Here is an oddity for you to chew on.
My beadwork once brought me into the small claims court arena. Actually, it was not so much my beads, as it was a simple “breach of contract”.
To make a long story short, I was going to share a booth with someone (let’s call her Gladys) who invited me to share her booth in 3 locations. By the time the third rolled along, Gladys decided she could not afford to do the last show since she was not making near the money she thought she would. In fact with travel and hotel, she was losing money.
I paid my share of all three booths before any of the shows began. When I could not be at one of the shows, I kicked in for a share of Gladys’s travel expenses as well. I was really looking forward to the third show. I had hoped to meet a fellow beader who lived in the vicinity and visit some of the great bead shops in the area as well.
Since Gladys felt that it was not financially possible to go, and the booth fee was non-refundable, I offered to go to the show, take her beadwork with me, and I would not ask for any travel money at all.
She said “NO”.
HUH???? Why not?? I thought it was a good offer. She was out of the money anyways, what did she have to lose?
She decided she didn’t like my “energy”. That I was too intense. She said she had the aura to bring in customers while I drove them away. She did not want me associated with her booth (business) name and I could not change it because of the show contract.
Oh that hurt! I could not imagine WHY she would say that. I never made myself a pain. I was never demanding, never asked for a thing. To this day, it stillpuzzles me why she took such a turn on me. Really, I had been nothing but grateful for the opportunity she gave me.
Ok, fine I thought. Then since we aren’t going, then give me back my share of the booth money, as it was not my choice not to go and I provided an alternative.
Her answer was “NO”.
What drugs was she on?
To me the $400 was a lot of money, so I took her to small claims court to recoup the money.
She had her bizarre excuses to the judge as to why I did not deserve the money, centering around my aura, my presence and how I did not fit into the Native American feel of her booth (despite the fact that was the time of my work that I call my bone and feathers era. My work was heavily inspired by Native American art).
Of course all of that was irrelevant to the case. I won.
As with any court case, the loser has the opportunity for an appeal. Appeal she did.
The judge asked Gladys what information she had that was not presented in the first hearing that would change the outcome of the case.
I will never forget the judge’s face, nor the bailiff’s face as she stated that I had a couple earring designs (90 % of my items were earrings at that time), that were offensive as they had nudes portrayed on them.
I knew that this would be irrelevant to the case, but the judge looked at me for a response. Ah…luck was with me, as I had a few pairs of earrings with me, and two pairs were the offensive nude earrings. The belly dancer to the right had an overskirt of beads on her, and yes, she was nude underneath (all the same flesh tone color). The lady and the moon were as you see it.
I said to the judge as I handed the earrings to the bailiff, “With all due respect, if I can create something offensive that is easily recognizable with out a lot of study and explanation in this medium in such a small space, then perhaps I am better at what I do than I think.”
The judge looked at the earrings held a smirk, as did the bailiff who took a gander at the earrings before presenting them to the judge.
The judge struck his gavel on his desk, and asked us to leave, that the decision would be in the mail.
I won again, but sadly I lost what I thought was a friend.
I still create nudes, much to the horror and unhappiness of some especially since I have become much better at my renditions. I will leave those stories for another time!