Monday, March 19, 2012

A Lot Can Happen In Two Weeks, Let Me Tell You

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 ReportAnd 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.


  1. You had me hooked. I assume you do catch and release?

  2. I was thinking, "Would Nance *really* fly to NY solo?" Hilarious that *that* was the detail I got hung up on. The idea of you being courted by an international designer was easily believable. Maybe not to design ties, but to write copy.

    Fun to jump into this daydream with you.

  3. Hook, line and sinker. I ate the whole piece of cake. And, really, it's not as much of a leap as it might appear. I agree with V-grrrl that it is more likely that you would get down to other brass tacks before you "upped and flew to N.Y.", and also the fact that it was only about ties. Because someone with your talent for description (and your obvious background as a writer) could describe ANYTHING in glowing terms if they wanted to. The deal-breaker I was expecting was more along the lines of not wanting to write flattering ad copy for "a product you did not believe was up to snuff." And what the heck: Kurt Vonnegut wrote ad copy in the early days!

    On a more serious note, I have always been fascinated with advertising, and thought seriously about getting into that industry. I ALWAYS have an opinion on every commercial on TV or ad I see in a magazine, on the net, etc. "Too busy, too wordy, too foggy, obscured message," etc. I applaud the ads that make people remember them, because they have the simple message that is, regardless of the style, believeable. And if not, it's so clever, it makes you want to believe.

    This is so weird because I was thinking just today that if I had to make a career change, I would love to be part of a think tank for doing ads. I did photo shoots and post-production for audio & video components of textbooks before becoming a full time editor in EFL (= English as a Foreign Language) publishing, back when I lived on the other side of the pond and taught English instead of Spanish, and it was by far one of the most fun parts of the job.

    Better sign off... I think what got me started was an interview that I also (coincidentally) heard on NPR today with advertising guru George Lois regarding his new book "Damn Good Advice" which I have every intention of reading.

  4. Loved this!
    I'm still laughing and wondering if you should've saved it for April 1.

  5. I was got too - and you deserve the bad grammar you idjit :)

    Sigh. And I was so proud of your deal breaker.

  6. Bug--Hee hee. And rest assured, that would absolutely be My Dealbreaker, no matter what. Be proud.

    Colleen--Oh, April Fool's! Never occurred to me. I was just trying to weasel my way out of being A Huge Slug and not posting for so long. Glad you liked it, though.

    Ortizzle--I definitely would have, and I thought 'yada yada yada...' implied that I did. I didn't want the post to be too long-winded, or it might have become unbelievable. Remember, the less you say, the better the lie. We fabulists know that the devil is in the details, and it's easier to get tripped up if you say too much.

    V--Oh, I don't mind flying alone at all. I've flown solo to NY, Maryland, Colorado, Fla., all kinds of places. Nothing overseas...yet. I find air travel to be boring and don't have fears about it at all. As a matter of fact, I flew right after September 11. It's the DRIVING that I hate.

    Sillyak--Yes. You may go now. (But do come back.)

  7. I wasn't this surprised since Bobby Ewing stepped out of that shower!

  8. Mikey G.1:29 AM

    I kept thinking, "Oh no you DIDN'T go to New York without informing me?!?!" And then I found out that you didn't :-D

  9. Mikey--If you lived there still, I'd def inform you first. Now, when am I coming to Cali?

    Nancy--Hee hee. Remember that debacle? What a TV travesty that was.

  10. You're right, Nance. A lot CAN happen in two weeks!

    Did you know that Little Rock, Arkansas has renamed their airport The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport? It's true.

    I can't help but wonder how long it will take before it becomes HILLBILLY NATIONAL......

  11. I fell for it, totally. Get back to what's important now...avocados! After all of these years, I think I've finally figured out how to keep it from getting brown. I'm sure you knew this already, but most of the time it doesn't last long enough to be an issue. Anyway, I mixed in about a tablespoon of lemon juice (actually, a bit of lemon, and then lime, because I ran out of lemon). After enjoying our fajitas, I put the leftovers in a sandwich bag, squeezed the air out, sealed it and put it in the fridge.

    I don't know how I could not have thought of this before...I've been putting it in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed down on the top for YEARS. That's always how they do it on TV. It sucks.

  12. j.@jj--Since I make guac in ziploc bags, I use this method anyway. And there is rarely any left. We are avomaniacs here at the Dept. Found net bags of 5 avos for 3.79 here a couple weeks ago and got tears in my eyes. Honestly. And they were spectacular. We had guacamole for dinner twice.

    Nancy--We heard it here first! ;-)


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