I read the lettering on the awning. I read the lettering on the door. I read the lettering on the Preferred Customer Card in my hand.
Then I walked in.
I made certain not to notice everyone noticing me. I scanned the shelves uncertainly, then made a little-lamb-lost-in-the-storm face at the woman behind the counter. “Could you help me?” I asked, at once humble and confident (the signature of charm). She smiled. “Sure. What is it?” I looked at the card, then at her. “My wife wanted me to pick up her – ” I paused, grinned at my ignorance, and made an ambiguous gesture. “Her – foundation?” She guessed, encouraging. “Yeah,” I leaned in and stage whispered the confession, “she asked me this morning if I remembered what kind, and I said ‘of course I do,’ but I don’t. But I don’t want her to know that,” and then I offered the card, “could you look that up?” She smiled again as she took the card, “Of course.” I beamed, a quarterback correctly answering a Trigonometry question.
She started typing just as someone else started tapping their fingernails on the counter – they duelled for a bit, then her voice declared it a draw: “It’s called medium beige. Let me get that for you.” She opened a drawer, took out a container, wrapped it up and handed it to me. “Thank you so much,” I gushed, like I was meeting a celebrity and getting out of a speeding ticket at the same time. “I’m glad I could help,” she said, stamping the card and charging my Visa. I thanked her again and thought,
I could just tell them it’s for me.
But then I couldn’t play this character anymore.
Oh, Ben. You have moved, haven’t you. I have to. Come see mine.
I’m glad you cleared that whole thing up for me at the end. I was thinking, you are not married… and I still have no idea what you are talking about. So congrats, your are mysterious as you allude to be.
*whispers* I’ve encountered that signature before, but never by anyone who held the pen as steadily as you, my friend…
Yeah, and you know what that woman was thinking? “Dang. All the good ones are taken.” I love you, bud.
“a little-lamb-lost-in-the-storm face”
You couldn’t make that face if you tried – hehehe
You should have said it was for me.
That would have got a much better reaction!