2017 10 14

I have shut down the COMMENTS function of this Blog.  I get a HUGE number of Spam comments offering all manner of everything that has no appeal to any lady.  So sorry.  No more comments.

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2017 10 02

We carry lollipop signs when volunteering as Wayfinders at ArtPrize.  Lollipop signs that I made for last year when we volunteered as Wayfinders and decided to wear ball gowns.  The signs are round disks on dowels as sticks.  On one side is the ArtPrize logo in orange and on the other side are the words “ASK ME”.  We HAD to have something to identify us as ArtPrize Wayfarers, something, anything other than the orange smock they required us to wear last year.

This is a picture of me from last year. 

Uh!  That smock!  So UNFASHIONABLE!





So we walk four blocks up and down the main street, mill about in a small park with a band shell, and repeat.  All the while holding up and spinning our signs.

People come up to us and say “Ask Me?”  “Ask you what?”  In a dumb kind of voice.  Probably just a way to initiate some kind of interaction, their curiosity getting the better of them.  I usually reply:  “We are Wayfarers, ArtPrize volunteers.”  As I lift up my volunteer badge that is o big you can see it from across the street.  I go on:  “We provide directions, suggestions, and info for ArtPrize visitors.  Oh, and tomorrow’s winning lottery ticket numbers!”  Most people just go :Duh, Ugh, OK.  Thanks.”  Some people ask “Where’s the art?”  There are 1435 pieces of art in 175 venues scattered all over downtown Grand Rapids.  I tell them that and get a blank uncomprehending look.  A few will say something like they expected an art sale.  Like when the craft people, the wood worker, the pottery people, the Elvis on black velvet makers, put up those white nylon square sun shades and sell their (future rummage sale) items. Impulse buys.  Overpriced.  I ask where they are from, when did they get here, what have they seen thus far, when are they leaving.  I get back that they drove for one, two, three hours.  Just walked up and down the streets.  Haven’t seen much art.  Leaving tomorrow in the morning.  I am thinking:  Gawd!  Didn’t you Google this and know ANYTHING before you left home.  After hearing how big this is, they ask how to see the most in the least.  Like asking where they can roll their car window down and get a peek at the “best viewpoint” of the Grand Canyon!  So I advise them on my favorite spots within walking distance.  Then they ask where is the most in any one place.  So I tell them that.

You have no idea how much art there is.

You have no idea how much ground you have to cover to see it all.

My SO and  have walked ArtPrize three days and only seen maybe 1/2 of it.

One woman asked where to get beef wellington.  Like I would know that.  I advised them to go to Brann’s for a steak.  $10.99 for a six ounce sizzler, baked potato, salad, and dinner rolls.  And always perfect.  Her male companion sneered that he “hates Brann’s”.  He was dressed sloppy, made poor eye contact, was dragging her away as she tried to communicate, and had an unpleasant look on his face.  I bet if I told them of a secret place where the best beef wellington meal in the world was available for $1.99 he would have hated that too.  I am glad he wasn’t going to Brann’s.  I would have been responsible for sending a creep their way.  I have been eating in various Brann’s restaurants for decades and the food and service is always great and reasonably priced.  BTW Brann’s is a Grand Rapids based eatery with locations from Lansing to the Michigan lake shore.

LOTS of people ask if they can take pictures of or with us.  Like easily a hundred last Saturday.  Lots of ages but few from the older group  Mostly teens to mid thirties.  Fewer percentages of older people.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know we don’t please everyone.  A very few, exclusively guys, laugh a dreisive laugh, as they pass by.  One who looked particularly self conscious, stood fifty feet away and laughed an uncomfortable laugh for maybe two minutes.

And then there the little girls.  Lots of little girls with sublime smiles.  THAT brings out all my protective instincts.  Some ask if I am a princess.  I wonder if our culture is doing them an injustice by filling their brains with the princess fantasy?  Only to find out some time in their lives that the princess concept is just the opposite of life?

I don’t have the rank or priveledge to spoil it for them. So I tell them when they ask that I think they are a princess too and that I can see an invisible crown on their heads.  Then their moms go “AWWWWWW!!!”.  And take the picture of the smiling waif in front of us.


She was about eight or so.  A teeny bit pudgy.  She came up to me by herself and hopefully asked me if she could ask a question.  I said “SURE”.  Then she opened her heart.

“A mean boy at school tells me that I am fat.  What should I do?”

Um!?!  That is a new one.  So innocent.  And me a CDer thrust in to a pivotal moment in her life.  What I say right now may help her.  I have to do this right!

I told her that inside that boy is a small person who will one day grow up to regret all the mean things he will have done.  That she is NOT fat and that she is beautiful.  That she should never let anything that anyone says get to her because “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.”.

Then they took a picture with the beaming waif in front.

It was the best I could do on such short notice.

We probably had a hundred photos taken of us.  That is just the number of people who asked.  There were people everywhere sneaking photos.  You could tell the way they held their phones and going back and forth from looking at the phone to looking at me.  And the people with the cameras, doing a quick shot.  Then there were the camera people who did their across the street or sidewalk focus and zoom and setup and were completely obvious.  So I would strike a pose for them.  Usually they thanked me.

GAWD I am an exhibitionist!

But a LOT of people smiled.  Especially one little girl.

And one CDer.  For hours.  And today.

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