This weekend was NOT what I thought it would be.
To sum up the backstory, John and I are members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, SCA for short. It is an organization for medieval enthusiasts. We attempt to re-enact the clothing, food, chivalry, and day-to-day life of the Middle Ages. . .if only on the weekends.
The small business I mentioned in the first entry here? I'm a soapmaker. As of right now, my only way of getting exposure for my store (called Pampered Panda), is to take the show on the road (as it were) and set up a tent at SCA events.
Fast forward to this past weekend.
Our neighbor, Sue, road tripped with us in the interest of saving gasoline and diminishing hassle. (She owns a store called The Whyte Weasel.) It rained the entire time, until Sunday morning when we were packing up. (Sunday's reprieve from the rain was a godsend, because packing up in the rain is almost as bad as pitching a period-style tent in the rain. Almost.)
We arrived at the campsite around 9 p.m. Friday, and didn't get Sue's store fully set up until 1:15 a.m. We were soaked to the bone, and the rain wasn't letting up. I made an executive decision. I decided that John and I would wait until the morning to set up our flimsy little dayshade in favor of getting showers and some much needed shut-eye. This didn't make John very happy, but since I have insurance and he does NOT, I put my foot down. As our only consistent breadwinner, John getting sick would be a deathknell for us. We helped set up Sue's cot, left her with a propane heater, a lantern, a flashlight, several bottles of water, and John's cell phone. Then we drove to our cabin and set up for the night.
After setting up our beds, we showered, and I pumped John and myself full of vitamins and NyQuil.
We didn't get to bed until 2:45 a.m., but we were warm and dry, which is what mattered to me.
Around 8 a.m. Saturday, my cell phone rang. It was Jeff, Sue's husband. He said that Sue called saying she'd had a bit of rough night, and that she could use some help down on Merchant's Row. John and I got into our Medieval garb as quickly as we could, and drove down to Sue's tent.
Jeff didn't exactly convey the. . .gravity of the situation over the phone. Then again, Jeff can be a bit of an airhead when it comes to figuring out situations that he isn't actually physically present for.
The tent canvas had been so soaked when we set it up that without a chance to dry out even a little, the normally waterproof Sunforger was wicking like a sieve. Most of the merchandise was damp, if not completely wet, and there were puddles on the vinyl floor.
But that wasn't the worst part.
Right after John and I had left the night before, Sue had accidentally bit down on her tongue ring, which slid between two of her bottom teeth. (Only one thing to say about that: Swallowing blood SUCKS.) This was apparently an omen of things to come.
After not being able to sleep, Sue set up as much of the displays as she could. Then she tried to go to sleep. The roof started flapping constantly, letting rain in and making the tent cold. Sue tried to light the heater, but it was wet and couldn't stay lit. Her bed got dripped on to the point where it was damp and cold. Then Sue began getting physically ill into garbage bag. After a while, she tried to go down the row to the port-a-johns near one of the buildings.
Sue slipped on the mud, went tumbling down the hill and hit her head on a rock. She believes she lost conciousness for a while, because when she came-to, the sky was lighter than it had been when she left her tent. She trudged her way back to the tent and called Jeff. Then Jeff called us.
Upon hearing all of this, I immediately did three things. First, I grabbed the flashlight and checked Sue for a concussion. Her eyes dialated just fine, so I believe that if she sustained any concussion at all, it was mild enough NOT to interfere with normal function or cause any internal damage. Second, I checked her head for swelling and open wounds. She had a nice goose egg, but no blood or massive swelling, so I told her she'd be fine. Then I helped walk her to the bathroom and back.
While waiting for her in the bathroom, I made another executive decision. I decided that the health of myself, John, and Sue was more important to me than the hassle and risk of setting up my tent and selling my wares. When I got Sue back to the tent, I told John that I was taking her back to the cabin to rest and warm up. John said he'd watch the shop while I was gone. When we got to the cabin, I cleaned Sue up, put her in one of my sleeping gowns and put her to bed with some NyQuil and a Coke. (She has asthma, and her inhaler was making her naseuous, so I did what my mother always did for my brother: I gave her a soda to serve as a bronchial dialator. *shrugs*)
John wasn't happy to hear about my decision not to set up my shop, but I just didn't want to risk it. One, soap gets really gummy when wet, so that would have ruined any product I brought with me. Two, our dayshade roof has seen better days, and I didn't want to deal with it dripping on my stuff. Three, the health and sanity of those I love is much more important to me than money. So, we watched Sue's shop all day. We sold $175 of stuff, which was enough to cover the gas to and from the event. Oh, well.
To sum up, as a result of circumstances beyond my control, I would up making a grand total of $6.50 this weekend from selling a bottle of lotion to my friend Achbar, who had arranged for it prior to the event.
But the worst part is, Jeff is asking us for money to contribute to gas for the trip. While I'm sure most folks think that's reasonable, mark this: We wound up taking care of his WIFE because he didn't want to go on this trip. Not because he was sick or injured or couldn't miss work. He didn't FEEL LIKE DRIVING. Dude, your wife is in the process of getting her US Citizenship, so she can't get a driver's license in either this country OR her own. You knew this when you married her. If you don't like driving (and he doesn't) then why marry someone who CAN'T DRIVE THEMSELVES AROUND?!?
I really, really dislike Jeff sometimes. Hell, Sue thanked me profusely a million times over for taking care of her and her shop. She even bought me a video game as a way of saying thank you. I told Jeff that had I made any money this weekend, I'd gladly give him gas money, but since I couldn't because I can't watch two stores at one time, I didn't have any to give him. He said, "Well, shit happens. Pay up."
I told him when I got some money, I'd give it to him.
Why is money so much more important than friendship to some people? Why?
I just want to scream.
This weekend was NOT what I thought it would be.