Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ageless Love

"Excuse me miss.  Do you have any New Balance shoes?" he asked, gently taking my elbow.
"For men or women?" I ask.
"Oh, for women.  You see, my wife has bad feet and needs a new pair of shoes," he answered.
I walk over to the crowded table, pointing to a bright pink stack of slim boxes.  "These are all the New Balance shoes we have for women.  What size is she?"
"I don't know.  She'll be along in a minute.  She's at another store, probably spending all of her money on clothes," he says with a good humored eye roll.
As he walks to another table and tries shoes on for himself, I begin to help other customers.  The store is rapidly filling up with potential customers now, and I have to keep track of everyone.  I always think big sales bring out the worst and best in people.  Living in a primarily Dutch community usually means big sales bring out the worst "money miser" side of people.  The old ladies have a hard time understanding that the phrase "All Sales Are Final!" means exactly that: no returns!  But still, they try to manipulate your words, claiming that you never told them about the no returns policy.

A child begins to scream on the other side of the room.  It's only about the fifth child to have a tantrum today.  This time mom and dad won't let her play with the yellow footballs in the bins.  I almost wish they would so she'd stop crying.  Not getting her way, the little girl stomps her feet all the way out of the store.  As she storms out, a boy and his mother pass them coming in.  I hear the mom say her son needs some basketball shoes.  I point them in the right direction and resume my sentinel post by the counter.  Five minutes pass, and I glance over at the mom and boy.  The boy is pissed because he can't get the shoes he wants.
"They're too expensive.  You're not getting them, especially since the season is halfway over," said the mom.
"Why don't you try these ones instead," she says hopefully.  The boy puts them on, all the while with a disgusted look on his face.
"How do they feel?"
"I dunno," replies the snotty son.  He just sits there, not moving or giving any feedback.
"Try these ones instead," says mom as she pulls out another pair.  "How do those ones feel?".
"I dunno.  The same, I guess" shrugs the boy.

Seriously?  Is this kid actually throwing a fourteen-year-old tantrum because he can't have a certain pair of shoes?  You've got to be kidding me.  Sure enough though, ten minutes later, the mom comes to the counter with the forbidden pair of shoes in hand.  I ring them up, all the while wanting to smash the kid on the head with the shoe box.  Like I said, sales usually bring out the worst in people.

Shortly after, I glance over to the corner of the store, spotting the old man who I helped earlier.  Now his wife is here, trying on shoes as well.  As I study them, I can't help but smile.  The husband is so concerned for his wife.  He keeps walking over to the shoe table, picking out various shoes to present to her.  He actually seems genuinely interested in which pair she chose.  As I look closer, I realize the man is holding his coat, her coat, a pair of shoes, and his wife's purse all at the same time...with a smile on his face!  His love for her is written all over his face and could be heard through his actions.  After a while, they both come strolling up to the counter, each with a pair of shoes under their arms.  I ring them up and send them on their way.  The leave the store, both smiling, arm in arm.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!  I thought it was about time to return to my blogging and get my creatvie juices flowing again, except now I will have to think harder about posts since there's no help from the holidays!  I've had a bit of hiatus and am ready to get back into the blogging world (whether you like it or not).  One thing I would like to ask of my readers is to post or e-mail me about anything you'd like me to write about.  If there are any specific themes or topics, or you just want to pass along an idea, I'd welcome and appreciate it.

Now that Christmas is over and life has returned to normal, I'm ready for the snow to go away.  Most years I'm the one who is wishing for snow to fall in October and the first one out to build a snowman.  After last year, however, I am not such a big fan.  We positively got dumped on last year.  Seriously, our town could've been mistaken for a town in Alaska, with mountanious drifts covering yards and entire houses almost buried in snow.  It seemed like as soon as I had scooped the driveway, we had another winter storm and all of my hard work was erased.  This year has been wonderful so far.  The snow is light and fluffy, and while it's not exactly conducive for snowman-making, it's a heck of a lot easier to scoop.  One thing that amazed me was that so far it seems like the Farmer's Almanac has been pretty accurate.  It predicted that we wouldn't have as much snowfall (which we haven't), but the temperatures would be colder (which they have been, especially today...brrr!).

The recent two feet of fresh fluffiness made the snowmobilers very happy.  There's a farm field on both ends of our street and we can always hear the high pitched whining of the machines as they tear across the fields.  I personally think that snowmobiling would be fun for the first ten minutes and after that, I would get extremely bored and cold.  I'm such a wussy when it comes to being cold. 

My brother and I went sledding today, which was a little fun (but don't tell my mom that) and this is the first year that it's almost impossible to tug him around on the sled.  He's grown up so much, and I guess I haven't realized it until I tried dragging him around .  It wasn't too bad today, though, because we sled on the driveway, which was coated pretty good with snow and ice.  I've tried to get him to sled down some of the big snow piles, but he's terrified of falling backwards and hurting himself.  I can't blame him, seeing as I've done that before and it freaking hurts.

This month might be an exciting one for me.  I entered an amateur poetry contest a few months ago and they are supposed to announce the winners sometime this month.  They've already told me that my poem will be published in an anthology, along with other poems, but I want to know if I placed in the finals.  I know that it's not likely, but I can still be excited until I know for sure.  Anyways, that's all I have for now.  I promise to post some interesting and fun things this year, and hopefully make some new blogging friends on here.  Lotsa love to everyone!