Just the other day I posted on Facebook that my two best tips for local authors are to 1. Don't leave home without them (books), and 2. Always look for the blessing in any book related situation, because there is always at least one.
Yesterday afternoon I gave a talk to the Widowed Persons social group in Richmond. There were 22 present, and almost all of them took part in my audience-participation activity. One thing that surprised me was that almost half of of the attendees were men. I think it's great that the fellas attend and take part. I guess it was a false stereotype on my part that it would mostly be women present. The group has been directed for 13 years by Edna Mikesell, and it is clearly her joy to lead.
So once the program ended, and it was time for anyone interested to pick up a signed book or stop by to chat, the lady above, Cindy, decided to purchase both books. She told me that she knew some folks in Liberty, and named the Brock family. I told her I have a cousin named Carol Brock. Carol's mom and mine were sisters.
Cindy couldn't believe it. "You're a Jobe?" she asked not far into the next layer of genealogy. She had no idea! To shorten the story, let's leave it that her grandmother, Mary, and my mother, Martha, were sisters. So that makes us distant cousins. It was a fun surprise we celebrated with a selfie and agreed to friend each other on Facebook.
After connecting with a relative, I decided to look around the Richmond Mall. The last time I visited there was probably 1981, the year we moved away from the area. But before that, I grew up with this the only mall we visited: For clothes, and appliances, for cloth to make 4-H clothes, for Christmas gifts.
You could have fooled me because it had changed so completely that I never would have recognized it had I not known where I was. One big change is the mall's anchor store, Dillard's. I had never been to a Dillard's! I had seen the store advertised in, I believe, southern-style magazines. Friend Sandy, who dresses so great, has referenced Dillard's several times.
So I went in to see what the fuss is about. I loved the place. The clothes called my name, and so did the attractive housewares. But what I really needed were, umm, undergarments. You know, umm, bras.
I walked around the nice umm, foundations department, lost in a sea of beige and black and aqua and every other color of underthings. This is the kind of department that leaves me frustrated, and maybe that is exactly why I don't buy new, umm, underthings very often.
The clerk was friendly and asked if I needed help. So I thought for a minute. Yes! Yes, indeed I do need help. I asked if I could be measured for the right bra size. My friend had done this very thing several years ago in Marshall Field's in Chicago, but I had never taken the plunge.
Maybe it was a combination of the lovely department store, or the fact that I didn't need to rush home, or that my own bra's wire was stabbing me in the back. No, make that side!
Being measured for a bra size is a discreet process, and within moments I learned why my bras didn't fit like gloves. Not only were they old and had spent too many rounds in the washer and dryer when they should have been hand-washed and hung up to dry, but they were the wrong cup size, along with the wrong width! Who knew?
When she brought me a suggested bra, to try on for confirmation of size and adjustment, I knew that I had been trying to fit the girls into a Pinto, and my Porsche had just arrived!
It fit so well I wore it home ... and bought two more.
Then today, I had what I figured would be another potentially tough mission. In March, we bought Ben a birthday suit. Ha! I wonder how often people get birthday suits for their birthdays. A very nice Macy's at Castleton employee, Anita, who specializes in men's clothing, helped us out and fitted Ben for the new ensemble..
Well, Sunday he brought home the pants part of the suit. There was a rip in the back, and not in the seam, either. He didn't think he snagged it on anything. The tear is a mystery and even a fantastic seamstress couldn't fit it to look right. I decided to take the pants back to the store and see if there was any kind of discount or provision to be made.
No offense to any other clerk, but I didn't want them. I only wanted Anita. I spotted her and she asked if she could help me! Bingo! She even remembered me! I told her that the suit is beautiful and that Ben even landed a new job in it. However, we had a problem. She took a look at it, and said we could swap them out for another pair. She found the right size and color, did the paperwork, and after I thanked her and took a picture of her holding the new pants and giving the thumbs up to text Ben, I walked out one happy customer.
So if you need a new suit or help in men's clothing, go see Anita. Tell her I sent you.
Then in Penney's, on my way to the car, I happened upon a table of capris in exactly the style I like, with plenty of color choices and my size available. Hot dog! They were on sale for $17.99 each! I picked up two pair. But at the register, my two capris rang up to $99! I told the clerk that wasn't right. She did some computer work and the total came to $28 and change. I told her that still wasn't right, and that I would owe more. She repeated the price of $28 and change!
Three great shopping experiences in a row.
Now I need to stay out of the stores for a while!