This is one of those.
When I was younger I was just a tool, I had no empathy, no sense of other's perceptions or any idea that what was coming out of my mouth most of the time was rude superior bullshit. I am to this very day surprised I only managed to get punched in the face once before the age of 21.
My best friend in high school and I would frequent art shows and craft festivals and gallery openings as frequently as we could.
Once at an art festival I was walking around proudly proclaiming "I could do this myself!" A bunch of vendors heard me and it wasn't until Paige told me to shut my f'n mouth that I realized they thought I meant I could do exactly what they were doing as if there was no effort involved, when what I meant was that I could make inventory and set up a tent and be in a festival like a grownup with an art career. Still rude of course but with the emphasis on me because I was a narcissistic douche. This realization came too late and I had already pissed off a good dozen or more vendors to the point we couldn't go back and make any purchases without icy stares or them jacking up the prices on us so we just left and went to Zesto's.
I was entirely wracked with guilt over it once I realized that they thought I was diminishing them in some way. Out of guilt and fear of some karmic retribution, I decided I would never ever be in an art/craft festival lest the wrath of the general public would be set upon me.
Fast forward to present day and I am partnered up with Lori, a damn talented person who has been doing festivals for years. It is second nature to her and since our fledgling company needed the exposure and sales, I would need to get over it and start being the face for my company.
Since we have started the festival season this year I have made a conscious effort to not take personally the slights, complaints or generic bitching from the folks who come into the tent. I need to take criticism with gentle good humor in exchange for what I dished out so many years ago.
So far the payback has been less than I anticipated and mostly involved people screwing up their noses at my work as if a horrid smell had offended them and loudly proclaiming my lack of talent, skill, and/or taste. There was also the woman who got chapped at me because I wouldn't discount a dollar item for her.
So far I found all of this hilarious.
Saturday, I was manning the booth at the Kirkwood art festival. My customer service skills were off as I had stepped in a hole behind the Sangria tent and twisted my ankle so I was in a chair with ice on my leg when this occurred. A woman walks briskly by the tent stops directly in front of the zombie plates and keeps walking. I then see her walk briskly by several more times back and forth. Suddenly she is standing in front of the tent staring at me.
"Are you responsible for this?!"
I call out from the back of the tent, "If you mean the zombie forest animal plates, yes I am!"
She is not smiling, "This stuff... your art, I know you think this is funny." There is an extended pause.
"I know you probably intended to do this, but this is just sick...sickening."
While I am trying to formulate a response she continues this time more agitated, "I looked at this raccoon and, and I nearly threw up... I nearly threw up TWICE!" She held up two fingers in indignation.
After a long moment of both of us staring at each other in silence I responded as naturally as I could, I threw both arms up into the air and yelled "YAY!"