(Behold a guest post from my sister, Michelle. Enjoy!)
Ah we're drinking and we're dancing
and the band is really happening
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high
In honor of the publication of I’m Your Man, the new biography about Leonard Cohen, hubby and I have decided to close our booth downstairs at the antique mall where we’ve been for the last three years. OK, that’s not the real reason, although it was an abrupt decision, in fact, a reversal. Just two months ago we were poised to overtake Snissy’s larger space upstairs, in anticipation of her move to a venue closer to home. When that fizzled we retrenched, but not without running the numbers.
After using the booth as a tax write-off for the first couple of years, this year it was time to treat it as a hobby in the eyes of the IRS. An honest look at net “profit” after rent, COGS [cost of goods sold], and buying trip expenses—coupled with a new car payment when my beloved MINI Cooper died—made the decision all too obvious: the booth was a losing proposition. Time to cut bait.
When people ask me what I sell, I jokingly respond, “Oddities that nobody wants to buy.” It’s a huge rush when I encounter a customer who “gets” me—like the retired CIA gentleman who bought a Space Cadet ring on Sunday when I was marking everything down. He divulged that Frankie Thomas, the actor who played “Tom Corbett—Space Cadet” in the 1950’s TV series, was buried, per request, in his Space Cadet uniform when he died at age 85. I will miss these encounters.
Although I will sorely miss the shop, booth closure doesn’t even register on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale of life events. And while I did just buy a killer vintage mechanic’s roller creeper that will be difficult to sell online, for months now I’ve been buying mostly found objects and twee smalls that can be repurposed into jewelry or altered art. Like creepy baby dolls. These may not sell any better than the jai alai xistera or disintegrating racehorse blinkers gathering dust at the shop, but I’m gravitating more toward artistic satisfaction these days. And we’re doing pretty well on etsy, where listing costs are a pittance and well worth the tedium. Plus, we’ll continue to do 2-3 local vintage fairs next year, and I’m already on the lookout for a cheaper booth space.
Yes, this may just be Johnny Walker wisdom. Like Snissy, I have a big grrrl job that pays the bills, and junking is my bliss. Selling is a license to buy more than a sane person should. But right now that outlay needs to be checked. After many lifetimes as a poet, a Jew, a singer/songwriter, a Zen Buddhist monk and a return-to-touring artist, at 78 Leonard Cohen is still reinventing himself. This adjustment seems wildly modest in comparison.