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.