Twice a year, in January and August, the game of Dominos begins. The store has a tense work vibe rather than the joy I usually feel. Let me explain. These are the months that some of our merchants bid us farewell, new ones decide to give the resale game a try and others want a new space in a different location in the store. Maybe it isn't Dominos but Jenga— I balance the tower while I move the pieces to a different location. Some are big moves, others are little moves. I find it very stressful.
I often hear my husband say it's business, nothing personal, but I think it’s in my nature to feel it personally. I know when dealers leave its because they are moving on to bigger and better things or they have sold all the extras after downsizing. The thing you have to remember is I have talked with these people once a week, I’ve heard about their kids, pets and health issues. I’ve been a counselor, bartender, and co-conspirator, but most of all a friend. It’s not about the stuff but a shared interest in their life.
So maybe it’s like juggling, I keep the balls in the air, the old ones leave the rotation and the new ones move in. I will create new relationships and develop friendships. Laugh at jokes and meet their kids. And it begins again. I have to say if it ever feels like Monopoly or Stratego, I’m out. At tax season it feels like RISK to my husband. But hey, I’m always up for the game of Life, even if it feels like Chutes and Ladders.