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Jan Sanders van Hemessen: The Extraction of the Stone of Madness (c. 1550)
"I'm intrigued by any sales pitch which focuses upon all I will not get if I choose them for a relationship."

Those of us who create Homemade stuff, which I guess includes pretty much all of us, maintain relationships with our reliable suppliers, and we swear by the ones we adopt. My mom might have contended that "everything comes out of the same spigot before they put different labels on it," but I firmly believe (by which I mean I believe merely as a matter of conviction) that I use the absolutely best available brand of paint, for instance. I feel secretly shocked when I learn of someone favoring a different supplier, for I see that choice as clear evidence of their poor judgement. I might not attempt to convince them of their error, but only because I understand that nobody's likely to ever convince me that I have not discerned the very best paint supplier in the world, I have considerable treasure and effort invested in that choice. Others probably do in their's, too.

I've been visiting my paint store several times each week as we've worked through this Grand Refurbishing
. I came to be the errand boy for the actual workers, so I'd run when a need arose. I quickly learned that the whole paint industry was experiencing a crisis, namely that due to unnamed logistical and supply issues, paint stores had no paint, or very little. For the first time in some of their patrons' lives, they walked into a store and were told "No!" when they ordered. The customer, accustomed to being king, found himself cast as beggar, pleading to be taken advantage of. With paint selling for seventy-five and more dollars a gallon, I've watched myself almost weep at the threat of not being able to pay that because they were out of some base. I've been put on waiting lists! I've gotten sneaky and show up just just after I know the weekly delivery has arrived. Under the first served rule, I can get whatever i want if I'm first in line.

Yesterday, I overheard the clerk explaining all they didn't have to offer a customer who clearly would not consider a different supplier, a convinced customer. She learned that she might have to buy in five gallon tubs since those were sometimes the only available size, that not all paints were even available, and that the store had no control over what was delivered. The store took what they were given and tried to allocate that across demands exceeding supply. She might have to wait a couple of weeks to take delivery. The customer took all of this news like a champion, expressing gratitude for the clerk's efforts and appreciation for how difficult it must be to be in that clerk's position. She even forked over twenty bucks a quart for samples, though those were only available in types she didn't want. She adapted as we all have during this crisis.

I recognize that Homemade often involves some form of making do. The first choice might prove impossible to come by, so a second or third fill in. Then, blocked from my preferred supplier, I start making pitches to myself, hoping to convince myself that my efforts aren't completely doomed because I had to go to The Home Despot instead of my preferred supplier. Out here nearer the end of every delivery route, I'm often making do, or sincerely trying to, though not everything has a substitute. Not everything comes out of the same spigot before they put a different label on it. Some supplies, like my sacred paint, prove different. If I can't get that, I won't even attempt making do or anything else. I'm intrigued by any sales pitch which focuses upon all I will not get if I choose them for a relationship.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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