Yes, dear readers, I can honestly say I've had lots of different experiences in my life but yesterday I had an altogther new one. That's hard to do when you're as old as I am. Mostly, you've been round the track a time or two in the experience game.
My sister and I were going to meet up with my mom for a birthday lunch celebration but first she had to undergo some testing. While she was having her tests done my sister and I did some shopping. First we went to a quilt shop that was housed in a big, old Italianate farmhouse on the edge of town. This is always a dangerous activity for me because I like fabric better than diamonds. The problem is, I'm already drowning in fabric.
And I said to you:
"If you EVER hear me say I'm going out to buy fabric, you have my permission to cut a switch and invite me to join you behind the tool shed where you can beat the living sense back into me."
Thankfully you don't have to cut a switch. I'm safe because I left the quilt shop without any fabric or patterns!
From the quilt shop we headed over to a fabulous gift shop. It's very, very large and filled with literally millions of dollars of inventory including beautiful and unusual handbags, jewelry, gourmet food items and more! What was it I just said about liking fabric better than diamonds? Or funky handbags?
The owner employs lots of people and he was standing behind one of the counters as we entered the store. He's very gregarious and acknowledged us heartily as we entered. Let's just say he left no doubt that you'd been GREETED.
My sister and I walked around, amazed at some of the finer costume jewelry, including Judith Jack's stunning collection of marcasite. The store is a labyrinth of aisles and soon we found ourselves in the Brighton area. The owner walks through on his way to the back of the store.
"Hi ladies. Would you like a nice cold beer?" he asks.
HUH????? I can honestly say I've never heard a shop owner asking a customer if they'd like a beer. Perhaps this happens in a bait shop or a hunting/fishing establishment but not in an upscale gift shop.
"They're nice and cold and when you open it the neck of the bottle fills with beautiful ice crystals.'
My sister wisely declines the offer and his attention turns to me.
"So that's a yes?"
For some totally inexplicable reason I say yes. Perhaps it was because I was having one of those ready-to-self-immolate hot flashes and maybe I thought he meant root beer.
You must understand how crazy this is, number one because it's only 11:30 a.m. and secondly I DON'T DRINK BEER. I can count on one hand the number of beers I've had in my life. This shop owner seems to be the kind of guy that could sell ice to an Eskimo.
My sister and I round the next corner of showcases and there he is, like he promised, holding out an ice cold beer. Now I'm stuck.
At least it's not something low brow like Pabst (do they still brew that?). It's a Sam Adams Summer Ale, promising to be light and refreshing. I take a sip.....yep, it's beer. Since I'm not a connoisseur all beer tastes alike to me.
At this point I am very aware of the visual image I present to other customers. I don't see ONE other customer sipping on a beer! Has he singled me out because I look white trash enough to be drinking in a nice gift shop? More customers arrive. These people tell the owner they're staying at the nearby resort hotel. Great. They approach and their eyes hone in on the brewski. Maybe they're wishing they had one. Probably not.
I wind my way to the back of the store where I spot an older sales clerk. She sees the anguish on my face.
"He gave me a beer," I state with a tinge of pleading in my voice. "He gave me a beer and I don't know what to do with it. I've got to leave to pick my mother up and I'm driving."
"I know honey," she says. "It's OK. The coffee maker is broken and he's offering customers beer instead."
At least the man provided me with a new experience and a funny story to tell. I had a beer for breakfast. Actually it would be more accurate to say that I had half a beer for breakfast.