Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Saturday Girl-A Personal Rant

We recently had a yard sale in an effort to get some neighborhood unity-the thinking was by the lady who is trying to form a neighborhood watch. When she originally lighted on my door, she had a plan to have it on a Saturday. My answer, “We will not be able to participate then; it’s our Sabbath.” She looked perplexed, but indicated that she knew what I was talking about. “How about Sunday?” I asked cheerfully. (Okay, it wasn’t very nice of me, being that I know it is church-y town. But I wanted for one moment to put the shoe on the other foot. Why does everything have to be scheduled on Saturday here?)
This wasn’t out first encounter. She lifted her clipboard and asked, “I didn’t get your husband’s first name last time…” Truth be told, she didn't ask and I, being ona roll felt the need to say so. She waited pen poised... I think I’m fairly liberal about social situations. I’m accessible, friendly, my friend’s children call me by my first name, but the thought of anyone calling a Rabbi by his first name uninvited makes me cringe. Maybe ‘liberal’ is relative. “Rabbi,” I answer. She looks surprised, but writes it down. It was only too clear where this was going; damage control complete. “We wont be able to do it on a Sunday,” she tells me with a wave of her hand. And although she hasn’t left my step, she is convinced that no one will be interested in Sunday. I shrug. “Okay.”
A few blocks from our home is a small but lovely museum. They have an opened call, twice a year, to regional and local artists. Since I paint, I looked into it, and even became a member. Guess what day EVERY drop off to the jury is scheduled? The pick-up too.
There is an artist’s gallery a few towns over. I have participated in their spring show. The manager, a young Muslim woman, who likes my use of Hebrew lettering in the shading, a blessing here, a prayer there, and lets me set up a time to come before sundown on Friday, sometimes Friday afternoon, sometimes Thursdays. But, I have never gone to an opening night there, even when I am in the show-they are all on Friday nights and Saturdays. As you might imagine, this makes networking difficult and eventually I stopped getting notices from them.
Our local theater has performances on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon. So if I’m up for a matinee, this schedule works. We recently brought our religious school there for an outing and the children really seemed to enjoy themselves. They saw “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.” The adults might have been more interested in last years “Fiddler on the Roof” if it hadn’t played during the nine days. (If only there was someone for them to call, who would know what holidays would interfere with gaining an audience-but I digress.)
The Fireworks Festival celebrating the fourth of July is regularly scheduled for the Friday night after the fourth. I live a few city blocks away and usually it does start well after nine, so I could go if I wanted to, I suppose. The same Saturday schedule is true for county fairs, craft shows, the farmer’s market, most one day sales, and the artist (free) outdoor show, a once a year occurrence, just down the street from me. Saturday only!
Last year, another gallery a few towns over invited me as their feature artist. I hung the show on a weekday, instead of the usual Friday. Also, the opening was changed from the usual Saturday to a Sunday. The manager was very inclusive and changed the days for us. Usually, the worry is that there will be fewer people and fewer sales on an alternative schedule. But it was well attended and beautiful. Flowers on the table, wine, cheese, fruit. People ate and drank and talked …and bought. We sold 25% by the end of the show. For people who aren’t involved in the art world, those are good numbers. In fact, the manager said it was the highest selling show in her history. I’m invited back next August.
Imagine my surprise when about three weeks ago a notice appeared on my door. (I hadn’t got a neighborhood notice since I said I couldn’t participate on Saturdays.) The yard sale was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday! After a nice shabbos rest, we emptied our belongings one to the lawn. My friend’s son straightened and arranged the flotsam and jetsam for five dollars and all the Popsicles he could eat. And while it is true that only one other family in the neighborhood set up in their yard on Sunday, a fact I was only told, as they were too far away to see, it was nice to have it extended. We made about half as much as our next-door neighbors did the day before, but in our defense it did rain in the morning for a time and I did price some items low, with the idea that I would rather sell them than have the Rabbi lug them back to the basement.
We had the opportunity to participate-and even though I suppose we could have planned our own-it is nice not to be excluded.

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