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Keep Talking or just shut up

December 4, 2014

Last night I did a story for Keep Talking. Adam Richard was on my ass for about 2 weeks to write something because he needed to fill up the show. So I wrote and worried and wrote and got more anxiety about it.

I finally reluctantly agreed on Monday after many conditions. First I had to do an experiment with drugs and my body Sunday night to see if I could come up with a combination that would quell the anxiety without knocking me out. At 8:15 I took 2 different pills and waited. It felt like I had time traveled forward 13 hours by the time I came out of that coma. So I knew I couldn’t use drugs to get me through. I then thought I’d just use my trusty sidekick high alcohol content white wine that’s always been able to get me through even the wickedest PMS, but I didn’t want to ruin a sober streak of almost 6 months just to read a story in front of a group of people.

One of the conditions I gave Adam was that he was not allowed to post my name on the line up list on facebook OR tell anyone that I would be doing it. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it and also in case I just couldn’t do it and backed out, then only Adam would know I was a dick. I struggled with not telling any of my people. I didn’t want people to interrupt their nights to come out of if they weren’t already planning on it. I know it’s tough to love me sometimes because I am so fucking weird about things and panic filled and anxiety ridden. It’s hard for me to accept love but very easy for me to give it. If the situation was reversed I would feel hurt if I missed my friend doing a story so I am sorry if any of you feel hurt by it. Maybe I’m taking it to heart too much and making too big a deal of it but it deeply bothers me thinking I could have caused any hurt feelings.

I will post the story I read last night here. I love you all and I am sorry I am a god damn weirdo.

I’ve never been one of those people who always knew what they wanted to do in life and I’ve always found those people to be extremely annoying, mostly because I envied them. Knowing for sure what you’re meant to do and then doing it seems so damn simple but also so damn hard.


Asking me things like, well what are you passionate about or what are you good at were always met with a blank stare. How the fuck was I supposed to answer that? I like kittens a lot and I can be really passionate about Doritos and I’m good at being early to appointments. Does that help? No? Ok awesome.


When I was 17 an army recruiter called and since this was before the days of caller ID I answered my house phone (otherwise just known as THE PHONE cause there was only ONE) like an asshole. He asked what my post high school plans were and I told him honestly, that I had no clue. I let him talk me into coming down to his office to chat about the army where he filled my head with all kinds of big attractive ideas and a year later at 18, a month after graduating, I arrived at basic training. I somehow landed a job in military intelligence, which meant my training would be 6 months long, and that’s also exactly how long I lasted in the army. 6 months my friends. Everything was fucking wrong with me by the end, physically a slight heart defect and asthma, mentally all the panic attacks ever. Needless to say I was able to leave the army before being sent into active duty. Released back into the wild still having no clue what I wanted to do.


When I came home I got a retail job because that’s what I did in high school so that’s what I knew. It wasn’t long until I met a really terrible dude and proceeded to get pregnant. We moved to Texas and had two more babies for a grand total of 3 girls. While I lived there I didn’t have to work so I stayed home with my girls for four years and I just wondered. I wondered if that’s all there was for me. I liked staying home with the kids and learning how to cook from the food network but there was something else in there that was restless and pushy and kept whispering to keep looking.

I finally ditched that fool I married when the girls were 4, 3, and 1 year old. I packed them up, put them in the car and drove home to Ohio. I found myself back in the wild and clueless still but this time with three little humans who expected me to provide things like food and legos.


I got an apartment and signed up for school to be a medical assistant. I found a job taking care of an old couple overnights so I could be home with the ladies during the day. I soon realized that I was way too smart to just be a medical assistant so I found a school in Canton so I could be a nurse. I got a job at a hospital in Akron as a nursing assistant where I learned I was actually good at something. I could nurse people! I’d figured it out. So simple, just finish nursing school, get a job, and work a couple days a week like a normal person!


After a year of working at the hospital I decided to get a job in Canton so I could be closer to school. I answered an ad on my schools job board for an ad I’m pretty sure just said receptionist for a furniture design company but should have said looking for someone to run my business and help me figure out my life because what the hell am I even doing and do you want to be best friends?


So I started working at the furniture company that was now a company of 3 employees. Everything was designed and made right there by the owner and his weird assistant that we still to this day call Milton because he was exactly Milton from Office Space. Through that job I not only learned the importance of making something by hand but the importance of supporting others who are making amazing things right here in the United States.


In early 2009 I was still working at the furniture place and going to school when I visited my friends studio that was within Zygote Press. I saw their letterpresses and was immediately intrigued. I left there that day with an idea to make my friend a greeting card. One simple, hand drawn card that read, “I’m sorry I laughed when you got hassled by that bum, but to be fair your zipper was down.” Ultimately changed the course of my life.


I started making tons of cards loosely based on my life or just shit I thought was funny without intention until I decided to try selling them at a craft show. I really wanted to see if other people would like them. The answer, surprisingly, was yes. Some of my favorites include ‘skinny bitches don’t suck dick”, “sorry I got drunk and peed in your closet. And for kissing your dad”, and I find you delightful! If I had a dick I’d stick it right in your mouth”. At the show that day a little old lady read them and said “oh my! How would you describe your cards?” I thought a second and I replied. They’re salty not sweet.


After that show I continued with nursing school and work all the while making new cards that amused me.


In July 2009 I got called away from this life because my grandfather had died in Texas and I was his person. I had to go and make arrangements, settle his estate, and figure out all the other shit that needed figuring. I missed the registration for the fall semester because I didn’t know when I would get back from Texas so I just figured I would go back that winter.


When I finally got home I found myself without direction again because I had no classes to attend so I wrote. And I wrote. And I glued shit to other shit and turned it all into ridiculous cards.


By October 2009 there was something nagging me. Some idea still unseen but felt and I had to figure it out. I had a meeting with some friends to see what we could come up with. From that meeting we were thinking about pop up shops in different venues around the city to sell lots of cool handmade things and it was ok but I still felt like that wasn’t quite it. There was still a nagging somewhere but later that very night it hit me. I should make a place where people could buy really cool handmade things year round. This was 2009 so at the time we didn’t have anything like that here. Once a year during the holidays we could find all the sweet shit at bazaar bizarre and then nowhere else.

Two months later I had the keys to a 400 square foot shop in Collinwood that I named Salty not Sweet. It had to be totally redone. We knocked down a wall, we ripped out old blue carpeting, put in a new floor and painted our asses off and by March we were open for business. By years end I needed more space so I moved over to the west side to a 1200 square foot place in Ohio City where I have been up and running for three and a half years now. Through Salty I’ve been able to help support so many small businesses and makers all over the country who want to contribute something to our world that is special, really cool, or just really really fucking funny. There’s honesty in making something by hand and there’s magic in being able to be a part of that process.


And just like that, when no one was looking, not even myself, this aimless, wandering girl finally found a path.


keep talking

One Comment leave one →
  1. nancy permalink
    December 5, 2014 2:41 pm

    NAILED IT!!!!!

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