Since I am simply not possessed of the need to buy brand new sets of things like plates, glasses and silverware, I generally hit the the thrift store when I find I’m in need of an item in this category. It’s always an exciting trip, the thrill of possibly buying some oddly shaped, often antiquated household product that in most cases, is probably imbued with the spirit of some long lost family history.
This being the case, the other day I found myself rummaging through the dish section at just such a thrift shop, looking for a glass to soak brushes in acetone. The store was moderately crowded and by the time I was able to locate and pay for the perfect glass, a funnel-shaped thing with horizontal, inch-spaced beady lines going round the body, I saw that a couple of people were in front of me at the counter. Here a benevolent old lady cashier split conversation between an aging man and a thin, blonde-haired, middle-aged woman. There wasn’t a whole lot of quick checking-out going on.
The blonde-haired woman was of special interest, if for the reason that she seemed to notice some sense of impatience in my demeanor, a disposition I most certainly wasn’t trying to evoke. She had a pile of goods on the counter, yet she was still in the process of shopping for more goods; the little girl who was with her took charge of this task as she seemed to have a keen interest in a number of items.
At any rate, the blonde made it known that I was more than welcome to go ahead of her, to which I appreciatively accepted. As I set my glass on the counter, the old woman was still caught up in her conversation with the kindly old man, just about done with his purchase. I observed the situation with my usual consumer behavior, the kind that naturally flows when one finds themselves in line at the check-out stand. I glanced at items on the wall, I perused the phony jewelry in front of me, I listened to what was being said, yet most importantly, I noticed the thin bars in the wall behind the old woman which allowed for easy visual access to the other side of the store.
At this spot the blonde-haired woman aligned her thin face with one of the wide squares so that she could speak to the old woman, who was by now, accepting my money for the purchase of the glass I wanted to buy. The blonde had a calmly wild smile while her daughter, she was close by, inspecting the merchandise with a fledgling shopper’s eye.
“It seems like we come in here to shop all the time just because we need stuff,” said the blonde-haired woman. Her smile was brimming with light and she emitted the essence of the most ardent beneficence as she spoke. She kind of glanced at me as I waited for my receipt, but her gaze was truly bent towards the old woman. “But that’s not really why we come in here. My daughter and I, we wanted to tell you that the reason we come in here, is because we love you.”