I was out doing errands this afternoon and two of the stores I visited hit me hard. Jody needed a small piece of foam to provide cushioning between sores on her chin and chest. Our VON nurse Henry suggested the dollar store. So I walked into Dollar Tree shortly after noon. It had been years since I’d been in such a place and I was eager to see what’s what.
The overhead lights were really bright. Oh well. Lots of stores are like that. Then I started down an aisle. I intended to scan all the offerings on either side, looking for foam or sponge or something that would give my dear wife relief. Instead I stopped halfway down. I felt assaulted by neon bags everywhere, hanging on hooks to a height of seven feet or so, screaming their brilliant rainbow selves at me. I expelled some air in a ghastly cloud of revulsion. And any spiritual energy that was bubbling inside me leaked out too.
Shoulders slumped and soul depleted, I wandered down corridor after corridor, trying to see what was in those bags. Eventually, eight sponges of the genus red, blue and yellow drew my eye, if nothing else. “That’ll do,” I muttered. And $1.25 plus tax later, I escaped. Exhausted.
“Just a little sensitive are you, big boy?” a voice inside intoned. Well, I guess I am.
Farther along on my travels, I needed to go to OK Tire to have Scarlet’s lugnuts tightened after the switch to winter tires a couple of days ago. I opened the door onto a lower light situation. No shouting bags, just some tire posters plus a few stackable chairs beside a serviceable coffee table. But then there was Brian standing behind the counter. A huge smile lit his face, and it got even bigger when I shared “I’m here to have my nuts tightened.”
I first came into OK Tire a few months ago, with a nail problem. Brian greeted me like royalty. Glad to see me, whether the bill ended up being $20.00 or 980. Brian is just folks. I had been a Costco Tire Centre customer up until then, and those service reps were fine, but none of them shone like Brian does. It is so worth it to me to spend maybe 10% more at OK, as long as I get Brian’s chuckles and soul.
Sort of a yin and yang afternoon. There’s certainly a place for both shops, but only one feels like home.