“Where’s the photography exhibition?” a middle-aged American couple asked me. I’d noticed them earlier because they were wearing shorts, even though yesterday was a chilly, windy day. Before they walked away she turned to me and said, “I love your necklace. Its beautiful.”
As it was Valentine’s day, I wore a “heart” necklace Mr F bought me many years ago.
“And I love your earrings too,” she said. I had on red earrings.
“Thank you,” I said, “If you like my jewelry, I think you’d most probably like to see what I’m reading?”
“My god, how did you know I always ask my friends for titles of books?” she said.
Without saying a word, her husband sat down on the bench opposite my satellite store.
She was one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. She told me her name was Joanie, they were from Minneapolis, and had come to Los Angeles to visit their son who’d recently moved here, and as she bent down to look at my book – Radical Acceptance by Tara Bloch – she first complimented me on my glasses (honestly!)
Her phone rang while we were discussing whether it mattered which one of Thich Nhat Hanh‘s many books one should start with. She walked away to take the call.
“It was my son,” she told me after she’d finished the call. “We were supposed to meet at the museum this afternoon, but he called to say he was stuck in traffic and wasn’t going to get here in time. He suggested perhaps doing something this evening, but I heard his girlfriend shouting in the background that it’s Valentine’s tonight. I told him we’d see him tomorrow.”
Joanie recommended a book called “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese which I’ve read and can also recommend.
[Another woman earlier yesterday told me to read, “Mountains beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder (“the true story of Dr Paul Farmer“).]
At the end of the day I served a young couple. The young man, who was wearing one of those knitted caps with flap thingie’s over the ears, had such a baby face he looked as though he were still a teenager, and even when they came up to my register, his girlfriend, who had beautiful long blonde hair, continued hugging and kissing him.
I smiled at them, “I can see you’re enjoying Valentine’s day,”
In reply the young woman jumped up and down, and waved her left hand, and said something I couldn’t hear, but I noticed she had the most gorgeous deep blue eyes.
She got impatient waiting for me to answer, leaning forward she said in a breathless rush, “Look what I just got. He just proposed to me. In the garden. Here. Now. At the museum. Look at my beautiful ring. Ohmygod..!!!!” and once more wagged her left hand, which I finally understood was shorthand for “oh my god look at my engagement ring“.
As I congratulated them, and shook their hands I realized I must be the first person they’d shared the good news with, so I leaned over and hugged them, and they cuddled some more, and giggled happily. When I looked at the people patiently waiting in line behind them I saw Robin, one of the gallery teachers, was next in the line. I called her to join in the celebration.
“Did you say yes?” Robin asked.
I didn’t need to ask that question, because this young girl’s eyes were shining like stars, and she kept staring at and rubbing the ring on her finger like it was *magic*.
I don’t know whether it’s just me, but it seems as if everyone’s pregnant these days.