A moment’s respite here from the relentless promoting of our tiny little business, okay? I just have to drop in a comment at this point on what a lucky guy I really am — not only to have the greatest JOB in the world, but to also have a fantastic partner helping me make this work.
This drawing at parties thing was a hobby, really, until she became ill. Up to that point she had sometimes asked why I did not do the caricatures full time. “You oughta do THAT,” she would say. “You like it, the pay is good and everyone loves it.”
“Yeah,” I would say, “but it just does not WORK consistently. I have tried and tried and it just goes away after a bit.” So I was sketching at maybe three to four parties a month. Fun little part time gig. Sure.
Then she came home full time. MS. Multiple Sclerosis, and the WORST kind you can get — Primary Progressive MS.
I took it hard, much less gracefully than Diane. She just shrugged it off and went forward, expecting to have fun anyway. I was a wreck. The asthma that had bothered me since my Honorable Discharge from the US Army now became worse and worse. Lots of runs to the ER. Lots of hospital stays. And I kept losing jobs. It was bad, kids, it was bad.
But I digress. This is about her, not me. She started tinkering with my little hobby, using her experience as a Realtor® and her business degree and — BLAM!! The party business took OFF, baby! First it zoomed up to about three parties a week. Then more. And more. Then one every day. We raised the rates, over and over. Still I would get bookings for up to five parties on a Saturday, in five different cities.
All this, while holding down a full time job. Yow!
We had to get her disability benefits in place and the insurance set up before I could leave. Happily she needed very, very little help from me at that point, so I could almost keep up with the other end of things. Meantime, I kept expecting the demand to just stop, as it had before. Annnnnndddd — that’s been more than eighteen years now. Still going! I guess I just needed a good manager, eh?
(Is it STILL a bad idea to sleep with your manager??) I am glad to have her with me and grateful for her intense ambition and good humor. Every day is fun. Thanks, Diane!