Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How Do I Explain What I Do?

I got a panicky call from Erin’s teacher on Tuesday. The parent volunteer from our school who normally helps out for the district-wide Science Olympics was unable to attend this year, so she called to see if I could fill in. As it was, Nick was also helping out with the event, so I juggled my schedule around and told her I could do it. Then, Erin and one of her classmates were chosen to fill in for 2 kids who had dropped out unexpectedly, so this morning only Bethany got on the bus and went to school. The rest of the family headed off to Science Olympics.

It was a fun day and all of the kids were really well behaved. The only thing I found odd was that several people came over at different times and said “Oh... taking a day off cross-stitching?” One of them knows that I design patterns and that I’d just been away at two shows in October, but the other two had only heard that “I did cross stitch for a living” and so were asking all kinds of questions as to how they too could get paid to stitch all day. LOL!

I gently explained that I did try to do a bit of stitching on models every day if possible (sometimes it isn’t) but that I mostly designed the patterns, shipped orders, programmed my website, answered e-mail, filed receipts, did freelance graphics, writing, editing and illustration as well. I hate to burst someone’s bubble, but it also isn’t realistic to let someone get a warped idea of what stitching (either as a model stitcher or as a designer) actually pays. I know most of my model stitchers do not count on their income from stitching to support themselves!

Perhaps someday, I will come up with a simple way to explain what I do for a living. Until then, I am just glad to have something that allows me to be flexible with my hours. Erin and her team were on the local news tonight and may also be in the paper tomorrow. She is just thrilled...

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