Friday, May 18, 2012

Terms and Conditions

Last Monday afternoon a young couple walked into Twin Rocks Trading Post.  I greeted them and struck up a casual conversation with the fellow.  The woman made a beeline for the rug room.  The guy was thirty-something years of age, small of stature and skinny, weighing in at somewhere around 140 lbs.  The thin man wore a gray, unlabeled ball cap on a head of straight brown hair that hung down over his ears.  Bright, intelligent brown eyes peered out from behind tortoise shell glasses, which sat atop an unobtrusive nose.  The young man was well tanned and wore a gray tank top, cut-off Levi shorts and over large hiking boots with wool socks poking out the top.  I asked if they had been hiking, and he commented they were fresh from a week of camping in the Maze district of Canyonlands.

The woman was small as well, maybe 110 pounds, had a light complexion and did not seem to have been camping at all.  She kept her black hair short, and had on large black rimmed glasses which framed a pair of big, blue eyes.  She wore a short pink sweater over a clean white blouse and a crisp pair of belted black knit trousers.  The only thing I could identify that connected her with camping and her traveling partner was a similar pair of hiking boots and wool socks.  As the man and I talked, I noticed he was a bit edgy.  The young woman was obviously enjoying her visit to the rug room and had several weaving's laid out on the floor to facilitate a more unobstructed view.

The man soon became so agitated he lost track of our conversation.  Breaking away, he turned and walked over to the bat-wing doors, leaned in toward the young woman and whispered what seemed to be an urgent message.  The woman was unmoved by his duress, and continued her inspection.  I looked over to Priscilla, who was cleaning and rearranging the fetish case.  We smiled knowingly, we had seen this type of behavior many times before.  As sales people we are attuned to body language.  Through his actions the man was saying; "We don't need a rug, it's time to go."  The woman, on the other hand, obviously meant to stay and consider the possibilities.

Sitting back, I waited patiently, figuring it was best not to get in the middle of these two featherweights.  The possibility of being caught in the cross-fire was all too real.  Generally disagreements like this work themselves out one way or another without our direct involvement.  In this case the little woman simply ignored her companion's agitation and kept shopping.  Before long I noticed her focusing on one particular weaving.  I did not want to barge in, but out of self interest thought it time to say a few words on behalf of the rug.  After all, this is a business.  As I approached the rug room, the man crossed his arms over his chest, a clear sign he was unhappy with my intrusion.  The woman turned, smiled pleasantly and asked what I could tell her about the weaving.   I looked to her friend, who promptly turned his back on me.  I had no problem reading the intent of that maneuver.

 "Please," said the girl, recapturing my attention.  She had picked out a wonderful rug woven by Bessie Coggeshell, an acclaimed artist famous for weaving Red Mesa rugs.  This particular pattern is known to represent the power, might and . . . yes . . . even magic of the female gender.  As the story goes, when the Hero Twins of Navajo legend were waging war against marauding monsters, they stumbled upon the Red Mesa area of Dinetah.  Seeing something totally foreign to them, they attacked and, consequently, got their (thus far undefeated) butts kicked.  The twins dragged their thoroughly battered selves back home and shared their despair with their mother.  Changing Woman calmed their nerves, cleansed their wounds and clued them into the fact that female energy was not to be taken lightly.  The "monster" the Hero Twins met was no monster at all, just a misunderstood source of power.

Bessie Coggeshell weaves a wonderful version of the Red Mesa rug and my young customer was wanting the one she had in her hands.  That particular weaving had a powerful mix of colors placed upon a white background.  It did not take much for me to share my enthusiasm for the rug and Bessie's outstanding weaving abilities.  I could tell the young woman was sold, but her friend was not.  The girl turned to him and asked, "What do you think?"  "I think we should talk about it," he replied while heading for the door.  "We'll be back." said the girl as she followed suit.

"Well, that was uncomfortable," I said to Priscilla, "Do you think they'll be back?"  "I don't know," she replied, "He was not impressed."  "With me or the rug?" I pressed.  "Both!" replied our understated associate.  Thirty some odd minutes later the young man walked back into the trading post, pressed into the rug room and picked up Bessie's rug.  Walking right by me, he handed the weaving to Priscilla, saying, "We'll take it!"  These were his terms and conditions of the sale.  I suspect he, like the Hero Twins, had experienced the power of female energy.

With warm regards,
Barry, Steve and The Team

Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!

Our TnT's purchased new treasures! Check out Traders in Training!

Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!

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