Behind the Black Curtain

August 24, 2010

I finally got off my ass and registered for a tax ID last week to fulfill a requirement for next month’s show. While this itself is as exciting as a trip down the frozen food aisle, that magic ID number got me behind the black curtain at the gem & jewelry show.

For those out of the bead whore loop, the black curtain is what divides the public area of the show from the wholesale-only dealers. It’s the same stuff on both sides, but a few bucks less behind the curtain.

Even though I felt like I belonged to a special club with my star-stamped hand, there wasn’t much difference between the areas. Sure, a few strands were cheaper, but I’m pretty sure it was a vendor thing. It’s easy to find the same beads at different tables in the public area with a wide range of prices. Foot traffic was WAY lighter behind the curtain, and it was nice not to swear under my breath every time a wheel chair ran over my foot or someone lugging an oxygen tank snagged their tube on one of my bracelets.

The only thing that really felt like a score was an antique Tibetan silver and jade cuff from Afghanistan.  Just looking at this thing made me itch (as pretty much all non-silver/steel/gold/platinum makes me do), but I bought it anyway because I loved it and ten bucks seemed like a deal. After wearing it to a party over the weekend, I was relieved to have passed up the matching necklace. My wrist is still covered in welts and raw spots, and I can’t imagine what would have happened to my precious chesticles if a nickel-laden necklace had been draped across them for one sweaty, alcohol-fueled night.  Even after coating the inside of the cuff  with clear nail polish, my mouth still tastes like I’ve been sucking on a battery. “Metal sensitivity” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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