I may be walking into a virtual minefield here, but between the magazine I flipped through mentioned below, this HuffPo article, and couple things that happened on the way to a book store yesterday, I decided to go ahead and do what I wanted to do last fall and throw my pricing structure out the window, and scrap even discounts, and instead move to a new system for a while. I’m going to post about it tomorrow. For right now, I just want to explain the reason why because anything to do with money right now risks making people mad.
Since last fall, when I predicted this was going to go on for quite some time (and was called out as “pessimistic” by people in my personal life who thought the end was going to be before Christmas…), I thought about lowering prices to reflect what’s happening, but then worried that that would be seen as opportunistic. The FTC even had to come down on MLM hunbots who were trying to poach people’s stimulus money, making price-adjustments more iffy. So I nixed the usual Black Friday/Cyber Monday stuff I’ve done every year for many years. It didn’t feel right, but I did it.
At about 3am or so yesterday, I read that Huffo article and read every comment on Instagram and Facebook, and it was sad. I think we all know that society in general has just hit walls. It’s hard to feel any reason for continuing to exist when there’s nothing more to look forward to than vague “one day, when this is over”‘s, and there’s so much shaming of people who want to celebrate anything, and even for those who can ignore that shaming, there are still a lot of financial issues for so many because of extremely obvious reasons. So it’s just running repeatedly into a wall and breaking into apathy. It resonated deeply and descried pretty well how I felt at the worst of my illnesses growing up. I kept mulling over some of those comments though…
Then yesterday morning at around 9am (no sleep FOR THE WIN…and it’s 4:35am and I’m awake still) I was walking through the fabric store yesterday getting spray paint, as one does when getting spray paint, and walked by the magazine display. I saw a magazine for weddings*, and decided to flip through it really quick, and was struck by how much thinner the total magazine was versus issues a year ago. I get it. Really. When so many people can’t travel or are afraid to even in areas where local rules make it okay, big weddings just aren’t happening. It’s a social gathering, and where I am, those are limited to 15 people, but only outdoors, and some states and localities still have stay-at-home orders altogether, or bounce back and forth between having them or not. Hard to plan anything when what’s allowed day to day is iffy. So who wants to rush ahead planning weddings? So what’s happened is pretty much most people who wanted big weddings either scaling back altogether because why bother having any part of they dream, or pushing it back until 2023 or later. It made my heart sad since, for some people, weddings are their ultimate way of declaring love, and they can’t. (*I know weddings aren’t for everyone…stay tuned for an upcoming post about this.)
The two thing that pushed me over the edge into deciding to go ahead and do this happened when my daughter and I were on our way into Portland to pick up some music books.
Let me preface this by saying that she was just cast in an Oregon Ballet Theater production last year when the lockdowns hit. That was taken away. The horse camp she and her Girl Scout troop worked for was taken away. Everything she worked for was taken away. Nutcracker. School. Halloween. Everything. All because Covid makes it so that literally everything in children’s lives is now subject to being taken away. Why have goals? That’s been severely depressing her and has had her in suicide watch at various points. That’s how I lost my dad in 2003, and so this has been especially hard for me too. Something as simple as a goal to look forward to, that can’t be taken away…
So in the car I played a Lord of the Rings song for m daughter that she said reminded her of Star Wars, and she wished she could play it on her flute. Well, the books we were going to pick up were flute music books, which she didn’t know at all, just that we were going to pick up a few things, and one of them? STAR WARS. They’re beyond what she can do right now, but she got so excited and said it’s something she can work for that can’t get taken away. Just…a simple goal. Something to look forward to. No student concerts, no one will see, but it’s something she can work toward and reach now. I thought about the magazined I’d looked at and how wedding goals were smashed.
Without thinking, I told her to look up Galadriel on her phone, and she did, and said she wanted the dress Galadriel wears. I hadn’t made her anything in a year because…why? What for? I decided that, since I still have some of the fabric left over from making one before, and nothing the foreseeable future, why not offer to make it, even if only to do some photos. Sure, it’ll be a financial bloodbath (something like $400 or yard…ouch), but the fabric is just sitting there, and if it could potentially make her even a little happy…
Folks, she was over the moon. So over the moon that it seared itself into my head in the way that I can tell you the exact spot of the interstate we were on Just the prospect of a pretty dress to wear, even in our backyard, lit her up. A goal that couldn’t get taken away, and then a dress. It gave her a distraction from the doldrums of daily life, and just…something to look forward to.
I decided then to do what I’d been wanting to do for months now, even though it will undoubtedly make some people try mad and think I’m being an opportunist. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Raise them, and you’re taking advantage if people, lower them, and you’re an opportunist. What my plan is will probably result in a net loss for me, but eh.
Regardless of what’s happening in the world, we all need reasons to be happy and to have something to look forward to. (Don’t even start on “but people are dying”–unless you know the extent and severity and length of my medical history, you have less than no room to lecture me on this. None.) That’s what helps get is through the rough times, something positive out there in the future to reach for and to pull us through the quagmire. So I’ll be doing that in the way I know how. If that makes some people mad, so be it. For others, it might be the boost needed to look forward with some happiness, and that’s more important than trying to keep some people from getting mad. More people need to get to feel what Charlotte felt today, and I hope to get to make that happen.
So I’m going to write up the new stuff and get it posted by tomorrow.