my table was in front of the soy handmade candles for $42. The tablecloth displaying my jewelry was what my dad’s mother gave me when i was about 3 years old. She lived in southern italy on the farm where my father was raised. She told me when i got married i could use the hand stitched virgin white tablecloth and matching napkins. I never used it. Could you imagine if i got this dirty? I would be sick. This represented the life i never had when my parents came to the united states and gave birth to my sister and me.
Using the tablecloth seemed appropriate today. My gift from my nonna 50 years ago to lay my jewelry on top of. The jewelry i started making from the most beautifully unique shells i found this summer. Added some beads to make the colors of the shells pop. The tablecloth was steamed on site by my husband. his face so beautiful in the sunlit store. This was my 5-hour chance to convince the store to carry some of my jewelry.
When getting dressed this morning, my sister called.
“Now, try and look rich. Good luck!” After years of not talking to me, she had no choice but to text me. I supported her recently when she was clearly in the wrong. She is my sister, and I am fiercely loyal. For now, I receive funny texts. We both inherited my dad’s sense of humor. Biting and unforgiving.
I wore a stylish tan hat to match the sand i find shells, black tights, a tank, and a long sweater. I had to wear tanks. This fucking introduction to menopause leaves me sweaty at all times of the day. I wore my platform sneakers which i even magic erased the soles so they would look newer.
“Well, this is fucking it. Let’s go!” I looked in the mirror and walked down the stairs from our condo to the car.
“Excuse me, I hate to bother you. Can I just get behind you to look at that candle. Maybe just move a bit more to the left. Okay! Got it.”
I wish from my deepest humiliated ego that i could tell you this only happened once. It happened 4 times.
Young kids loved the way the shells looked shiny and how the beads represented breathing, living things in the ocean.
“Daddy, look! I want to try this on!”
“Honey these are rings are for big girls.”
I looked up and informed him that were adjustable. He said they were nice but told his daughter they were shopping for something else. I would imagine it’s probably the trivet over there for $30.
When a saw another young girl who was eyeing a different ring, I asked her if she wanted to try it on.
“Can I? I love the silver band the blue beads reflect the shiny white shell.”
“It looks so cute on you!” I didn't see a parent with her. She was probably no older than 8.
“Well, I don't have the money right now on me.”
“Love, I want to gift this to you. It brought my so much joy to make it. I want you to feel that joy.”
She teared up a bit. So, did I. Later, I saw her in the parking lot near the store. Still alone. It was getting colder, and she didn’t have a coat.
“How’s it going? Are you famous and rich yet,” my sister text.
“I am in the red for $30 as I gave a ring away. Can you call in a bomb threat, so this day can fucking end.”
“No!!! Did you dress rich?” I snapped a quick selfie and sent it to my sister.
“You like a country singer! What happened to rich?”
I laughed and coughed at the same time. I've had this fucking sinus infection for 3 months. Consequently, I was asked to move to the left again, so another asshole could smell a different $42 candle.
I walked outside and told my husband and my friend Jenn who came out for my epic fail that i was ready to leave. Jenn begged me to stay another 15 minutes. That i just needed a few people that loved my pieces as much as she does to come in the store. I don’t know if you have a colleague who happens to be your friend who will be empathetically honest. If you do not know Jenn than you probably don’t.
i sat back down at my table next to the cash register. The amounts people in this store were spending was absurd. $111.22 on coasters and a bottle of local liquor. whatever the fuck local liquor is. I was so fucking hot even with a tank on that i left my table and went outside. It’s not like anyone would buy something. or steal anything.
Bill and Jenn walked back from the best pastry shop in DC with an iced latte and some cookies. I had a bite of the best pistachio cookie ever. i was so happy to sit outside. I was packing up, a young 20 something bought a ring. I gave her a discount and thanked her for buying something.
“It’s really so pretty.”
“Thanks love. It looks so nice on you. It was joyful to make.”
I told the assistant manager i was outta here. I gifted her a ring which. I didn’t want to. I did anyway.
“You are leaving so early?” I couldn't believe hipster assistant manager half my age asked me this inane question.
“Love today was embarrassing. I have been through some hard shit in my life, so I will be sad on the car ride for like 5 minutes. Then I will be fine. It’s time for me to go.”
“Well, in the spring we do some women focused….” I walked away as she was speaking.
I did what any self-respecting 52-year-old woman would do and unfollowed the store. Removed all posts, videos, anything that would remind me at a later date what a shit show today was.
I poured a glass of french sauvignon blanc when i got back home. I added ice, fucking heat flashes, makes me only enjoy ice cold drinks. I stared at the rings, bracelets, and necklaces that I quickly shoved back in the plastic tote in such a hurry at the store. They looked, I don’t know, pathetic. I sat on the bedroom floor looking at myself in the floor length mirror. i will admit i looked like a country-esque. I listen to rap music. I fucking hate country music. Why did i wear this?
I decided to pack up my jewelry respectfully. the rings safely in the felted inside of my new jewelry box. Unraveling my tangled necklaces with j cole in the background. I put on the cuff bracelet that bore a huge, jagged shell. I loved this bracelet. It’s my fuck you bracelet. Fuck you if you don’t like me or my jewelry.
It took me a week to make another piece. While making the ring, i thought of the woman who walked in the shop wearing a real Louis Vuitton scarf. probably cost $800. She went straight for a $22 hand towel, $48 rolling pin, and a locally made sweater for her dog. A $66 sweater at that. I was near the register when she walked by. She stopped. Looked at one of my bracelets and said “cute.”
I did not look up. I just stared at her ugly dog. I heard her telling someone outside that his leg gives out only sometimes and he needs wool sweaters since he sheds his wirey, thin hair. Another laugh with a cough came out. this time, i had no desire to cover my mouth.