JW'ers (Jewelry Widowers) who have let themselves be known. I do not suffer alone, thank heavens!
How many of you have been involved with helping out with shows? I was volunteered to help set up for a recent show in Quakertown, PA. I am off from my job as a Registered Nurse every other weekend, so I normally look forward to my time off, even though there are other things that require my attention, such as mowing the grass, cinematic exposure (watching movies), and of course going to my computer to save the world from aliens, falling bricks, asteroids, etc. The show in Quakertown was on my weekend off, of course. It was a tedious setup, with the wind trying to knock over the tent and all of the displays. Luckily, I had created several containers with sand to tie to the tent, and also strapped down the dummy heads, (not mine) which my wife uses to display her fine necklaces. It was also necessary to arrange the setup so as nothing else would be blowing away, though I did comment that if people found her business cards down the street they might look for her. (There's your litterer, Officer)
As the people started wandering in, many had questions about the fine work that my wife had created. All I could do was stand and point to my wife and say, "You have to ask her." My fantastic spouse would then go into vivid details about her creations, explaining that it was all hand made, of natural gems, and silver or copper. There were no artificial stones or materials. Of course, hearing this several hundred times during the day can make you a little ear sore, but I did my best to tolerate it, being supportive of my wife. She would introduce herself to the hopefully-to-be customers, "Hi, I'm Lois." She would then be gracious and point to me and identify me as the husband. Not being a shy guy, I would introduce myself as "Manuel" which brought forth many a questioning stare, and would clarify with "Manuel Labor." A few still wandered away with head-shaking bewilderment.
An important lesson learned from doing previous show with my wife was to have a decent meal beforehand, and to make use of the facilities. Why, you may ask. Because no matter where the show is, your site will always be farthest from the port-a-potties, and by the time you finally get there they are 1) full, 2) there is a long line, 3) you are standing downwind, and 4) there is no place to wash your hands. Always carry hand sanitizer with you as part of your set-up gear.
It turned out to be a fair day, and at the end is the take down of all the equipment, storing it in containers, then loading it into the car. It is tiring and always such a relief to get that done. But the greatest feeling is when it's all done, we are packed up, and on the way home, my wonderful wife turns to me and says, "Thank you honey, I am glad you were here to help me, it would have been much harder without you."
What can you do at that point, but square up your shoulders, look her calmly in the eyes, and say, "That's okay dear, I was glad to help.