When my daughter, Rachel, was spending her tax refund money before it burned a hole in her pocket, she and I stopped at the local Cost Plus World Market to ransack their wares. We’d been to most of our usual haunts and couldn’t pass up visiting this perennial favorite. There are items there that can’t be had anywhere else. I like to buy the McVities Digestive Milk Chocolate Biscuits since it reminds me of living in England, and my husband really likes the German section since he was born in Germany. And Rachel, well, she just likes the place!
While perusing the pickles, I noticed a couple about my age, in the same aisle. Nothing spectacular, just your ordinary, middle-aged couple looking for some exotic pickles. Almost immediately after seeing them, my eyes were drawn to the woman’s purse. This purse was not your everyday purse. No. This purse was of a make and design that I have yearned and longed after for years. Has anyone ever heard of Dooney & Bourke? The Giraffe print? Yep. However, being the absolute cheapskate I am, I refuse to
pay retail on such designer products, so that means I go to eBay and look for gently used purses, and this particular design is about as hard to find as a great quality diamond at a department store. Yet here one was, in the flesh, looking oh, so pretty, and very well kept (angelic choir hitting high note). I walked with purpose to the couple and immediately remarked on the woman’s purse. I discovered she’d had it for 6 six years and how she loved it too.
I walked away, feeling I’d made a connection with another true Dooney & Bourke lover and didn’t think much of the conversation.
Later, (yes, we spend that much time there) I was approaching the couple again. They were looking at the dining tables and had negligently left the cart, with the purse alone in it, in the aisle. The husband saw me coming and, for no apparent reason, made a mad dash back to the cart as I walked by. My brows creased in consternation…what was that all about? And then, the only scenario I could think of popped into my head. The husband was protecting the purse from…me. I thought about our conversation and reviewed it for anything suspicious. I looked at my once pretty crocheted purse,
which is now battered up beyond belief because it comes everywhere with me, and it dawned me that, yes, in a parallel universe, maybe I would have thought of such a thing, but really, why would a thief alert their prey? Was I too friendly? Too jealous? Huh?
I started laughing as I tried to imagine a scenario that involved me snatching the purse. We were located about as far away from the exit as possible…well, that would be the wine section, but you get it. There were displays, rows of products, and people milling about between me and the door. That would just be damn stupid. And as for a quiet switch, again, I would have to make my way out of the building before she would notice that her purse was missing. There were so many others around, I don’t see how it could be done.
Am I not criminal-minded enough? Am I a pigeon looking to be plucked? Am I not careful enough of what I say? Unfortunately to the last one, I believe the answer may be “yes”. I saw a purse that I adored and thought I would remark on it. I like when people compliment my purse, and yes, it still happens, but I don’t think they’re looking to steal it! Maybe living in the sticks has changed my outlook? Possibly. Will I be more careful what I say to strangers? I seriously doubt it!! The moral of the story? Don’t approach strangers and rant about how beautiful their purse is and how you’ve always wanted one, unless you’re going to anyway, then expect people to act strangely if you get near them again.
Lesson not learned.