A blast of an almost forgotten memory hit me as I was re-reading an old Art Doll Quarterly. The events are still so strange to me that I decided to share the story for your Halloween spooky-story month.
This advertisement from Anima Designs popped up to surprise me at how baffled I still am, after all these years. The ad featured one of the sample fabric pins that I made for them using their rubber stamps.
The mystery happened in the middle of a rubber stamp class that I was teaching at Cloud Nine in Monrovia. Well, let me back up…it really started when Kim from Anima Designs e-mailed me to say that one of the pins that I made was stolen from her last rubber stamp show. It is heartbreaking when that happens in classes or at shows but, as you can guess, it happens a lot. Theft of handmade goods or artwork is so sad that I had to learn not to take it personally. I had to tell myself that it is the price of doing business and let it go.
The class that I was teaching was probably to be my last as I was moving out of state and did not know if I would continue in the same direction. I had mentioned it to my group a couple weeks earlier.
Well, in the middle of class, a student walked in and I thought, “late as usual”. (Lateness is one of my pet peeves and, in a full class especially, it is so not fair to the other students to be interrupted by a late comer. OK, that is a whole other story.)
But, in walks this regularly pain-in-the-butt student. She surprises me by saying that she is not in the class, but that she wanted to bring me flowers for being one of her favorite teachers and to say that she will miss me. OK, now I’m completely turned around emotionally because I was in a totally negative state at first and then put into a suddenly happily-surprised state. I was just thinking that it was strangely kind of her when she announces, in front of everyone, that she brought something to show me that SHE had made. Yep, you guessed it- it was unmistakably my pin.
It was not the pin in Kim’s ad that you see above, but it was the pin that Kim said had been stolen. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of that pin to show you. But it was unmistakably my pin. You see, I had hand dyed the fabric and all of the trim, so I recognized it immediately. I flipped it over to see my signature on the back, but it had been crossed out with a black Sharpie.
I was shocked and appalled. So now I went from happy state to WTF?! A million thoughts crossed my mind. Should I confront her? Is she crazy to think that I wouldn’t recognize my own handiwork? What is her game? And, finally, is she the one who actually stole the pins or did one of her friends do it and then gift it to her? I don’t understand. All of these thoughts put me in a practically catatonic state as I kept smiling and mumbling about how nice.
I didn’t want to be rude in front of the other students who were all smiling at how nice this lady was for bringing me flowers. What to do, what to do…. In the end, I did what most women my age do when being slapped like that. I did nothing.
Obviously this still bothers me and is wrapped in a bunch of strong emotions. I do realize that it is yet another one of those just-bury-it and let it go things.
Mostly though, I’m posting this because I wondered what others would do in the same situation. What would you have done?