My two annual creative pilgrimages, held a week apart from each other at the end of September are: Crafts at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, NY and The Armonk Outdoor Art Show in Armonk, NY. Many of the same artisans return every year as well. These are juried events and the level of artistry and creativity is simply awesome. If happiness is a fleeting emotion, I am completely happy for the 3 hours I devote to each show, respectively; receiving spiritual and inspirational renewal as well. I have spontaneously made unique purchases of jewelry, clothing, accessories, and artwork, which I have never regretted. Most rewarding are my conversational exchanges with the artists, praising their work while being instructed in their techniques. There are a minimum of 200 exhibitors at each show and I manage to see them all.
Going about my merry way at the Art Show, I quickly perused a display of large sculptures. The sculptor addressed me unexpectedly as I was leaving his booth. He began a hard sell and the dialogue went something like this:
“You look like you’re ready to make a purchase and you need and want one of my sculptures.”
“They are beautiful,” I said, “but I don’t know why you think I’m ready to buy anything.”
“I’ll make you a good deal and I’ll help with delivery and set up.” He said.
“I don’t think so. I certainly don’t have the space to properly display such exquisite work.” I said.
“I’m sure you have a beautiful home.” He said.
“It’s a home – no room for sculpture though.” I said, finding his persistence off-putting. The conversation then refreshingly shifted to his State of origin. “I used to live there too,” I told him, “when I was married.”
“And what about now, are you still married?” he asked.
Taken aback by such a personal question, I quietly said, “No, not currently.”
“But, you’re wearing a wedding ring,” he insisted, “what if someone wanted to approach you and ask you out? You’re making yourself unavailable.” He said with some irritation.
I was at a loss, so unprepared for this attack. Feeling and probably looking confused as well, I said, “But I’m not wearing a wedding ring.” At least I didn’t think I was. I started to feel my ring finger and realized that the simple, unpretentious gold signet ring I always wear had turned, revealing a skinny band of gold. “Well,” I said, with a hint of humor, “that can really come in handy at times if I don’t want to be approached.”
Not amused, he started on another rant. “You’re misrepresenting yourself and losing out on opportunities for men to talk to you.”
“But I talk to people all the time when there’s a topic of mutual interest. Whether anyone is married or not is of no concern to me.” I further added, “I’m just going to continue to enjoy the show. It’s been nice talking to you. Good luck.” I started to move off, feeling strangely violated and somewhat disoriented.
His points might have had a place at an event for “Singles” or at a Bar (where au contraire, a good many married people come sans their rings); but certainly his arrogant delivery was simply inappropriate. Here I was at a favorite venue for beauty, enlightenment and peace of mind, and I wind up getting judged and disciplined by an artist who should have been trying to gain my favor.
I will never know, after that bizarre exchange, if this guy really did want to ask me out – since he didn’t. Alas, such a disquieting “to-do” because my ring turned.