Jason and I took yet another trip (feels like we were just getting used to being home from Las Vegas) to South Carolina with our work truck and boxtrailer to get our moon bounces repaired and we are currently biding our time for the next day or so. It was raining, so we ended up walking the local mall and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a scarf with dachshunds printed all over it in various colors. I was smitten, and Jason knew, and he waited patiently while I went inside the store to purchase it.
The store was Coldwater Creek, which I don’t think is marketed towards my age group — I’ve never been inside one before with the intent to buy something for myself. I went immediately to the register with my scarf and while the employee rung me up, she asked for my zipcode.
“Oh my! Where is that?” in her Carolina accent.
“Maryland,” I said.
“So far from home! Are you visiting family?”
I explained that we were here on business for moon bounces — I had to explain what a moon bounce was, (“those bouncy houses!” was her response to that) and then finally she asked for my last name. I guess she was trying to find a rewards card which I quickly realized that I should have told her there was no possible way there would be one under my name…
And then she asked, “Are you Sharon?” and she rattled off the home address.
I stared at her and then it dawned on me. My late mother-in-law had (has?) a rewards card for Coldwater Creek. I remember taking a look around the store and realizing that yes, this is where Sharon would have shopped. It was comforting and I had wished I didn’t rush to the register so quickly and wanted to roam around and touch clothing and accessories and just think about Sharon for a little.
I shook my head to the employee and said that no, that was my mother-in-law’s name. The employee nodded and pointed to the scarf and said “well you and her both have good taste for shopping here!”
I left the store and felt sad, and I told Jason about the mix-up and we walked around the mall a while longer. I told him I missed his mom and wished she was there.
I think we have this conversation once a week, about just missing her opinion, her gentle reminders and the way she commanded everyone’s attention without even lifting a finger. We talk a lot about what his mom would have done/would have said to something that happened at work, or at home, or even what her suggestion would have been about my own mother.
I wonder if I should have said something, to say that was was no longer a rewards member because she had passed. But I liked the idea of having a moment of pretending she was still living, as if she was still here to take a phone call.