I had forgotten to refill my prescription in the hustle and bustle of the week. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. My thyroid has had problems for a while now, and though I would be tired from forgetting to take the pill, I could usually push through the week pretty well. So I ordered more pills, picked them up the next day (of course I was exhausted as usual) and began the regiment all over again. No big deal. Continue reading
“You did the right thing.” I told her as she wiped her tears away. I would have been crying too if a customer had tried pulling that same act on me. Screaming. Pounding the counter. Threats. Typical things that customers … Continue reading
I’m not a fan of Pumpkin Spice stuff. There. I said it. I am a very typical white girl, and I do not like Pumpkin Spice stuff. Of course I still follow some of the stereotype. I’m a big fan … Continue reading
We spent almost 45 minutes of our lives trying to find a product she liked that was EXACTLY the $35 minimum qualifyer for the Estée Lauder gift with purchase. Lipstick is $30, and she could easily get up to the … Continue reading
We stood next to each other. The water poured into the tarp with a soft rainfall patter that could lull a tired mind into a sound sleep. I looked at the remnants of the snow trickling out of the ceiling. It would have been beautiful, if it weren’t such a stressful situation.
I spoke quietly concerned about how long he had been there.
“How you holding up?” I asked.
“It was rough. I don’t want to be here now.”
“How many hours you going on?”
“I’ve been clocked in for fourteen.”
I sighed sympathetically and nodded. I hadn’t been in the store when the water first came through. “Like a waterfall,” some of the associates told me. Then again, anything even slightly interesting in the store became a fish tale meant only to become larger and larger as the days went by.
“Did it get upstairs too?” I asked anxiously.
“Yes, but not by the posters. All your posters are fine.”
“Oh good. Thank you.”
I turned and made a B line for the stairs anyway. Pushing through the swing doors to the back stock room where the “magic” happened. I practically was sprinting up the steps to make sure more leaks weren’t up there by our paper collateral. I could hardly get a missing item sent to me as it was through our system. If I had to get EVERYTHING replaced I had no idea what I was going to do. I held my breath, and tried not to let any tears of disappointment come before I knew what the situation was.
I saw no other leaks. I looked for about an hour so I was pretty sure. I went down stairs, becoming ever more aware of the scent of mold in the air. “Mildew.” I said aloud as I entered the office. I could feel it in my breathing and considered carrying my inhaler around for the day, just in case. My manager nodded absentmindedly at my word, but I’m not sure she recognized what I had even said. She was exhausted. In all night trying to make sure the buckets didn’t overflow with our maintenance guy and my other manager.
It wasn’t until about 10am that I heard the roofers on the roof. Banging and sealing. Sawing and stomping around. Customers looked up every moment the patter of pounding would stop. Then they would make their way to the back of the Men’s department to take a look at the damage. We kept the lights out over the men’s dress-wear. The last thing we needed was a fire as well as a leak. So there was very little the customers could see. Not that there were many customers to begin with.
When the roofers were finished inspecting the management was made aware of the situation. Apparently there was a seam in the roof that had so much snow melt that it no longer held the weight of what was draining into the storm drain from above. So the incline seam ripped open, and poured all over our floor. None of the merchandise was damaged. Things were fine other than a few ceiling tiles would need replacing and we needed to keep an eye on things while the roofers finished up.
Things were pretty much back to normal by the time I left at 3pm. I was just glad everything was over. I was glad that nothing was damaged. I began to wonder how much longer we were going to stick around in that failing mall. The place was a mess. People hadn’t paid rent for their stores in ages. It was outdated. Poorly managed. The only two stores in the mall that were sticking around and paying were us and an appliance store that had been going strong for a little while, but was suddenly going bankrupt because of how little traffic that side of town was getting. The place was ghostly. It wasn’t going to stick around for much longer. I couldn’t imagine it would.
On the drive home I noticed my check engine light was on. I sighed. It was going to be one of those weeks. At least I had friends coming on the weekend. For that I was thankful. I had something to look forward to.
We chattered as we drove, talking about life, love and wedding details. She was glowing. Happy for everything. Happy that we were able to be together for this wonderful moment. Happy that we all could get away from work and have some fun. Happy that we didn’t have to stay in the area and could go on an adventure.
Happy we could get a wedding dress…for free.
The home it’s self was 3 floors high, with a plantation style wrap around porch. Mint green siding and dark shutters with glowing lights from inside welcomed you into a relaxed living space with quaint country decorating. The driveway was practically a mile long. The estate, where both her husbands jewelry store and her mansion sit, along with several barns. Sat on a hillside surrounded by fields. It seemed out of place in the middle of nowhere. The kind of home one would see in the south. Large and lovely.
When I heard about her ministry, I was expecting someone to come to you with outdated or vintage wedding dresses that she would help you make into a dress that worked. Who gives away wedding dresses if they’re actually stylish? I mean REALLY just GIVES THEM AWAY.? I suppose the divorced would. But that was beside the point. I assumed that she would probably just pass off something a few seasons old…or decades, and kind of hope you and a seamstress could make it work.
I was mistaken.
Her basement is a bridal showroom, full of contemporary dresses, all donated from bridal shops all over the nation and individuals who just happen to find them at places like Goodwill each season. After you choose a gown, she sends you off with it, to alter it as needed. The only money you spend is on alterations, if the dress even needs it at all. She specializes in dresses with sleeves and high necklines, but also has a large selection of strapless dresses she insists on showing you how to alter with straps, all the while lovingly telling you how sleeveless dresses are “ungodly” dresses. She refuses gowns donated by divorcees, believing them to be “ungodly” dresses as well, and therefore bad luck.
Despite how some of our theology differs, I enjoyed her. She was lovely, jovial, and extremely helpful. Not to mention a blessing to offer the kind of ministry she does for so little, and out of her own home. She made the experience of bridal gown shopping stress free for my dearest friend, who looked absolutely stunning in the dress she picked.
I even teared up a little. Not gunna lie.
As we were walking out, thanking her again and again for a lovely experience, she asked me when I would be coming to see her. I wasn’t sure how to respond at first. So I simply replied “When he pops the question.” She smiled, and assured me “He’d be a fool not to do it soon.” I laughed.
We all took a picture together with our stylist before we piled back in the car for a two hour ride home.