I pretended to go about my business, but it was actually sort of difficult to concentrate with all of the fucking staring.
Finally, feeling rather exasperated, I look up and we meet eyes.
The clerk asks, “Can I help you with anything?”
She’s being coy.
“No, no. I’m good” I say as I continue methodically working my way through the rack.
You see? I know what’s going on.
This store clerk?
She recognizes me.
I have achieved a bit of celebrity here in my small town and she is staring at me because she knows who I am, but she’s embarrassed to say anything.
Shut the fuck up! She does SO know who I am and is in no way just looking at me because I happen to be the only customer in the store.
Anyhow, I’m used to it by now.
The side glances, the double-takes and even the outright staring…
It’s all just the price of fame.
At this point I have acquired a few pieces that I would like to try on.
Store clerk approaches.
Poor dear…she’s nervous.
I can tell by the way she is walking with a wobble.
A wobble having nothing to do with her 4 inch heels.
“Can I get you a dressing room?” she asks…shyly.
“Sure” I say.
I am OVERLY friendly to put her at ease.
I mean, come on, Honey, I’m JUST like every other customer…
Except for the FAME…
don’t be NERVOUS!
She leads me to the dressing room and as she opens the door for me she introduces herself.
“My name is Cindy if you need anything. What’s your name?”
Like she needed to ask.
But I play along.
Afterall, this is a REALLY big day for her.
I’m sure when I leave, she’ll be on the phone, all “OH MY GOD! YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE WHO WAS IN THE STORE SHOPPING TODAY!!!”
“Lola” I reply cooly.
She acts as if it doesn’t ring a bell.
She’s a pretty good actress.
I try on the clothes and select a couple of things that I like.
As I approach the register the clerk, Cindy, looks up.
“Did anything work out for you?” she asks.
She has had time to compose herself in my presence. I’m glad.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, It DID. These!” I declare as I place the items on the counter.
The items that will undoubtedly be known, from this time forward as “Items Worn By Lola!!”
“Oh, yeah! Those are SO cute!” says Cindy.
Like I, Lola, need to be told which items are CUTE.
Even if they WEREN’T cute? They’ll be flying off the rack as soon as the masses get wind of WHO purchased them.
I snicker a little to myself.
“Yes, they are SO cute!”
I’m nothing if not agreeable.
Now comes the part I both dread yet understand.
I look away and pretend not to pay attention.
I AM modest, afterall.
But it’s all a part of “celebrity” and it’s something that I MUST deal with.
“Um, Lola? Can you just sign this?”
And there it is.
Took her ALL this time to muster up the nerve to ask for my autograph.
“Sure! It’ll be my pleasure” I reply with my toothy white celebrity smile and ever present graciousness.
“Where do you want me to sign?” I ask.
“Just right here, on the line” she says as she points to a small piece of paper.
It’s too bad I forgot my autographed 8 x 10 glossies at home.
I’ll make sure to throw them in my purse for next time.
“And who should I make this out to?” I ask.
“Uh, just to the store….Just sign on the line if you don’t mind” she says, clearly embarrassed to be putting me out.
I give her a wink to put her at ease, “will do.”
Then I write in my curvy, beautiful celebrity writing:
FROM LOLA WITH LOVE XOXO
Cindy takes the slip of paper and looks at it for a moment.
Call me crazy, but for just a second?
She seemed…well…almost annoyed.
I don’t get it either.
Perhaps she really wanted the autograph made out to her personally and lost her nerve at the last second.
I decide to let her off the hook.
I grab a business card from the stack on the counter and I give her another wink.
“Here, Honey! This one’s for YOU!”
I sign the business card and hand it to her.
TO MY DEAR FRIEND CINDY! IF YOU SHOOT FOR THE MOON, YOU MAY LAND AMONG THE STARS.
MUCH LOLA LOVE
I know, I know…inspirational.
I get teary eyed myself when I think about it.
Anyhow, THAT awkwardness being overwith, I give her one more celebrity wink and make my way towards the door.
“Ta ta, Cindy! Feel free to tell your friends! Oh! I almost forgot! Did you want a picture? I have my phone!”
She looks puzzled.
She probably can’t understand why I’m SO NICE!
Apparently shyness has gotten the best of her again and she declines the photo.
Anyway, when I get to the door I pause…
I open my purse and pull out my super big diva sunglasses.
I place them gently on my nose and peer around the corner before I continue on my way.
Why am I so careful?