Oh, how I love sarongs. Some times I almost think I must have lived previous lives where sarong-like garments were the thing to wear. From the very first time “R” and I were at an event at Camp Gaea and I saw everyone wearing them I was hooked! I wanted sarongs! I love the colors and patterns and picture and designs, and I like how they keep you cool. In weather where it can be in the ninties and low hundreds, clothes are not friends. There is chaffing and rashes and just plain sweating!
But more. I love the fact that one of the ways R and I are a part of the Midwest Men’s Festival experience is that every year we bring them for sale—at incredibly affordable prices.
And the way that happened in kind of amusing. Our first Men’s Festival we showed up with money! I wanted a half dozen at least and I couldn’t wait. To my surprise there were no vendors at MMF. Not a single one. Goodness! It meant I only had three things to wear all of Festival! Girl!
When we got back a friend of ours, who is a vendor, asked us if we had a good time and I told her that my only disappointment was the sarong issue—that there were no vendors so I didn’t have any new sarongs.
She said, “Interesting. You know that is the only event out at camp that I can’t go to, being a woman. What if next year you vended for me, and for every five sarongs you sell, you guys can pick out one for yourselves.
We said, “Yes!”
And what was great was that because he trust the MMF/Faerie community so much, we knew we could just hang the sarongs up all over our camp on clotheslines, tell the men that when they saw one they liked they could just take it down and the when they saw us, pay for them then. There was that kind of trust!
A few years later our friend asked us if we just wanted to buy them from her and sell them ourselves. That made me way nervous and R was very excited about it and as it turned out we made enough to pay for the sarongs and have a little bit of seed money for the next year.
And that’s the way it’s been every year since. We sell them for very reasonable rates so that anyone can afford them. We are not in it for the money. We don’t vend anywhere else. Just one time a year. We only need to make our money back and if we make any money, that goes directly back into the purchase fund for next year’s sarongs.
What is really cool is that I don’t think we’ve had more than one or two stolen in all those year (ever ten). R was totally unconcerned and said something about how Walmart would be thrilled with that kind of shoplifting rate. LOL!
The attendees love it and many have told us that we are providing a community service. Not only for new people who had no clue how hot they were going to wind up being and, like me and my first Gaea event, knew nothing about sarong and what good things they were to wear at the height of summer out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. It’s also a souvenir for an attendees Festival. And finally, goodness gracious, how do you put a hundred plus gay men in the woods for over a week and not allow them to shop? We allow them an outlet for this vital need!
But no, what is really cool is seeing all these men wearing the sarongs that we brought to camp! And to see through the passing of years all the sarongs being worn and knowing a huge percentage of them were provided by us!
It’s really one of the very cool ways we are a part of the MMF community.
And finally…hey…beautiful near naked men in sarongs! What’s not to like.
Yes, yes, yes. Life is so full of wonderful and numerous things to be grateful for.
We just have to see it all with the right eyes.
Thank You Universe for helping me see with the right eyes.