Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Vintage Tiara

Occasionally after I bring Pop up for golf and do his food shopping, I stop in one of the thrift shops in that area.  On one of those recent excursions, I was waiting at the register for the clerk to ring up the woman in front of me.  I'm never in a rush during these outings, so I began some leisurely conversation with both the clerk and the lady she was taking care of.  The register at this particular shop has a glass display cases and counters for us to put our purchases on. Those very same cases are stocked with things like jewelry, evening bags, and other nice little doodads.  The woman in front of me was admiring a few things in the case, and the clerk was taking out a few things in between doing the register work.  We gals were all chatting about the things she was pulling out when I spotted it sitting in the case; a vintage tiara!  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I like to think of myself as relatively respectful, so I asked the woman in front of me "is there any chance you want that tiara?"  She turned an looked at me directly and said "now what in the world would I do with a tiara?" I was flabbergasted! I wanted to exclaim "what WOULDN'T you do with a tiara?!"

Since we girls were just us, no one else behind me waiting, I asked the clerk if she would please remove the tiara for me to look at, as long as the case was open.  She complied.  I asked the woman in front of me if she would like to try it on. The woman was quite elderly, well into her 80s. She said no, she wouldn't like to try it on; said she had no use for a tiara. She explained when she was growing up, she was lucky enough to have food, never mind a tiara.  She wasn't being mean or rude, she was simply explaining facts as they were in her life.  I felt a little sad at that moment, because I got a sense that she has had some very hard times in her life.  By this point, I knew her husband was deceased, I knew she grew up in poverty, and I knew things were not easy for her financially right now.  All this came out while we were waiting on line.  I wanted desperately to buy that tiara for her, that's all I wanted to do.  I wanted to give her a surprise.

The clerk removed the vintage tiara and I began to admire it.  I asked the elderly woman in front of me if she would like to try it on.  She told me she's never worn a tiara, and she really saw no purpose or reason to try it on.  I couldn't hold back and I calmly explained I think everyone should have a tiara, or at least have a moment where they can say they've had one on their head.  She looked at me and laughed, but in a good natured way.  She said "sure, you can put it on me if you must."  So, I did.  You know what?  She giggled like a little girl, and I don't care if anyone thinks that's a sexist thing to say.  I don't mean it that way.  I'm saying this in the kindest sweetest way possible.  Because for a little moment there, this elderly woman who was so very pragmatic let me place that tiara on her head, and she actually liked it.  She didn't want it, but she at least let me place it on her head for a fleeting moment.

Vintage tiara!
Might be time to get those roots done...

The world we live in is very harsh for the majority of its inhabitants, not limited to people.  For me, I find ways to cope with the overwhelming abuse of the world and all on it, mostly by doing random little things that probably are meaningless to the majority of the world, but to me mean a lot.  Sometimes those random things have been doing my daily run while wearing a (non-vintage) tiara, wearing my magic purple hair because its Tuesday, or dressing up like a faerie while selling cookies at Midsummer.  And, sometimes because I do those random things, I lapse and just assume the rest of the world does similar random things.  But, they don't.  I was reminded of this during my diallogue with the clerk and the elderly woman. But you know what else?  I know that I'm not nuts for doing this after all.  Because in the moment I slipped on that vintage tiara upon that elderly woman's head, she laughed, she smiled and giggled.

She didn't want to take it home with her, so I took it home with me. Yup, I bought the vintage tiara.  Its kind of weird because I used to have a vintage tiara that was in my box of "fancies" that one of my grandmother's gave me through my mom.  Hat pins.  Paste pins. Crystal  bracelets and aurora borealis necklaces.  All sorts of sparkly things, including a vintage tiara.  That box, the tiara, and most other things in it have long since disappeared.  But somehow the Universe dragged me into that store at that moment while the magic vintage tiara was there, along with a joyful clerk, and an elderly woman who I think needed an extra little giggle in her day.

Just another "coping" moment in the world; another great moment in the Keys.

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