Friday, March 01, 2013

False Friends, True Friends

There's a story behind the lapis beads in this necklace. Many years ago, I had two different friends who I met through a video game. Each decided at around the same time that they wanted custom necklaces from me. One wanted to pay for part of it and do the rest in trade, the other wanted to pay the full price. Each gave me a budget and I stayed well within that budget... But because I was young and naive in the ways of business, I didn't charge either of them a deposit... They were my friends, right? I could trust them, right? Well, the first friend paid the money part of hers and I sent her necklace... and never received my half of the trade. The other friend just never paid me the money, so I never sent him the necklace. Both friendships faded not long after that.

To me, the most frustrating part was not that they didn't uphold their end of the bargain, but that they just left it hanging there. No, "Oh, my hours got cut at work, I can't afford it now" or "My idea didn't work out, can I pay you the rest or make something else?" I felt like true friends would have been honest about their inability to pay/trade, instead of letting our friendship die over a small business matter.

Anyway, I've had that lapis necklace ever since. I took it to a couple shows, but not to my most recent ones and it wasn't listed on Etsy. I kept meaning to cut it apart and make something else but never felt inspired... Until my friend Inara asked me to find her some tribal jewelry at the gem shows. I failed to find any kuchi jewelry at the show I went to, but there was this beautiful Tibetan pendant set with lapis and turquoise for a great price. And finally I knew what to do with the lapis... Use it to make something beautiful for a friend!

These beads have gone to waste for years, long enough that I can't remember the names of those two friends, or even their on-line handles. Those facts have been pushed out of my brain to make room for more important people. And now that the necklace has been repurposed into something better and isn't sitting on my desk anymore, I think that incident will fade to a distant memory, too. I hope Inara loves her necklace -- she might even have it in hand now. I know it's going to look great on her!

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