As many of you know, I am and always have been quite partial to country and small town life...this memory from my teenage years makes me look back, smile and appreciate the people in my community even more than I already do...
I lived outside of town growing up and as a teenager I got a job at the grocery store...the same store that my Mom shopped at since I was tiny. Now, this was no ordinary grocery store...this was the ONLY grocery store in town and was run by a local family everyone in town knew...come to think of it, everyone in town knew EVERYONE anyway! This store had (and still has) 3 aisles and two cash registers...needless to say it was small. Although it was small, it was swarmed with locals...Saturdays usually saw a line up of older farm men, standing at the front of the store, waiting for their wives to finish their weekly shop after waiting for them to get their hair done, down the way at the beauty parlour.
One Thursday evening while I was working, Mrs. B (a lovely woman who was also the "Avon" lady) came into the store to pick up a few things and to give me the new Avon catalogue. After leafing through the book, I quickly placed my order for the new "Coal Black" liquid eye liner that was the new feature product...I wasn't a big make up "wearer" but I was giddy with excitement picturing the seductive "cat eyes" look that I could pull off for the upcoming Firefighter's dance the following week!
A few days passed, then one evening while I was stocking shelves, Mrs. B came in with that tell tale white Avon bag...as she approached, I mentally threw together an outfit to match my sassy new look for the dance...black harem pants, black Chinese slippers and a black oversized shirt, cinched at the waist with an extra wide "Pat Benatar" belt...it was 1988, black was going be my new colour and I was going to owe it all to "Avon"!! Beaming, I tore through the paper bag thinking "this is gonna be my year!"...suddenly it was as if a record needle was violently being ripped across my favourite Platinum Blonde album, when Mrs. B stated "I know you ordered the "Coal Black" liquid liner, but I took the liberty of ordering you the soft brown pencil instead...I don't think a nice girl like you should be wearing liquid black eye liner!"...of course, I swallowed hard, smiled and thanked her for the order and quickly threw together an ensemble to match my new soft brown pencil...cause, you know what? Mrs. B was right...black liquid eye liner would have made me look like Tammy Faye Baker but my 16 year old mind didn't know it then!
Memories like that make me see how much our little community was more like family, looking out for each other and for that I will always be grateful for growing up in a small town!