I haven’t talked too much about my time in Glen Ellyn (a beautiful, WEALTHY suburb of Chicago).
I worked for a British woman named Jane at tiddlywinks & scallywags. She designed girl’s clothes and I set up shop.
We worked great together in that we were creative in different areas, and we worked horribly together in that neither of us wanted to deal with people.
I also worked for Melissa. Girlfriend cray.
We’re absolute polar opposites and I appreciate that about her. Man does she have a personality on her….
And then there was Michael. He owned Cottage Gardens, a totally gnarly garden shop. It. Was. Spectacular. I think it was an old meat-packing plant. High brick walls. A giant glass domes ceiling. Fountains. Trees. Plants. Michael could be one of my brothers. We’re practically twins.
I worked HARD on those flowers. Such grueling labor!
Really it would have been great, but I learned that 75% of people who want flowers are total jackwagons.
One customer in particular was NOT like that. His name was Carl and he’d come in regularly.
He was in his 60′s and wealthy. Had a bit of the Bruce Jenner thing goin on with the plastic surgery…..
His face just didn’t fit him if you know what I mean. And it was so drastic that people stared which made me want to punch them in the neck. Or maybe its just because they were all jerks buying flowers….
Anyway, Carl would stay and talk and bla bla bla. I liked the guy.
But one day I was working by myself in the store. Scrubbing the floors probably….
…when an older, nervous-looking woman walked in.
It took me about .00002 seconds to realize……
…that this woman was Carl.
And another 1.32 seconds to think a bunch of weird stuff….
And then I had to abandon that thought process in order to decide what on earth to say.
Man, I had no warning! Give a girl some warning will you?!
Should I say “Congratulations!” Or nonchalantly act like I don’t know who he/she is?!?!?
But man it had been like 4 seconds since she spoke to me and I was starting to look stupid. I was finally all….
And I decided that J would D love. So I hugged her/him and told her/him how great her/his hair looked and then she/he proceeded to tell me about the 10 years of surgery he/she had gone through and how she’d/he’d lost friends and sometimes he/she would curl up in a ball and cry.
Just about broke my heart. Not that he/she had switched seriously valuable reproductive tools, but that anyone would have to go through their life with the kind of angst that would make them go through years of pain and public ridicule just to MAYBE be comfortable in their own skin.
I have to say that as soon as I got a good look at her, her face made sense. She was dressed modestly and didn’t have gobs of makeup on. She looked naturalish.
And she was still totally my favorite customer.