Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Episode 30 - Barbara - 0, Anouk - 1

The last time we saw Barbara, she was stranded in the bathroom at her hostess Amanda’s house, with ten women arriving for a workshop at any moment. The reason for Barbara’s current emotionally fragile state was crying lustily out in the family room. Barbara realized she had to face being around a baby sometime after her own unfortunate miscarriage, so she managed to screw up her courage, go out and set up her demonstration area and the stamping table, trying not to look too closely at Kelly, the baby’s mother, especially while Kelly breastfed baby Anouk,.

The women all arrived in due course…the workshop was scheduled for 7:00 PM, but as usual, that was when people just started arriving; Barbara’s workshops typically started at 7:30 and this one was no exception.

“Good evening, ladies!” Barbara swung into workshop mode, “I’m Baby…I mean, I’m Barbara Baby…I mean…er…I’m Barbara Bradley and I’ll be your Stampin’ Up! demonstrator for the evening!” Barbara felt herself growing red and tried desperately to make her mouth behave, “How many of you have never had a baby….oops, I mean never been to a Stampin’ Up! workshop before? Wow! So many! Well, let me tell you what to expect this evening! We’re going to have fun!” Barbara’s mind went blank and she had a moment of “dead air” while she desperately tried to get her brain back on track.

“Yes….fun! That’s right, fun. Um….tonight we’re going to make…er…this lovely card and a very cute tag, uh, suitable for many gift giving occasions, like, um…birthdays and with just a few touches, uh…you could use it for, I mean…” Barbara tried to force the word to come out that had come out so easily and in the wrong places before, but she stammered badly as she said it, “B-b-b-baby or wedding showers!” Barbara chanced a look at the faces of her guests and was embarrassed to see that they looked taken aback at their demonstrator’s verbal convolutions. Still, she pressed on, “B-b-b-but b-b-before I get started,” Barbara could feel a muscle in her cheek start to twitch and her voice starting to shake, “I am going to make a nice little gift for our hostess!”

Barbara began to get into the rhythm of her demonstration as she wheeled the bag and put the incentive stamp, cut cardstock and ribbon within as she showed the ladies how to mount and trim stamps, how to open and close an ink pad and demonstrated the unique features of Stampin’ Up!’s products. The demonstration was going much, much better, and Barbara was just starting to relax when Anouk started to fuss and then outright wail!

“STAMPIN’ UP!’S STAMPS ARE SUCH A BARGAIN,” Barbara had to raise her voice to be heard over Anouk’s strident crying, “BECAUSE THEY ARE S-S-SOLD IN S-S-SETS!” Barbara felt her face starting to crumple into a jagged mask as she fought the sobs trying to come out. “IF YOU J-J-JUST TAKE A L-L-LOOK AT THE IMAGES ABOVE THIS LINE, YOU’LL SEE ALL THE STAMPS THAT G-G-G-OOOOOOO..........!!!!” Barbara found herself giving a primal howl in concert with Anouk; thankfully the tears now pouring from her eyes prevented her from seeing the absolutely horrified faces of what were meant to be customers, but were probably now going to be the instruments of Nemesis, spreading word of Barbara Bradley, Independent Stampin’ Up! Flake, far and wide.

Will Barbara’s guests really be so mean as to tell this story? Will Barbara get herself together enough to finish the workshop? Will she ever want to do a workshop again and if she does, would anyone book with her? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of…..the Tearing Edge!

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