...

Hi Liz, you mentioned putting beads up for auction recently. Can you tell me where to find them? I have several of your beads made into lamp pulls. I got them through Pam years ago. Yours have always been my favorite. I'm happy I found you again!


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