Nothing like that proverbial "turd in the punchbowl" feeling that comes with seeing an official looking man with a clipboard, wearing an expression that says "Lady, I haven't smiled since I kicked that puppy across the street in Spring of '92". His eyes squint at my work as he asked me in a humor-less voice:
"So, tell me EXACTLY how you consider yourself green."
It's Earth Fair in Balboa Park, in America's "finest city" of San Diego. I am surrounded by thousands of people, browsing hundreds of booths. My neighbors include funky electric cars and vegan fare featuring, I am sure, free-range, no cruelty carrots. Not too many people seem to have a sense of humor... let alone one as warped as mine.
I guess people have come accustomed to 'Green = no humor factor'. To acknowledge being "green" is to plant on a holier-than-thou simper, and speak in a soapbox whisper.
Come on folks. Loosen up.
I took Mr Oh-So-Official on a tour of my booth. I pointed out that my sculptures are hand-made using recycled, sweaters, remnants and vintage fabrics. Almost all of it comes from thrift stores, garage sales and the occasional donation.
The felted wool-works that I show are especially "green". So many local students and farmers have the critter come shearing time, but no need of the fleece. I "rescue the wool" at shearing and then do all the skirting, scouring, dyeing, combing and carding *by hand*. Imagine nearly 200 pounds of wool rescued from local landfills!
How about my gorgeous and funky vests? Created with piles of useless neckties, even the buttons are recycled. I NEVER use "new" buttons. Where is the fun in that?
Finally, I pointed out my ceramic pendants. I use real leaves, flowers and seashells to capture the beauty of nature. You can't be any more green than that.
At this point, Mr "I Have No Humor" has agreed that I have earned my space at Earth Fair. I am indeed "green". But, I do have my twisted humor. I ask him excitedly "Come on! Don't you want to see my recycled cashmere zombies with the retractable guts?!?" He ushers a speedy "No thank you" like I had asked him to participate in a voodoo sacrifice and high-tails his clip-boarded self away from me.
Ok. It ain't easy being green. But it IS a lot of fun!