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One of a Kind Show: Part One

December 3, 2011


I went to the One of a Kind craft show in Toronto again this year. For those of you who have never heard of the One of a Kind, it is no ordinary craft show. It takes over the entire Direct Energy Centre for a week, and it features artisans from all over Canada. Many of the items are ridiculously overpriced but we are city folk and we don’t know any better so the artisans can get away with it. And why shouldn’t they, really? The cost of the booth for the week is a couple thousand dollars or more, I think, and there are specific rules against reproductions of any kind. Even photographers who sell their prints have to follow guidelines and restrictions.

So, this is the place where I buy a lot of Christmas gifts for my boyfriend’s family, my artsy friends, and people who are just plain hard to shop for. I will not bore you with all of the details on what I bought for whom, don’t worry. Instead, let’s focus on the weird dynamic my boyfriend and I have when we go to this bloody show every year.

He likes to complain. A lot. He complains that he has to even go to the show. That part starts when the commercials air on television and the radio. On the way to the show, he complains about the crowds, stupid drivers, and parking lots. Then he complains about the money I spend there. About how much time I take walking down the aisles. He complains he has to carry all of the stuff that I bought. He complains about the lack of workmanship and craftsmanship in many of the furniture, woodworking and other pieces. Then he complains about the mad rush to get out of the place. He’s great at multitasking so he can do this while he weaves and plows through crowds of people at a frenzied pace. He is, of course holding my hand so I bumble and bounce behind him like a fishing lure uselessly trailing behind a speed boat.

I hate complaining. And being dragged. This is especially true when there is such a simple blanket solution to cover all of his complaints. He can stay home! Or go out with his friends, or go fix something, I really don’t care. I mean, I am not forcing him to go with me. So, a few years ago, when a friend asked if I wanted to go to the One of a Kind with her, I said sure. I met her there and everything was hunky dory until I got to the booth that makes the most beautiful hand made glass ornaments I have ever seen. Every year my boyfriend and I pick one of the ornaments from this booth and the artist engraves our initials and the year.  I am having trouble choosing between a round red and gold ball or a tear drop shape amber and gold one. I have to call the boyfriend.

“Hey baby, I’m at the One of a Kind -.”

“The where?”

“The One of a Kind Show. I’m at the glass ornament booth -.”

“Wait, why are you at the One of a Kind?”

“Because I go every year. So, any – ”

“No, you don’t go every year. We go every year. ”

“But you hate going to the show.”

“So what I do? It’s our thing.”

“Our thing is to torture each other at the One of a Kind show every year?”


“Oh. I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

At this point my boyfriend releases a huge sigh. It is the sigh he reserves for those situations when I am being completely unreasonable or illogical but it’s okay because he has enough logic for both of us so he is going to concoct a plan that will make us both happy. I am instantly annoyed but I am also second guessing myself. Usually when I hear the sigh, I have already figured out that I’m being illogical, and if it weren’t for that condescending and exaggerated exhale of breath, I would be ready to end the argument. This time, however, I’m at a loss. In fact, he is the one who seems to be he crazy person. Wait. Does this mean that my boyfriend has the ability to be slightly neurotic and totally irrational? A vision of my boyfriend teetering on his pedestal flashes into my mind.

“Okay, well. Now you know,”  he sniffs, “I will be there in 45 minutes.”

“You’re already out with friends,” I say, trying out tone that I hope will make me sound like I have the ability to be reasonable enough for the both of us. “I’m already out with my friend. Why don’t we go tomorrow night, instead?”

“Oh. Yeah, I guess that makes more sense,” he concedes.

I mentally poke the image of my teetering boyfriend and he falls from his pedestal. He doesn’t fall very far but he does bump his head and then complain about it.

I plan to write about some of the cool stuff we saw at the One of a Kind, 2011 show later this week, hopefully on Wednesday.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. zencherry permalink
    December 3, 2011 4:26 pm

    (Laughs and shakes head knowingly) Yeah, same thing on this end…except to ANYWHERE outside of the house. I’m about to take ballroom dancing classes on my own, I swear. Can’t wait to read about the cool stuff you saw/bought. 😉

  2. December 4, 2011 6:06 am

    I would love to go to a one of a kind show. I love stuff like that. My husband would have to be dragged kicking and screaming unless they had antique farm tools. For some reason he likes those.

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