My crafting buddy Alexis must be one of the most optimistic people I know, being a proponent of the power of positive thought and the art of visualisation. Next to her I look like the harbinger of doom! With my finely tuned pessimism and gloomy outlook I'm such a trial to her.
Our relationship reminds me very much of Oddball and Moriarty in Kelly's Heroes, a favourite film in this predominantly male household.
"Always with the negative waves Moriarty, always with the negative waves." Donald Sutherland would say.
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?"
Yup, that's Alexis alright, but without the moustache, Sherman tank and 60's lingo (fortunately). Normally, that type of cheery enthusiasm would fill me with the desire to flatten the protagonist, but she manages to pull it off with such gentle sincerity that I have no option but give in and try it her way for a while. Never is this phenomenon more evident than at the craft fairs we attend.
We were at the Biggar Agricultural Show at the weekend. This is our third year at the event and it is one of our favourites, mainly because it's one of the few venues where we have loads of space to display our wares.
Sales are generally good, although we have both discovered our taking have decreased slightly over the years, and not just at this fair. Now any sensible person would put that down to the current economic climate.
Not me. I have myself convinced it's because my product isn't up to scratch. I'm making the wrong things, in the wrong colours, and selling them at the wrong price. This is the point at which I usually receive my positivity pep talk.
I foiled her this time though. I stayed upbeat for most of the day. Lot's of small sales had kept me going - all of the new bookmarks went - but I still hadn't had any large sales. With the seconds slipping away I turned my best Basset hound eyes in her direction, imploring her for inspiration.
"Visualise! Pick a bag and see yourself wrapping it up" she said
Well I tried. I really did. But all I ended up with was a mild headache and a wildly unfocused gaze that probably scared any prospective customers away. I would have been disheartened by my lack of success if I hadn't discovered that Alexis had picked the same bag that I had and her endeavours had been no more effective.
So no big sales then. Strangely, I didn't slip in to my usual pit of despair. Having been in a positive frame of mind for most of the day it seemed a shame to lose it. Looks like Alexis might be on to something there :o)
Of course by the end of the week, after the plumber didn't turn up to install our new shower, the reminder for the road tax came through and our dishwasher packed in, my frame of mind had altered considerably!