Monday, November 24, 2008

The women in my life - part 5

The ladies in retail

Rosie serves me at the cleaners. No matter when I go there – mornings, evenings, Saturdays, Sundays she is always there. She calls me Mrs. Sharpless, but I don’t mind. I like that she provides good service and good value and always with a smile. She is a tiny woman with red hair, always worn up off her face. And, she moves like lightening – from the back cleaning area, to the counter, to the racks of cleaned and ready clothes. There is never a hesitation. She knows me when I walk in the door and knows exactly where to find the clothes I’m there to pick up. That’s what I call good service.

Vivian used to serve Bob in the men’s department at Nordstrom, but she branched out in the last year or so to also serve women as a personal buyer. I really love that she’s so ready and willing to go shopping for me because it’s one of the things I dread doing. She lets me know when a big sale is coming up, I call back with a few things I’d like her to find for me, and we’re off and running. I don’t buy much from her, but when I do go over there it’s practically painless. Vivian is vivacious and caring and very glamorous with long flowing brunette hair and a drop dead figure. She’s always concerned about how Bob and I are. Also, she still waits on him when he comes into the store. She knows exactly what he likes.

Brenda is my jeweler. Every woman needs one. Actually, Brenda started out as a friend whom I first met in the 6 am aerobics class I used to take at our local tennis club. But, when I heard from an aerobics classmate that he always bought his wife’s jewelry from Brenda, I had to check her out. And, I’ve never been sorry. She has beautiful taste and designs. Recently she produced a piece for me that receives constant compliments – mostly from perfect strangers. It’s something I’ll be proud to wear for the rest of my life. But, besides being a talented and respected jeweler in our community, Brenda is one of the finest human beings I know. After the crash of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, Brenda took on the task of repairing, cleaning, putting together the pieces of jewelry found at the sight so they could be returned to the victims’ families. It was such a tearjerker of a job. I came into her store when she had just begun work on the third batch, and she showed me the over 20 pieces – broken and squashed beyond recognition in a baggie still holding residue of the ground where the plane crashed. But, she said with tears in her eyes, she would do anything to fix these bits and pieces so that the survivors could have some sort of memento from their lost loved ones. I’ve written a piece about this experience. One of these days I’ll post it here.

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