Wow. So I'm pretty much meandering through my orbit as usual, you know: doing my Retirement Thing, embracing the early spring, scooping up the unexpected pleasures of recently cheap avocados when my cellphone rings a week or so ago and it's my contact in New York whose charity I promo here and at The Report. I answer it immediately, and she says instead of hello, "Nance! Don't you ever check email?" Once I assure her that, yes, of course I do, she tells me that she is calling to inform me that an associate of hers has been trying to reach me via email for nearly a week now. "You'll want to talk to him; trust me," she promises. "I'm giving you his number. Call him now. He's expecting your call."
First thought? Check that spam folder. I trust this woman implicitly, but there is no way I'm making a blind phone call. St. Patsy didn't raise no fool. My Dept. mail account gets a ton of spam, and it took forever to go through it. Several looked like they could be legit offers for advertising at both my sites, and several were from NYC addresses with vague business ventures. None mentioned my contact's name. One was for a marketing venture, but didn't deal with specifics. None of the phone numbers matched the one I was given. I sighed, tapped the number into my phone, and waited.
"Hello, this is Mark." Confused that I had not reached a business, I simply said hello, gave him my name, and said that I had been given his number and a message to call him from our mutual associate since he had been unable to reach me via email. And things happened like lightning from there.
Briefly, he had been a fan of The Report and involved with the charity. He was at another event where he spent a good part of the time chatting up an American designer (you'd definitely know the name if I told you) who is going to start up a sort of quirky menswear line which skews edgy and fashion-forward. It will be primarily sold online. As they were chatting, Mark said that he said, "You should get the woman who writes The Brian Williams Tie Report to do the ties. Not only could she design them, but she could write the descriptions for them. Like J. Peterman, but better."
Yada yada yada yada, fast forward, and The Designer knows The Report! And loves the idea! So I'm making arrangements to go to NYC to take a meeting (!!!), packing all my cool clothes in mostly black (of course), and reminding myself to breathe. I get there, take the meeting, things look wonderful, sound even better, I breathe every now and then, my shoes look terrific, and we start hammering it out. The Designer does not do The Details. That is what The People are for.
The People: Okay, Nance. Great. This looks great.
Nance: I think so.
The People: Before we get into any of the business particulars, can you think, off the top of your head, of any dealbreakers? Anything that might keep this venture from going forward? Anything, for example, that you don't want to see happen?
Nance: Yes. I don't want any republicans to wear the ties. (smiles)
The People: (exchange somewhat bemused glances; forced chuckles) Ha ha. Anything else?
Nance: Actually, yes. There is one thing. And I feel very strongly about this. Will the ties, at least, at the very least, be made in America? I don't want my name associated with some sad, sweatshop scandal in Honduras. I don't want to be Kathie Lee Gifford. And I don't want people to say I sold out and abandoned my principles when there was fame or cash in front of me.
The People: Well, certainly The Designer looks to encourge growth in the American labor markets. But because The Designer is an international name, it would be shortsighted to outright eliminate foreign suppliers, be they goods or labor. We look to all outlets to bring the highest possible quality product to the consumer for the best value.
Nance: So, no, then? No, you cannot promise me that the ties I design and describe will be made in America?
The People: What we're saying is that--
Nance: (interrupting gently but firmly) I'm sorry. Can you promise me that one thing or can't you?
The People: No.
Nance: That is my dealbreaker. I'm sorrier than you can possibly ever imagine. But I just cannot do it under that one single circumstance. The ties at the very least have to be made in America. Period. I appreciate everything you just said, and I appreciate this opportunity more than you can know. I do. And if it's possible, I'd like to tell The Designer personally--how much I appreciate this, again. But that is my line in the sand. I'm so sorry.
So, that's how we left it. Or, at least, that's how I would have left it had this whole thing actually happened. None of it did. I have no real excuse for the ridiculously long time between posts. I was lying fallow, bereft of ideas, and enjoying early spring in NEO. I beg your indulgence and hope for your forgiveness.