Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Matter of Perspective

Tales from the Cutting Counter:  An older couple comes up with a bolt of vivid orange cotton.  We carry several lines of solids;  the one they have is the top line.  She asks for a yard and a half;  I cut it, print the cutting ticket.  "This is $8.00?!?" she exclaims.  I examine the ticket.  "Yes," I say.  "Eight-Oh-Six.  That's thirty percent off the regular price."  She looks at her companion.  "She's going to kill me for spending this much."  They leave the fabric and ticket on the counter, and heads back into the fabric aisles.  Back they come with two other orange bolts.  After much discussion, they decide that the other oranges are not bright enough and their first choice is the best. "What are you making?" I ask.  "A windsock for my brother's runway," she says.  "My mother makes them.  She has to make a new one every couple of years because they fall apart from being outside all the time."  "So, your brother is a pilot?" I ask.  "Yes."  "And he needs a windsock so that he can take off and land safely?"  I look her straight in the eye.  "Well, yes."  "Spend the $8.00."  "Thanks."  And off they go, feet firmly on the ground, but thinking of the brother, up in the air.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It Takes a Village

Tales from the Cutting Counter:   Monday, I was "back in the stacks" as we say, putting something away in an aisle in the depths of the upholstery department. Two young girls, high school aged, stopped me.  They were draped over a shopping cart as if they had no bones, phones firmly in hand, giggling, sighing, being teenagers.  "I need your help," the one in quite fashionable glasses said to me.  "Sure," said I.  "What can I do for you?"  She began her long, sad story.  She needed to do a project for an art exhibition at her school on Saturday. She was going to redecorate her bedroom for her project. "My room is blue and green, and I have some blue and green Japanese lanterns,"  she said.  "What else should I do?" It was quite obvious that she had waited a bit too long to start her exhibit, and she was trying not to panic. I pointed to her iPhone.  "See this?  There are a million ideas in your hand," I said.  She wailed.  "I have spent hoooouuuurrrrrsss on Pinterest!"  "Well," I said, "there are three things I don't do."  Her friend began to snicker.  "I don't clean litter boxes.  I don't shovel snow.  And I don't do homework."  The friend howled with laughter. "I told you she wouldn't do it!"  I pointed out a big fixture full of home-dec books.  "Start there," I said.  The poor art-project girl looked me in the eye.  "Were you a teacher?" she asked, suspiciously.  "Nope.  Just a mom." And I smiled and walked back to the cutting counter.