I can’t remember a time that I didn’t love to play shopkeeper. Hazy summer memories from the suburban 1960s harbor Kool-Aid and lemonade stands set up on the corner of Simpson Ferry Road, followed by “Sharon’s Variety Store,” with odds ‘n’ ends from cleaning my room of childhood trinkets to make way for sophisticated teenage treasures. Though I enjoyed tallying up the proceeds from the day, the most fun part was at the beginning: gathering and arranging the items to be sold, and, of course, painting the sign.
In elementary school I learned how to count out money to pay, and to make change: the practical application part of our arithmetic class, a subject I was actually pretty decent in. This fact surprises me now, as I read articles describing my generation as providing the foothold to the myth that girls are not good at math.
I used to have long addition and multiplication races at the blackboard, winning or losing by a nose against my chief rival and secret crush, Glenn Jackel. And this was at recess–for fun! Yet during class, apparently, his eagerly raised hand was chosen far more often than my (probably) tentative one, or Betsy’s, or Kathy’s.
Thinking about all this, decades later, I contemplate setting up yet another shop. This time online, on my art website and its sister blog. I’ve been sitting on this desire, this goal, for several years. So what exactly has kept me from hanging out my shingle?
1/ A D.I.Y. attitude that could easily be thwarted by my computer’s response: “N.Y.D. (No you don’t!)” It smells my fear like a thoroughbred. I am a technophobe.
2/ A procrastination to sit down for an hour at a time while I figure things out.
3/ A reluctance to ask for help, either free or paid, which leads to…
4/ A penny-wise, pound-foolish aspect of my personality I can’t seem to shake.
5/ Lack of self-confidence. Who’d want to buy my stuff?
6/ All of the above
If you chose #6, you would be correct. If I had raised my hand more often and been called on with some regularity, I probably would not need to write any of this today. But enough looking back for reasons or excuses.
Because here I am, now. Ready.
For fun, of course. But also for profit.