by Justine Willowhawk
Well the season was almost over and I was looking forward to the end. I needed a rest but I had two more weekend shows booked when I got a call booking a company picnic. I agreed without looking at my calendar which was a mistake because I had a weekend event booked. I weighed the pro's and con' s of each event and the company picnic won by a huge margin. In fact there weren't any pro's to doing the other event. The company picnic was 10 miles away and they were needing me for 2 hours, not to mention that it was 'sure money'. Well to book a party with me is a 4 hour minimum, but I wanted this job so I figured I would make an exception. I was asked how many people I could do in an hour and I told her 6. That gives me 10 minutes per person and I can squeeze in 'chat time' and lemon/sugar dabbing. So that meant I would be hennaing at least 12 people.
The day before the gig I
gather my design books without prices listed. Well I couldn't find them
so off to the copy store I go. Later that night, I am all prepared with
new design books, fresh paste ready to go in cones and all the other
I stayed up late and mehendi'd my own
The day of the gig I got into my 'uniform' of sari, bindi, tikka and hath patti and off I went. I got there 5 minutes before I was to start and as I walked up into this crowd of people I realized I had forgotten the contact woman's name. People were staring at me and gawking but when I asked a group of people who was in charge they realized why I was there. "Oh you are here to do henna" "the henna lady is here"
As we are walking to the table set up for me I see people running to it. One woman is saying "I am first, I am first" There is a sign up that says "henna tattoos". That is NOT a sign I would ever use but I let it slide ... it's a nit picky thing and I am not in a nit picky mood. So I put my bag down and lay the design books out along with my portfolio of pictures. By this time there's 10 or more people at the table. I grab my cones and the first woman wants a little floral design on her ankle. I make it the size I would normally which is larger than in the design book. She's pleased but later I hear her say "it's bigger than I thought". People in line are flipping through the design books and my portfolio. The next few women that came through wanted temporary tattoo's because they want a permanent ink tattoo but are afraid to get one. On the average they wanted 1" size designs. They are pointing to in the design book to images about 2" size. Oh you have to love a challenge.
Then people started picking
out of my portfolio. I did the same Spellstone design 3 times and
that design starts at $25 and maxes at $50 (depends on the size). The
Lezard design is chosen 7!! times ... now I love Lezard and his work,
if I never see that damn hand
Ankles and backs ... ankles and backs ... oh ugh. Not one hand done!!! Some people wanted their names done ... or just temporary tattoo style designs. Great now I am henna whoring myself. But the job is fun nonetheless.
The line of people isn't getting smaller and some are complaining about standing in line for an hour (at that point I had been there 70 minutes!). I am whipping through the designs faster that I want to. No time for mistakes, no time for it to look real pretty. One woman asks "what is in your paste" another asks "do you use colors or is this natural" then a child says "is this black". Wow people who knew about black henna were being very cautious. Yay!
I have a woman in a white
who wants a little something on her breast. I tell her that's not a
but she's going to have to leave the area exposed while it dries and
until she takes the paste off. She seems to only hear "while it dries"
so I have to explain myself over again and she
Then I began to notice that
in my portfolio are being taken out as people wait in line. They are
the page that has the photo of the design they want. This really pissed
me off because I am going to be doing $25+ designs and they are not
I offered in the design books available. Not to mention that I would
start taking someone's portfolio apart ... sheesh. One girl wants "part
of this, with part of that, and a little of this" and it's the dreaded
rose that I did last summer. Now just
As people are bringing me pages of my portfolio I am putting them under the table. Today I get to put my portfolio back together. I got to do a couple of feet ... Yay! 2 girls wanted matching designs on each others foot. What a thrill, something remotely resembling mehendi now. Guess what they picked ... the same damn Lezard design "but don't do that part, just this part and this part"... LOL.
Well my 2 hours is over and
is still 10+ people waiting. I don't know if these people are with the
company picnic or not and I really don't care. It's not my job to
them yet I hear people in line being asked if they are with the company
picnic or not. I figured I would be there longer than 2
But I definitely earned my
and learned that I need to put a sign in the front of my portfolio
"do not remove these pages"!!!
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