It is Friday morning and I must finish the Ms. Martha's Corset Shoppe set up before I can open. Several ladies came by as we were working and mentioned another vendors name. She sells Corsets. I haven't seen her in over 5 years. She is that woman who falls in love and loses all her brain cells at the same time. 5 years ago her someone stole her Van with all her stock and completely disappeared. She did not have insurance. She called and asked if I had any stock I would sell her with a 30 day note. Of course and let me lend you some operating capital.
I never heard from or saw her again until CLEVELAND. I excused myself from the work in my booth and went and found hers. She was all the way across the Convention Center floor from me so I had time to put my ego in check. When we saw one another we were able to hug like long lost friends... which we were.
She acknowledged her debt and proceeded to tell me about the men and the brain cell loss. I just nodded and said I had to get back to work. I remember thinking as I walked back to my booth about how lucky I am with my one and only Christopher Stone (more about him later).
Rose asked if she could go shop. Before she left I helped to finish one of her Cos Play characters with a new Brown Buttery leather cincher. She did not want to take it but in the end... Who turns down a Ms. Martha Cincher? I was doing this event alone because I had never been to Cleveland and didn't want to share my boredom if this event didn't work out because of the fridge weather and snow. Rose said she would check on me for breaks.
The weather does not stop Cleveland. If it did there would be no Cleveland. They came and they came for corsets. I met some of the nicest people in the country. I had a great event.. It came time for our soft close. This is when I get as much done as possible before the event closes. I have to do this quietly. It is breaking the rules.
My old friend comes up to my booth and just stands there. I look up and she asks me to take a walk. Off I go... She hands me a big wad of cash with tears rolling down her face she said she was determined to pay it all back with this show. She was surprised I had no anger nor did I bring up the debt. When I told her I knew I would be repaid somehow....She was confused. KARMA. Everything you put out there comes back to you....Everything good and bad.
The rest of my team arrives and we pack up in record time and I say my good byes and I roll out of the Convention Center only to be met with more snow. Remember that narrow road I came in on? Well some Brainiac in their ultimate wisdom decides it is ok to allow Simi trucks into the center as we are leaving. Remember too that I am pulling a trailer and it is snowing and has been for a while. When I am about 5 lengths from the very narrow entrance the biggest Simi I have ever seen pulls right on in. I just sit hoping he will just move on past me... NO. I sit some more thinking. There is not enough room for me to do this... The trucker gets out and says just pull forward through the snow piled on the side of the narrow road. I figure this is a trucker he knows...so I do... and ...my wheel well to the trailer gets hooked onto his rear bumper. I sit some more as several of my vendor family come up and try to help (all we all want to do is get out and get home). Now it has been 45 minutes I am holding up at least 150 people. Finally the head of the loading dock comes out and comforts me a bit and tells me he will get me out of this. He tells the trucker he has to back up at the same time I pull forward. OK, that is when we find out how stuck I am. At least 10 men descend on us with shovels, bags of kitty litter and comforting words...."we saw it all Ms. Martha and we know this is not your fault" said over and over.... I am still a wreck...Finally...I am free!!!
I have studied the route out of town to 71 south and I am off. All I want to do is get out of the bad outside area and find a place to lay my head. I traversed many frozen and very slick cloverleaf's, ramps, merging traffic and then it is there... 71 S. Oh no this is not over... I still have to tell you about the girl with all the tats and the non English speaking man...