Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stars Upon Close Inspection


At the grocery store the other day (a place that I don't go to often and scares me a little), the cashier who was ringing up my meager purchases said, Hon', you're lucky you're not married. I can tell by your groceries." She brandished my Yoplait Chocolate Whipps (Light as air! the package says, but I buy them because they don't require any work) as proof. "Men are always chewing your ass about what you forgot. When I got engaged, I told my husband 'I don't bake. I don't sew. I don't iron.'" I'm always partial to women who call me hon' and this one was no exception. I smiled at her and told her I'd do the same as she had if my time should come, that I'd list in long detail what I would not do. She had her jet-black hair that was laced with gray styled into a bowl cut and her fingernails had stars of blue glitter on them, each one running into the next so you could only tell they were stars upon close inspection.

I used to think it was strange how many people gave me unsolicited advice, personal stories, or asked my opinion about extremely personal matters especially while browsing the feminine products section at the old CVS. "Do you like that brand? Because I'm sick of mine." Stuff like that. But I don't wonder anymore. There's an old saying that if you like to tell stories, stories will come to you. And that's what I love, of course. The precise detail, the good parts. Standing in line at a grocery store, my life ticking away, second by second. The stories of the famous and the dead lining the shelves along with tips on making Valentine's cookies or spicing up your sex life. It's all there for us to enjoy until we make our way into the cold night lit up by stars which are usually obscured by clouds and lights, but you know they are there and that, strangely, is enough.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"As for me, I could leave this world with today in my eyes." Truman Capote

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: My Funny Valentine Chet Baker

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!

7 comments:

JAM said...

I've lived in Florida 11 years, and there's nothing southern about this place.

A few years ago when we went to Atlanta for a long weekend, the lady checking us into the hotel was "honey" and "darling" us to death. I literally got tears in my eyes it had been so long since a motherly southern type had done that.

Not that your cashier was southern, but the "hon" thing is big in the south as I'm sure you know.

When I'm checking out of the grocery store, the cashiers usually remark at how much meat I'm buying. I just laugh it off, but I guess I'm my father's son in that regard. Lots of red meat.

Cheri said...

I love those types of women.


And your photo, its beautiful!

Anonymous said...

While waiting in the doctors office for my husband to get his shot, one of the staff sailed in and spoke kindly but loudly to a woman nearby. She brought with her a powerful whiff of powder and perfume and an exhuberance that made me think of my now dead sister-in-law. Today was a day when saying honey and darlin realy meant something.

Sheila said...

aww you look so beautiful in this picture michelle!

Mr. Whipple said...

I love grocery stores, especially the paper products aisle. I always try to make eye contact with customers and ask if I may help them. Of course, I always offer one or two cautions about their shopping experience, if you know what I mean.

eric1313 said...

I'd be all about the chocolate whipps, anyone who would complain about them needs to live on mac n cheese and banquet potpies for a month.

IVY said...

Thank you for stopping by.. It was a nice refresher to find your words on a post.. Blogs can feel so lonely sometimes especially if like me you write at night alone about things you havent told anybody.
"There's an old saying that if you like to tell stories, stories will come to you. And that's what I love, of course. The precise detail, the good parts."
This entry was lovely, your writing is warm and vital. I have had some of the best conversations start on the edge of revealing too much too soon. Of course when somebody comes up to you and says something like that and you identify there is this recognition that goes on, as you don't react strangely or rudely to them being overt, and they see that you are not acting like you are behaving so "out of the ordinary" if you understand what I'm saying..
But it can also be scary. Imagine if every person you met started out by blurting some confession.. Maybe I would not be friends with a lot of people I'm friends with and likewise would have friends I wouldnt have dreamt I had so much in common with.