Thursday, October 13, 2005

$2.40 Per Hour ...

I live on prime real estate ... for a garage sale.

Cars practically screech to a halt on my street if they see crap in someone's driveway.

Some cars pull over to the curb and assess the loot from the street, and then drive off. I guess they're looking for something big, like a set of drums.

Other shoppers are passers-by. Many are older.

As many of you know, I tend to think too much, so today I was contemplating the life of an object. From its creation through production, into a retail situation, its life in our home for a finite period of time, and then its transference to some stranger's SUV, onto the next phase of its existence.

I wish I could tag an object and follow it for the rest of its existence, and understand more about the person who chose it.

It wasn't a great day, money-wise. I netted $24 after taking 10 out of the till for lunch for mom and me. Given that I started at 6 a.m., and we packed it in at 4 p.m., that’s 10 hours of effort (not including unloading my dad's pick-up three times last night, and reloading it three times tonight) for $24. A pretty crappy wage.

But it was worth it. The day was pristine. I shed some stuff. My mother and sister-in-law and I had a chance to hang. The Ron Santo bobblehead no longer lies in state in its Styrofoam sarcophagus in my closet. NASCAR Barbie drove off with a new owner. (If you're wondering how those treasures arrived in my life: the Chevy dealer who sold me my Impala gave me the bobblehead - it never left its box until today, to go on display - and my friend Laura, a frequenter of toy stores, bought NASCAR Barbie for me when I edited a NASCAR publication for Thomson Newspapers. NASCAR exploits will be blog fodder another day.)

As an aside, tonight I was poking around my bookmarked blogs, and made my way to Henry's site. Henry and I have known each other since we were somewhat little kids, having gone to the same church in our youth. Today, I was part of Henry's blog entry. He wrote: "Beth a woman from my past (like grade school) has a blog and is a professional writter [sic], so besides having actual interesting things to read, she can spell and stuff. It's a must read for me every day."

I know calling your attention to his words is shameless self-promotion, but what he wrote made me grin from ear to ear. It has taken me most of my life to get to this place. When people ask, "What do you do?", I finally say, "I'm a writer."

But the thing is, somehow that's not real enough. Anyone can call themselves anything they want. Friend and lifecoach Jeannie tells me I shouldn't say, "I want to be a singer." She says I should say, "I'm a singer." Well, yes, I sing, but it's not my job, so it'd be a bit of a fraud to tell people I'm a singer when they ask what I do.

But I cop to writing. I'm a writer, I tell them. But to see someone else refer to me that way makes it more real. Legit, maybe. He's not the first one to call me what I am, but he's the most recent, and his words appeared on a much-needed day.

Thank you, Henry. You're a pal.


Blogger Tish Grier said...

Funny when he says you can "spell and stuff." Seems like good grammar is the biggest mystery.

you're right though about the "writer" thing. I've known so many people over the years who've called themselves writers when all they've done is scribble on legal pads. Sure, they're writing, but it really isn't being a writer exactly.

When a young man who contacted me thru a personal ad told me he was a writer, I said to myself "yeah, right." I later found out he was a semi-popular novelist. (we didn't get along-one meeting was more than enough)

Because I am terminally between jobs while I'm freelancing (one of the worst gigs possible) I'll sometimes introduce myself as a Blogger. It creates an undefinable air of mystery and I have to explain the whole thing. Better than saying "freelance writer"--which can lead people to the assumption that I scribble alot on legal pads ;-)

6:41 AM  
Blogger So-Called Austin Mayor said...

Henry is a pal.

He's the reason I found your delightful blog.

9:39 AM  

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