However, I am NOT a vampire. So that takes care of one aspect of the dilemma. The other aspect is whether or not you believe that all vampires really ARE seducers, and I think all you have to do is look at the wild success of vampire books and movies to see that I'm right about the seduction aspect.
I'm not sure how they did it, but somehow vampires have made pale skin, gaunt cheekbones, blood-dripping fangs, and immortality sexy. Congratulations, O' Undead Ones. That's quite a feat.
Now that we've got all that straightened out, the next order of business is to say I'm sorry for going completely AWOL for the past couple of weeks. I mean, I'd love to tell you it's because I was swept away (maybe by a vampire?) to a secret island, where I was served hand and foot and engaged in all sorts of glamorous activities. Or maybe even that I just decided to take some time off from all my responsibilities, read some good books, take some naps...
The truth is (and this sums it up quickly for those of you who think brevity is a virtue), bad economy = Elise The Retail Business Owner working her tail off, trying everything she can think of to get things back on track.
Not very interesting, eh? I told you.
It's just disconcerting, is all, to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under you like this. I don't mean you, the reader - I doubt that my posting frequency (or lack thereof) has the ability to leave anyone feeling unsettled. I mean that as a business owner, especially in the retail sector of things, this "economic crisis" is hitting pretty close to home.
I'm sure many of you have seen the front page stories in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal today - but if you haven't, they are telling the same tale I've been telling all summer. Retail sales are down. Down more than they have been in a long while. No one is happy about it. No one knows exactly what the problem is (other than the ridiculous sub-prime lending/credit crunch situation we all know about). Everyone thinks things will get better. In fact, things are getting better! Yay!
And on we go.
Except really, what I just said up there is the truth of the matter but I fear that the media, with its insatiable thirst for blood, will only focus on the "doom" and will totally ignore the "light at the end of the tunnel" aspect of things. And that, my dear friends, only makes everything WORSE. The more the average American THINKS things are bad, the more tight-fisted they'll be with their money, and that means they aren't spending it with me or anyone else. So stores go out of business and put more employees out of work, who in turn have to be even stingier with their cash, because they really don't know when they'll get more. And the cycle continues. However! Much of the current cycle, especially in high-end areas like the one in which my store does business, is based on somewhat REACTIONARY principles, otherwise known as FREAKING OUT FOR NO GOOD REASON.
So. Stop freaking out, America! Yes, we got ourselves into a bit of a situation with the sub-prime lending and the massive credit crisis and yes, some of us overextended ourselves and are now paying the price. And yes, some of us DIDN'T overextend ourselves, we did everything by the book and we STILL feel like we're paying the price. Well, we are. But it's going to be okay. Things will equalize, and whether that means when we come out on the other end of the tunnel things look like our current version of "normal" or if they are a totally new "normal", we can adjust. Okay? Okay.
Now! Guess who I met.
That's right, I got to eat dinner (well, I was the only one eating) and get drinks (was NOT the only one drinking) with none other than Julie! And even though she texted me, wondering if there were ANY crosswalks or pedestrian-friendly areas near where she was staying (no, there were not) and even though she had to WALK to where we met up (aah! still feel bad about that, Julie!), we had a great time nonetheless. And I feel pretty confident in saying that Julie got a real solid taste of Texas boys trying to hit on her.
We ended up telling everyone we were on our first date, which, technically, was true. And, if you'll reference the picture above, I CLEARLY made it up to the hotel room and if that doesn't give you any indication of how things went, well.... Maybe you haven't had very good first dates.
I also did this:
By myself. Which shows how much I really love this band, because I wasn't quite sure how I felt about going to a concert by myself. I mean, is that awesome, or total loserville? It's a tough call. Luckily, I got to meet up with these two (getting married in two weeks!) before the show:
We laughed, we drank wine, we discussed politics....and then we tried our hand at governing an errant bee situation. We roundtabled about what might be the best angle to take with the bees - were they friend or foe? It was hard to tell. They were definitely after our bread, so Adam decided that perhaps some peace treaties should be attempted, and he put a piece of Peace (I know, I know) Bread down at one end of the table for the bees to have. See, they can have their stuff, we have our stuff, and we all live in harmony. It's a great concept. Unfortunately (and similarly to how these things go in real life), the bee was discontent with his small slice of bread, kept angling for the whole loaf, and eventually - he had to die.
I know, it's harsh. But you may as well know the truth.
Let's see, what else....I've gotta tell you, I've spent the vast majority of the past month or so in near-constant state of feeling flustered. And that makes it hard to do anything, much less think coherently for long enough to bang out a post. But I'm nothing if not resourceful, and I'm dealing with it, so you can expect posting to resume as originally scheduled. Meaning that after the Project Runway season finale tonight (which I WILL recap on Friday), I will go back to my once or twice-weekly posting schedule, and (more importantly) I promise that I cannot wait to read and comment on everything that I've missed while I've been on this strange hiatus. I can't promise that I won't hit the "mark all read" button in my feeder, because right now it's hovering near the 2000 mark, but after that, I'm back on track.
And after my first real life date with a previously Internet-only friend went SO well, I can't wait to meet more of you guys. I know I'm all the way down here in Texas (and don't ask Julie how the rest of her visit went) but if you're EVER sent down here for any reason, I promise to make the whole experience just a little more fun. And I'll even pick you up, so you don't have to search in vain for crosswalks. I also won't force feed you tequila, ESPECIALLY if you claim to be allergic.