advice and good shoes
December 9, 2010 1 Comment
My new job in the world of retail is awesome. In just two shifts this week I had a troupe of three little ol’ ladies try to scam me into changing prices, a very elegant gentleman attempt a cash return while refusing to adhere to company policy and identify himself in any way, and while taking a break I walked out the door behind a sheriff guiding a young man in handcuffs.
This is fascinating stuff for a writer (me!) who has had manuscripts returned because the characters are all too nice. It’s highly important for me to walk on the dark side, but these experiences did not override my primary focus in this new stage of my life for good shoes. To work in retail it really is all about the feet. 🙂
However! Last evening I was eating in the break room while listening to an older woman advise a younger on the value of relationships. The advice was on how much to get from the man in comparison to how much the woman should give. The example was a pretty gold toned watch on the older woman’s elegant wrist when all she did was meet the man for dinner and give him a hug. Basically the advice was, if you don’t get a watch from a man for a hug, as a women you’re giving too much. This concept stuns me way more than the petty theft stuff.
The adviser left and the young girl was happy to share her woes with me as I kept my mouth full to keep quiet so I could listen and learn. The young woman did have a pretty ring from her ex-boyfriend and she was still paying his cell phone bill even though he dumped her months ago for another woman.
Of course the story is a lot more complicated than that, as most are, and I did nothing more than agree with some things, and gently disagree (with examples) at other ideas. But I did not advise her in any way. I do have two really beautiful rings as gifts from the man I’ve been married to for 30 years, but I was wearing neither since I’ve had knuckle issues so couldn’t show them as examples.
Later, I was completing a sale for an elegant woman who revealed her purchase was a gift to herself as a reminder of what she knows about men, but she forgot recently. Her new relationship had gone sour, and her last one ended in March – with a death. And in that momentary connection as I finished the transaction I blurted out than my friend is also a widow and while it’s five years now – she’ll be the director at the new beauty school opening across the parking lot next month.
I could tell that she was surprised she’d blurted out her trauma and I was surprised I felt compelled to respond with advice, by example, to enhance her career options. It was a stellar moment though only lasted 30 seconds. In a novel, this is what’s called the inciting incident.
This is the beginning of a story.
Rampant narcissism, scams and arrests, don’t inspire me. But a recent widow who suddenly decides to become – something… A story. Maybe even a reluctant romance. 🙂
Which means I’m right where I should be for this stage of my life and it’s time to invest in good shoes.