Friday, May 24, 2013

why i am dreading tomorrow's farmers market

Such a dread for tomorrow’s market. “Fear” is part of the definition of dread, and I do not feel fear, but I do feel the rest of it: to anticipate with misgiving or distaste. If I did not need the money, of course, I would not go. If I had not come to enjoy and depend on the Marquette farmers market as much as I have these past three years, I would not go. Perhaps, though, I have come to enjoy and depend on it too much.

My new booth space at the market is going to be a challenge on two fronts. One, the spot gets less foot traffic and lacks visibility. For the past three years I’ve been on the edge of the market’s main hub in a nice spot with great visibility. Beeswax often sells itself by its scent, but people have to be walking by to catch that scent, and in my new spot, with less people walking by … well. I have also had people notice my display and come walking over from 20, 30 feet away because it caught their eye. In my new spot, there is no way for someone in the main part of the market to see my booth, so that is not going to happen. Whether or not this translates into less income remains to be seen, but the indications are there.

The second front is how I feel on a personal level about this move of my booth. If another veteran vendor had been moved to where I have been moved, I would wonder why they were being punished. Or, I would wonder if they had asked to be moved for some reason. Or, I would wonder how it benefited the market overall. Because otherwise, why would they have been moved? As an unwritten rule, veteran vendors do not get moved to spots with less traffic and lower visibility. It’s just not done. Vendors tend to stay in the same spot year after year, or maybe move to a slightly better spot or just another spot, but definitely not to a worse spot. I was told I was moved for no reason, that it just happened. Like an act of God. Like a blackout. The stigma I feel due to having been moved to the back of the lot is one I’m finding hard to shake.

So meeting challenge number one, the new booth location, is being hampered by challenge number two, my reaction to the new location. Knowing I am adaptable to change and able to meet a challenge (these past eight years must have shown me something, right?), I know I should not be at all concerned about tomorrow and setting up in a new space at the farmers market. But still, I dread it. Why? Because I’m angry that I was moved. Because it’s very likely to affect my income. Because I really liked my old spot and the move is pointless and that just pisses me off. Because a weekly event that I used to look forward to is now one I want to avoid. Because when I head out tomorrow morning Buster will not be on the seat next to me demanding that I roll down the window even though it’s only 30 degrees outside.

Well. That’s why I write. You never know where it is going to lead.

Perhaps there are advantages to my new location at the Marquette farmers market that I do not yet see. If so, I will find them. And, as my mother always says, “This too shall pass.” I am committed to the market through October, but I doubt I will be there every Saturday as in the past. It’s time to explore new territory.

So, how was the next day’s farmers market? Find out at the end of the next entry  …