True stories with a twist!

Posts tagged ‘SHOPPING’


She marched toward me determinedly and forcefully, scowling as she approached. One look at her warring demeanor signaled danger. News headlines of random attacks around the world entered my mind as I warily watched her approach. She advanced and came closer, glaring into the mirror. She dared it to reflect an image of a young model posing in magazines. She didn’t want to see the image she saw of herself in the dress as it maneuvered its way around her bumpy, untoned body.

Then I realized that his woman was no terrorist; she was a frustrated soul trying to look her best, and her reality was not helping her cause.

The indifferent mirror patiently awaited the next image seeker. A timid woman approached, squeamishly raising her eyes to see the transformation she hoped for. She approached the mirror as Dorothy approached the Wizard of Oz, full of hope that the image would be a flattering one. As she pleadingly reviewed the results, the mirror reflected the cruel truth. With a breath of disappointment she turned back to her dressing room to try on the next dress.

 Did each woman in that shop looking at her own image wish she could hit “Delete?”

An optimistic shopper arrived next. As she approached the mirror and smiled at her image she was confident and knew who she was. The woman was not particularly attractive, but had poise and a quiet, elegant appearance. She glanced at herself from the front view, then each side and back views as she appraised the outfit and how it looked. One (out of seventeen customers) people in the shop was happy! Others were sure that the mirror lied or had a secret alternate agenda.

“Does this come in extra large?” came a voice from the dressing room across the hall.

“Can I order this skirt about two inches longer?“ came another.

“I want the same style with more room in the hips.”

Such anticipation. So much hope. The unending search to find something flattering to wear. Something that will fool reality into believing that time has not taken its toll, aging doesn’t create changes in muscle tone, and people don’t shrink.

As for me, I was successful. I found a shawl in a neutral color, a soft fabric and without any size or shape restrictions.


Euphoria. Disbelief. Fantasy.

I’ve got all those feelings. And from the least likely place I can imagine. A department store.

Normally I leave a department store feeling any number of ways: guilty for spending too much, silly for impulsive buys I made, let down for being unable to find the perfect outfit. But I don’t feel that way today.

The occasion is Bloomingdales’ Home Sale. The perfect opportunity to be focused on a list of specific items I need to find. My own private treasure hunt. If the list is long enough I will be too busy to be distracted by frivolous merchandise. Stuff that some day will wind up on a shelf in a garage sale.

Think of the donut maker you had to have, I warn myself. Stay focused and don’t wander.

I’ve been wanting a cappuccino maker for a very long time. Years ago we received one as a gift, but it was so difficult to use, and impossible to clean, that I sold it in our last garage sale.

But this one is different. I have been served wonderful cappuccino in friends’ homes, and even at my hairdresser’s salon. I have seen how easy it is to prepare and how simple to clean. It is always a special treat to order a cup of cappuccino at a restaurant; why not enjoy that pleasure at home?

Knowing what I wanted, understanding the purpose of my visit I walked purposefully into Bloomingdales. Because of my parking space’s location I had to speed walk right past the jewelry department. Fine and costume. And the designer handbag department. And the cosmetics department, just to reach the escalator to the home department. So far I am still empty handed; no trinket has managed to seduce me.

Straight to the coffee machines, and onwards to the sought after cappuccino maker.

All is well and on schedule. I purchase the machine, put the box into the trunk of my car, and go back inside to search for cappuccino cups. On the way I pick up a few brand new dish towels at 20% off.

The cup search, though, was not as direct or fruitful; either the cups were tiny enough for only straight espresso with no space for foamy, frothy milk, or they were the size of normal coffee cups: too large. I was beginning to feel like Goldylocks in the Three Bears children’s story. Too large, too small, but where was the “just right?”  I  wasn’t able to find what I was looking for by myself, so I asked a saleswoman if the store sells Cappuccino cups. And that is when it happened.

The heroine of my story was standing there, waiting to pay for a boxed set of dishes at the 20% off sale price. When she heard my question she turned to me and said,

“Would you like the cups in this set of dishes? They’re too small for me. I like my coffee in a large mug.”


Is this real? Is this stranger offering me a set of 16 brand new cups?  People don’t walk around offering strangers brand new coffee cups from brand new boxes of dishes.

But she did and she was. Free.

I pointed to the dishtowels I bought and humbly asked, “Would you like a towel?”

A store employee  appeared to help her carry the large box to her car. He opened the sealed box and removed two cardboard boxes of cups. The saleswoman wrapped them in bubble wrap, put them in a double shopping bag and handed the bag to me.

And that was that. I still can’t quite believe it.


Posted on 2010/12/22

I love Morristown the week before Christmas.

The town Green is colorfully decorated, the sounds of sweet seasonal music echo from shops and restaurants, and the energy of hurrying, mission motivated people is everywhere.

On Christmas Eve fire trucks make neighborhood rounds with sirens blaring. Santa is stationed on top, ho ho hoeing while tossing colorfully wrapped holiday candy to onlooking children.

But what I really love is the welcoming white puffy bags tied around each meter saying “Seasons Greetings. Free Parking. Two Hour Limit”. Saving a quarter never feels as good as the gift of free parking in a busy town.

The week before Christmas, as I drive down Speedwell Avenue expecting to go around the corner to the public parking lot I couldn’t believe my eyes or my good fortune. In front of Century 21, right before me, was a car pulling out of a spectacular parking space. It pulled out of the spot, I pulled in, and joyfully jogged into the store. Knowing exactly what I needed, I chose my merchandise and just a few little extra treats, and exited toward my perfect parking spot.

But as I approached it I saw a truck the size of a supine Empire State Building, double parked alongside my car. I signaled the man in the truck’s passenger seat that he was blocking my car and I wanted to leave.

He made the signal for “He’ll be back in a few seconds”: the thumb and index finger indicating a small amount of time. Evidently the man in the passenger seat couldn’t speak English and couldn’t drive the truck.

Squeezing between the truck and my car, I opened the door and sat inside awaiting the promised instantaneous return of the driver. While waiting I checked home messages on my cell phone, crossed items off my “to do” list, and then, and then … hey: where is this driver???? It’s been 20 minutes of confinement in my perfect parking space prison.

That was when I called the Morristown Police. The officer took the information about my incompliant incarceration and dispatched a patrol car. It couldn’t have been more than sixteen seconds after my call that I saw flashing lights and black shiny boots walking toward the truck. He spoke to the man in the passenger side and than walked to my car, which was immobilized behind the behemoth vehicle.

“How long have you been stuck here?” he asked. I told him. He said, “I’m going to give him a ticket and call a towing service to get him off the street.” He walked back to the truck, climbed in, and drove several lengths forward, enabling me to move my car back onto the street.

I was free again! Free to move around, free to drive.

Suddenly I know the exhilarating feeling the early settlers had when they saw the flag waving, bugle blowing cavalry riding across the plains to their rescue!

Thank you, Morristown Police Department for freeing me.

And to all, have a beautiful, healthy, and fun-filled 2012.

On the anniversary of one year WordPress I resubmit my first blog.

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I never thought it could come to this. How could a little action on my part, or maybe a few actions on my part, derail the entire government of Italy?  As I read the headlines about their financial disaster and the thought that these economic problems could sink their government and even cause a collapse of the Euro in Europe, I hang my head in shame.

The fact that all this dire news that is shaking the world was a problem that I caused is humiliating and embarrassing. How can a few harmless acts destroy an entire country?

A whole continent?

It all started with my boots. Boots? Yes, I kept hearing about the quality and superiority of Italian leathers. On a trip to Italy I sampled these luxuries. They were soft. So soft that I could imagine wearing them as bodywear rather than footwear. Could I ever wear any other leather once becoming acquainted with Italian leathers?

This is a rhetorical question.

So I bought some and charged them to my Visa card. Don’t ask me to define ”SOME.”

After the leather find I discovered Italian silk. Near the town of Como were fabulous silk factories. Italian silks are so fine that fashion houses around the world order them for their runway collections. Could I return to the United States without buying my family and friends some of these luxuries? Another rhetorical question. I could do no such thing. So I charged more sales to the reliable Visa card.

We all love pasta, but Italian pasta and the piquant tomato sauce served with it was such a sensation that I had to share some with my friends back home. It’s a marvel that even delicate, perishable items can be shipped across the ocean. Obviously Italian goods were meant to be sent back home. I’m not the only one who does this!

By the time I was ready to leave Italy I singlehandedly boosted the Gross National Product to its all time high. There was rejoicing in the streets. it was like the New Orleans Mardi Gras without the trumpets.

But then the boom dropped.

Reliable Visa rejected my entire shopping spree. They recognized that this kind of spending did not match my regular pattern, and voided the whole amount before I could disagree.

My Visa rejection is what started the economic downfall of a beautiful, romantic and stylish country.

Vaya Con Dios, Italia. Scuzzi!

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