Where is “The One” When You Need Him?

Back in the olden days people had a lot of colorful phrases, such as “Whatever blows your hair back,” “Don’t rock the boat,” and “Paddle your own canoe.” I don’t hear things like very often any more. When I was a kid, they didn’t always make sense to me. The optimistic point there is that maybe I would understand them now? No guarantee. I feel more every day that it’s difficult to understand anything.

I’m about to go hang my show. I don’t even want to. The odds of actually selling a painting are close to zero. With my shoulder it’s going to be pretty difficult to manage. Sometimes I wish I had found “the one” who would, for the purposes of today, be tall, strong and cheerful with nothing else to do but hang my paintings on the wall in the Rio Grande County Museum. In fact, he’d be excited about it.

“The One” always emerges when I need something like that. He’s kind of more function than human which, I realize, is terrible, but there we are. Maybe that’s the point of a human life partnership. One person’s good at this and the other one is good at THAT. In real life I’d probably still be hanging my show by myself, which is one reason there is no “the one” here at Casa di Marta.

“I can’t help you on Tuesday! I told you.”

“I never mentioned this before. I just found out.”

“You told me about it a week ago.”

“Yeah, I told you about the show, I didn’t ask you to help me hang my paintings.”

“It was implied. You wanted me to volunteer.”

“I didn’t know then WHEN I would hang my paintings? How could I ‘imply’ anything?”

Then they criticize a person (me) for being “too” independent.

Negotiation is soul-sucking. BUT I just figure it went like this because I never married “the ONE.” The ONE would have helped me. 🙂

OH well. That’s the way the cookie crumbles…

BUT once upon a time, a friend, Wes Kennedy, did show up pretty much out of nowhere to help me hang my show. 1981. Wes had been very angry at me for having gotten a show AT ALL. He was also an artist, and he worked for a year tromping the streets of Denver trying to get a gallery show with no luck. I didn’t look for a gallery show. I was happy with a coffee house (that would be the salient point here). When I got a show at the first place I tried, I thought Wes would never speak to me again. “I work YEARS to get a show and you go out ONE DAY and what happens?” He stormed out of my apartment.

BUT he knew when the show was and he knew I drove a VW bug and that my paintings — all on paper, covered with glass — well, it wasn’t going to be easy.

He pulled up in front of my apartment at 6:30 am the day of the hanging — and opening — in his Volvo Station Wagon.

“I’m sorry. I’m an asshole. I’ll hang your show. I don’t think you can even do it.”

Wes hanging my show at Cafe Nepenthes

I have been watching a French crime series, Alex Hugo, in English it’s called Mountain Detective. Sadly, there’s only ONE season and I finished it. I loved it, most of all because the protagonist was eminently relatable. He’s a guy who lives in the mountains. He hikes, climbs, draws and lives by himself. One of the “bad guys” (who’s not all that bad) says, “No wife? No children?”

“No,” says Alex. “I’m free.”

They are sitting in one of the most beautiful mountain valleys I’ve ever seen.

… and I think, “How is that not enough for everyone?” Well, obviously because sometimes you have to hang paintings and you have a bad shoulder. Or two. OH well. Suck it up, sweet cheeks. You have to take the bitter with the sweet (huh?).

27 thoughts on “Where is “The One” When You Need Him?

  1. ‘It is what it is’–my all-time least favorite saying. I hope you sell the hell out of that show, Martha. Too bad Bear or Teddy can’t, nonchalantly, sit by your work. **What a cute dog! Oh, this is your artwork? Well I had better take a look. $$$$**

    • There was help waiting for me when I got to the museum — something that is less likely when people go around in pairs, relying on each other. I kept thinking of Streetcar Named Desire, ‘I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.” I typed that with a Southern accent. 😉 I don’t think I’ll ever understand “too independent” though. I think that’s cool. OH well!

      • The other half of my pair has four legs! I don’t want to get too far down the “too independent” rabbit hole as it boils down to a woman being too much of herself….

        I use Blanche’s kindness quite often and how her trust was the key to her victimization and lunacy. And Stella picking her half of a pair over her abused sister.

        Wow…never meant to tie this all together!

  2. Yeah, “The One” would have helped. Sometimes, though, “The One” comes with baggage, so ya never know how it balances out. Too bad there’s no “The One” rental place anywhere for situations like this. I think it’s very exciting to have your own show. I agree though, I’ll bet someone will help. 🙂

  3. My friend, Rita, turned 69 last week. Describing another person in my family I said, “She’ll tell you just how the cow ate the cabbage!” Rita, originally from Iowa had never heard that. I thought I had found the ONE several times. I wished I’d stopped at ONE, but it’s just how the sawdust settled. And I have an amazing love I didn’t know before~I love me! Today I needed to clean my 330 something sq ft. deck (1/3 of the size of the house). I researched the deck cleaner I needed~and the sealer I want to use. I’m bushed. I can barely lift my arms to type you. This independent woman really wanted someone on my ladder to clean out my gutter again, too! Low and behold, a neighbor Craig walked by and we started visiting. Craig is 73 and told me he leaves all those chores to his 4 boys. We began visiting and I had no idea that I had every one of his sons in school! I knew the mom, but not him. Sadly, mom is out of the picture and things not good. But he said, “Karla, from what I’ve heard of you any one of my guys would come down and do whatever you needed~and they wouldn’t want a dime!” My eyes welled with tears as I thanked him. These guys, ages 18-24, were some of the hardest young working men I can remember. You’d have lots of picture hangers if we were all around. I hope you sell them like hotcakes, Martha! ❤️❤️💛🤗🥰🐶🐶

  4. Such a conundrum! I was raised by my father to be completely independent, never depend on anyone for anything. And so, I endeavor to do everything for myself. But…sometimes, a little help is needed!

    But The One often comes with as much need as help. Oh, what to do?

    I think/hope the solution is a collection of local, like-minded independents who show up when called upon, no obligation. That’s where making connections in a small town pays off.

    You’ll be fine, and I’m sure your showing will generate buzz and sales. Enjoy!

  5. “The One” is actually a fundamental theme in the novel I wrote. Nobody hangs pictures, though. I’m supposed to be writing another novel with the same characters. I’m thinking about it, but I’m not really writing it.

  6. I read the other before this one! So, I know how it turns out! The One for each of us is different and being independent is a good thing, even if you found The One.

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