August 8, 2016
Today is the day. I’m finally launching my store: MagicalMerrySigns.
It’s Monday. Unlike many 9-5er’s, I love Mondays. I wake up early and immediately make my bed. Then I pour some Chameleon cold brew coffee with toasted coconut almond milk in my Harry Potter mug, go up to my roof, and sit on my swing, looking out at the ocean. It’s just incredible. There, I write my morning pages, then meditate, using the Headspace app on my phone, which I highly, highly recommend. It’s the best. After meditating, I go back down to my apartment and stretch for about 10 minutes. Just to get the blood flowing.
That’s my morning routine. I do it Monday – Friday, and then don’t really have time on the weekends because of work, so I especially look forward to Monday. I get changed and walk to the bank to deposit my limited cash supply from the weekend (I really need to find a job in Long Beach), and then head to the coffee shop down the street, Polly’s Gourmet Coffee.
There’s a Coffee Bean right down the street from my apartment. Polly’s is a little further, but it’s much cozier, and the coffee is absolutely delicious. I post up at my usual spot – the loveseat just inside the entrance. There is another loveseat adjacent to mine, and sitting there is an older man eating a scone and reading the newspaper. In his lap, sits the cutest little dog, clearly hoping for his owner to give him a piece or at the very least drop a crumb onto his lap.
I can’t help but look at the dog. Such a little cutie! I tell the man so. He immediately agrees. “She’s got such a, great looking face.” She really does. “Her hair perfectly frames her face. Look.” He has to turn the dog towards me, because she is clearly distracted by the tasty treat in his hand. I laugh as I agree with him fully. He starts talking to me a little more about Tutu, and I listen aptly, as I pull out my laptop.
I am very aware of being present in this moment, which the meditation has been helping with a lot. Typically, this man is disrupting my plan, which up until now has gone accordingly. I should be opening my shop RIGHT NOW, but I’m talking to him instead. How silly is that? To plan every single detail of my day. That leaves zero room for interaction with people, and that seems sad, when you really think about it. So I embrace the conversation.
My laptop sparks a change in the conversation. “What are you working on? Are you a student?” No, I’m not not. I’m launching an Etsy store today. Do you know Etsy? “No.” It’s a place online where people who make their own products can sell them. I’m making rope light signs. “What signs?” Rope light. Do you know what rope light is? “No.” Here, I’ll show you. As I log into my computer to pull up my shop, the man begins telling me how he owns two websites that are worth billions of dollars.
He doesn’t actually say that, but it’s something to that effect. All I can say is, Really? Cool. His point, is that I need to advertise my product. He tells me to pull up something on Google. Tells me I need to pay for advertising so that when someone googles “signs”, my Etsy page pops up.
(People are always giving me great advice. Most of which entails spending more money. I never disagree with any of it, but I do put it on the back burner of my mind.)
I proceed to show him my signs. He likes them. He, himself, likes to buy art. He actually had someone paint a portrait of himself. I laugh. He does, too. “Can you believe that? Have you ever heard of anyone actually doing that?” No, I haven’t! He nods. “People tell my I’m kind of Trump-ish.” Are you really saying that? “Why not?” I shake my head. Well, at least you’re honest. “I was in the 1977(?) Olympics.” Really? For what? “Sailing.” Awesome. How’d you do? “And I started as a paving contractor. Then I got married, had a family. I did a lot. I have a son and a grandson. My son’s a PHD.” Wow, that’s great. “He’s been in China. He married a girl who didn’t speak any English.” Wow. “She was from British Columbia.” That’s incredible.
I really don’t know what else to say. This guy likes hearing himself talk. He IS like Donald Trump. But he isn’t at the same time. I find him genuine, and like many older people, just wanting to tell stories of his past. He finally asks me a question.
“So where do you hail from?” I’m from New Jersey. “Ah, New Jersey.” Yea, I just moved down here from Santa Monica. I needed more space to make my signs and I couldn’t afford it up there. “Where do you make them?” On my roof. “Wow, someone who actually still makes their own products. How many have you sold?” None! I’m launching my store today! I could even make you a custom one. “Oh, do you have a business card?” Not yet. “That’s too bad, I would have bought one off you.” I would have given one to you! (I realize after I say this that he meant he would buy a sign, not a business card… Idiot.) He ignores my comment, anyway.
“You have an optimism that you don’t see much these days, especially with the economy the way it is.” I laugh. Well, thank you, but on the inside I’m losing my mind. I just came from the bank and I’m constantly checking my account.
At this moment, a young professional lad bursts though the door. He’s dressed cleanly but his hair is stringy and matted to his face. He comes off as a very anxious person. “Henry, I’ve been waiting on 2nd Street for an hour to have this meeting with you.” I chime in, Oh gosh, I’m sorry. “It’s not your fault, but Henry, c’mon.” Henry’s demeanor doesn’t change in the slightest. He just says, “Alright,” and begins to gather his things. The young lad, I forget his name, offers to help him carry some things.
“Take down my number.” He tells me his phone number as he stands. OK great, and what’s your name? (I think I heard correctly but want to be sure.)
“Henry. Henry and Tutu. I’ll buy one of your signs.” OK, I’m Lindsay. (He didn’t ask, so, I guess I should tell him.) Sounds great! Nice meeting you.
He smiles and nods as he follows the perturbed man out the door.
Did I just make a sale?